Festive Cherry Almond Chip Biscotti

Biscotti are traditional Italian biscuits (cookies) that have been updated in recent years with different flavor combinations and often are decorated for a more festive look. They are first baked as a loaf, cut into their signature oblong strips, then baked a second time to dry them out and add the crunch.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Roughly chop 1/2 cup dark cocoa Candy Melts candy. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, almonds and chopped candy. In large bowl, beat eggs and sugar with electric mixer until very light (eggs will be nearly white). Add vanilla and almond extracts. Gently fold flour mixture into eggs. Gently fold in cherries. Spread dough into 2 long strips about 11 in. x 5 in. on prepared cookie sheets.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until firm and lightly browned. Remove to cooling grid; cool completely. Cut into 1 in. slices; place slices on cookie sheet, cut side up. Return to oven and bake 7-8 minutes. Turn and continue to bake until dry, about 7-8 minutes. Cool completely on cooling grid.

Melt remaining dark cocoa Candy Melts candy and white Candy Melts candy separately following package instructions. Dip one end of biscotti in melted candy. Place on clean parchment-lined cookie sheet; sprinkle with colored sugars, sprinkles or additional chopped almonds.

Makes about 2 dozen.

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