I originally wanted to post this recipe around Valentine’s. But then I got sick and didn’t post anything for a while. However, I did have a couple before I got sick and yummy! There is a reason one of Ben & Jerry’s most popular ice cream flavor’s is Cherry Garcia. It is one of my favorites as well. I love the silky vanilla ice cream broken up by chunks of chocolate and cherries. Baking Bites had a recipe for Cherry Garcia Biscotti, but I really like the base recipe that I’ve adapted from The Galley Gourmet.
For this recipe I broke out my vanilla sugar. Yes, I have vanilla sugar. In fact I have many different kinds of sugar in my cabinets. I love a flavorful sugar that is more than just sweet. Thus, I have multiple shades of brown sugar, maple sugar, crystallized honey, regular sugar, fine sugar, granulated, chunks of sugar…etc. etc. Obviously, I have a problem. Vanilla sugar is easy to make. If you use vanilla beans save them once you use the seeds. Break them up and put them into a jar with sugar. A couple weeks later you have vanilla flavored sugar. You can add sugar to the jar as needed. I tend to use it in cookies or other desserts when I want a more pronounced vanilla flavor. I used it here to help recreate that silky vanilla flavor that is in the ice cream as the base of the biscotti.
A note about the plate in the picture: After my grandfather died and my grandmother moved to Maine she gave this plate along with a number of her other china pieces to me.
Cherry Garcia Biscotti
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup granulated vanilla sugar (if you don’t have this use regular white sugar add additional vanilla)
6 tablespoons (3oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup dried cherries (I like sour cherries, but Bing are traditional)
½ cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
Preheat the oven to 325º. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with an electric mixer, cream the butter, vanilla sugar, and vanilla extract until light in color and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg, beating well. Add the second egg and beat again. Scrape down the sides. Mix in the dry ingredients. Add the cherries and chocolate and mix until just combined.
Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 12-inch long, 1 1/2-inch wide log. Transfer the logs to the baking sheet. Or divide and drop onto the baking sheet and form there. Bake until golden brown (dough will spread), about 35-40 minutes. The dough will be slightly soft to the touch. Allow the dough to cool on the baking sheets for 20 minutes. Maintain the oven temperature.
Carefully transfer the logs to a cutting board. Using a sharp or serrated knife, cut a sliver off each end (those can be nibbled on). Cut the logs into 3/4 -inch wide diagonal slices. Place the biscotti cut side down on the baking sheets. Return to the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Biscotti will still be barely soft in the center, but they will harden as they cool. Cool on the baking sheets. Store in an airtight container.
Adapted from Galley Gourmet and Baking Bites