Yield: 3-4 dozen
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Wine Suggestion: Muscat Canelli Limited Release
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp orange zest
¾ cup toasted whole almonds
¾ cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Put the almonds on a baking sheet and roast for about 6-8 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool slightly and then coarsely chop them.
Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat together just until the mixture is completely smooth. Add the eggs, orange zest, and vanilla, mix well. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until the flour is just about incorporated, then add the cherries and almonds and continue mixing until everything is combined.
Divide the mixture into 3 equal portions. Place one portion on a work surface heavily sprinkled with flour. Knead lightly, adding flour if the dough is too sticky. Roll into a log and then move to a baking sheet. Press down gently to just flatten out the dough. Continue until all the dough is used.
Bake the dough for about 15-18 minutes, until it is lightly browned and completely cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool for about 5 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
Move logs to a cutting board and using a serrated edge knife; gently slice the loaf into cookies. Cut at an angle and about ¾ inch wide. Lay the cookies back on the sheet pan with one of the cut sides down and return to the oven. Bake for about 7-8 more minutes, or until the cookies just begin to brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.