I Promised Italian Food! Here’s the First Course!

Cherry Almond Biscotti

The Art of Enchantment book coverI promised you food  as part of my All-Italian blog week to celebrate the launch of The Art of Enchantment. And I woke up this morning with a serious craving for biscotti.

When I want biscotti, my go-to recipe is always by Christine Cushing. No need to re-invent the wheel here. If you are a biscotti fan, this is the BEST!

Lately I’ve seen a trend in coffee shops to monster-sized biscotti of strangely ubiquitous consistency and no discernible flavor. Be careful not to break your teeth.

This is not that.

The recipe is quick and easy. I laid out my ingredients first, since I just moved this week and I wanted to know that I could find everything. There are other versions, with hazelnuts, chocolate or whatever you like best, but today I wanted dried cherries and almonds. In my opinion, the secret ingredient that makes these cookies so good is the grape seed oil. Don’t substitute anything else for that. And don’t leave out the lemon zest or anise because the flavor is so Italy.

ingredients for cherry almond biscotti recipe

Basically I mix up the dry ingredients in one bowl, blend up the wet ingredients in the mixer, stir them together and presto!

Then I pour/drop/shape the sticky dough into two long, rather narrow logs on buttered parchment. Bake for about 20 minutes. It gets quite golden brown, but it’s still a bit soft inside.

cherry almond biscotti after first baking


After the first-baked slabs cool for fifteen minutes, slice on the diagonal into 3/4″ slices, lay them on their sides and bake again until crispy and dry. Yum. You can dip them in your caffe latte if you like them soft, but they are just as delicious eaten straight off the pan all by themselves. Buon appetito!




1 1/2 cups and 2 tbsp. all purpose flour (405ml)

2 tsp baking powder (10 ml)

1 tsp ground anise seed (5 ml)

pinch salt

grated zest of 2 lemons

1 cup sugar (250 ml)

1/3 cup grape seed oil (75 ml)

3 eggs

1 cup toasted whole almonds, skin on (250 ml)

1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped (125 ml)

butter, for brushing baking tray


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Brush with butter.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, ground anise and salt into a medium bowl. Add almonds and cherries.
  4. In another bowl, add lemon zest, sugar, oil and eggs. Whisk or mix until smooth. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon and blend well.
  5. Divide dough in half and shape each into a cylinder (roughly 12 x 2 inches). Dough will be sticky so use a little oil on hands or spatula to shape dough. Arrange the cylinders on baking sheet, leaving at least 3 inches – they will spread out as they bake.
  6. Bake for 30 to 35 mutes or until golden and firm. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before cutting to keep shape. With a large spatula carefully scrape cylinders off tray and transfer to a cutting board. Carefully slice crosswise on the diagonal with a serrated edge knife (in one full cut) into 1/2-inch slices. Put slices back onto the baking sheet, laying flat and not overlapping. Bake a second time (again at 325 degrees F.) for 20 more minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Makes about 40 cookies.

Note: I used my new convection oven for the first time, so I adjusted the times down about 5 minutes per stage.

Let me know if you try the recipe and if you agree they are the best biscotti ever.

I hope you make yourself a nice coffee, sit down with a biscotti or two turn on your soundtrack and settle in to a good read, once you pick up your copy of my new release, The Art of Enchantment, on special this week for only .99. Ciao!