This year, we found the best cookies on the web for our 12 Days of Cookies, with today’s cookie being Chocolate for Basil’s Chocolate Cherry & Pistachio Biscotti.
The Baker: Jerrelle Guy is a cookbook author and founder of the blog, Chocolate for Basil, an homage to vegan baked goods and her vegetarian boyfriend. Jerrelle’s also the author and photographer of the award-winning cookbook, Black Girl Baking, which is a celebration of #BlackGirlMagic and memories of childhood baking with her grandmother.
Why Love It: Jerrelle’s recipe is completely vegan, if olive oil is used as the fat in the chocolate drizzle. The combined nutty, sweet-tart flavors of the almond butter, pistachios, and dried cherries will make you forget that this recipe calls for no dairy at all.*
*If olive oil is swapped for butter.
Chocolate Cherry & Pistachio Biscotti
For the biscotti:
- 2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g) sugar
- 1/2 cup (5 oz./155 g) creamy almond butter
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) neutral-flavored oil
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) almond milk
- 1 tsp. instant coffee (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g) white whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup (1 1/4 oz./35 g) chopped bittersweet chocolate
- Heaping 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
- Heaping 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) tart dried cherries, coarsely chopped
For the chocolate drizzle (optional):
- 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) chopped semisweet chocolate
- 3 Tbs. almond milk
- 1 Tbs. olive oil or softened unsalted butter
1. Preheat an oven to 275°F (135°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. To make the biscotti, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the sugar, almond butter, vanilla, oil, almond milkand coffee until combined.
3. In a bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat until fully incorporated.
4. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate, pistachios and dried cherries.
5. Divide the dough in half and transfer to a baking sheet. Mold and shape each half until the loaves are compact, flat on the top, and completely smooth around the surface and edges. Each loaf will be about 8 inches (20 cm) long and 4 inches (10 cm) wide. Bake until just before the loaves begin to crack, 30 to 35 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven, transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack, and let the loaves cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Cut the loaves crosswise to make long biscotti cookies, each 3/4 to 1 inch (2 to 2.5 cm) thick. You should have 16 to 18 biscotti total. Gently flip the biscotti on their sides, being careful not to break them—they’re delicate. Bake until the biscotti are crisp, about 30 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven and let the biscotti cool and harden on the counter, uncovered, overnight.
8. To make the chocolate drizzle, in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave, or in a double boiler over low heat, melt the chocolate with the almond milk. Stir to combine, then stir in the olive oil. Let cool slightly until thickened, then transfer to a squeeze bottle with a nozzle. Pipe the chocolate mixture onto the hardened biscotti. Serve with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Makes 16 to 18 biscotti.
Note:The almond butter should be slightly runny, not clumpy. For best results, warm it before measuring.
Follow along on our blog for 12 days of Christmas cookies, and head to our Holiday Headquarters for more recipes, gift ideas, and supplies for all your holiday entertaining needs.