Chocolate, Cherry, and Pistachio Panettone

chocolate, cherry, and pistachio panettone | apt 2b baking co
chocolate, cherry, and pistachio panettone | apt 2b baking co
chocolate, cherry, and pistachio panettone | apt 2b baking co

We had our first snow last night. It was just a light dusting that was gone as soon as it fell, but I loved every single second of our little snowfall. It also made me very excited for our road trip to Minneapolis to celebrate Christmas this year, which hopefully will be blanketed in a thick layer of the white fluffy stuff. We are packing up the car, pup, (my cd case from college haha!) and heading west for 17 hours of terribly forecasted weather - so cross your fingers for us! Luckily the pup has proven to be a very good road-trip companion. I hope he likes mix cds from the early aughts!  

In the meantime I am a baking machine - cookies, brownies, bars, caramel corn, I'm doing it all! I even made my very first panettone which is a traditional Italian Christmas bread enriched with sugar and eggs, and lots of candied citron and raisins. I couldn't leave well enough alone so I added some chocolate and pistachios to mine too, and replaced the raisins with tart cherries. 

The panettone is made over the course of a couple days so the process is a bit long, but there is a lot of resting and rising time so don't let that put you off. The leftovers, if you have any, also make excellent bread pudding. 

Chocolate, Cherry, and Pistachio Panettone

1 6-inch panettone

Adapted from Sullivan Street Bakery and Brown Eyed Baker

This is a pumped-up panettone with lots of extra mix-ins for maximum holiday enjoyment. For a more traditional take use 1 cup of raisins rather than cherries and skip the chocolate and pistachios. Like a lot of yeast breads, this one takes a bit of time and planning but it’s mostly hands-off. I followed the schedule from Melissa at Brown Eyed Baker and it worked great for me.

Day one AM - Soak the cherries

Day one PM - Make the dough

Overnight - Rise

Day two AM - Shape the dough and let it rise

Day two PM - Bake the panettone

You’ll also need a paper panettone mold to bake the bread. Panettone molds are easy to find online, but in a pinch you can add a parchment paper collar to a high-sided cake or springform pan.

1 cup dried cherries, chopped

2 tablespoon light rum

2 tablespoons hot water

3 3/4 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2/3 cup lukewarm water

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon mild honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

10 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces2/3 cup candied citron (or orange peel) chopped

1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (optional)

1/2 cup chopped pistachios (optional)

1 beaten egg, for egg wash

pearl sugar

paper panettone mold

Put the cherries in a small bowl and pour the rum and hot water over the top. Stir occasionally until the cherries are plump and have absorbed most of the liquid, about 8 hours.

Mix the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and lemon zest on low speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until combined. In a small bowl, whisk together lukewarm water, eggs, vanilla extract, and honey. With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture.

Increase the speed to medium-low and mix to combine. Add the softened butter one tablespoon at a time, waiting for each piece to be thoroughly mixed in before adding the next. Increase speed to medium-high and mix until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Drain the liquid from the cherries and stir in the candied citron, chocolate, pistachios, and cherries. Transfer the dough to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a cool oven to rise until almost tripled in size, 12 to 15 hours.

The next day, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Fold the edges of the dough towards the center to form a loose ball and place it into the panettone mold, seam side down. Cover the with a towel and let the dough rise at room temperature until it has risen to the top of the mold, 3-4 hours.

Just before the dough has finished rising preheat your oven to 350ºF. Then, just before baking brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake the panettone until deep golden brown and cooked through, 50-70 minutes.

As soon as the panettone is cool enough to handle, pierce a wooden skewer all the way through and hang the panettone upside down about 4 hours.  (I forgot to do this, but it is supposed to keep the panettone from collapsing as it cools.)

Buckwheat Double Chocolate Cookies from Alternative Baker

buckwheat double chocolate cookies | apt 2b baking co
buckwheat double chocolate cookies | apt 2b baking co
buckwheat double chocolate cookies | apt 2b baking co
buckwheat double chocolate cookies | apt 2b baking co

And just like that, it feels like fall in NYC. It's a mostly quiet Sunday around here - we are heading into a busy couple of weeks so I am trying to take things nice and slow (ish) because the truth is, my to-do list has felt overwhelming and very anxiety producing lately. But there is fun stuff going on too -  puppy has discovered the joy of sniffing/rolling in/eating the very beginnings of our crunchy fall leaves, and its so cute I can barely bring myself to stop him. I also made some time to bake cookies yesterday, mostly so I could eat one at 5:45 am when I had to take puppy outside for the first of many times today...

I am so thrilled to be sharing this recipe with you for the fudgiest little chocolate cookies today from Alanna Taylor-Tobin's new book, Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours. They made my early morning wake up today almost worth it, almost. I have been following Alanna's gorgeous work for a long time and I like to think of the two of us as kindred dessert spirits - the recipes and lovely photos in this book totally confirmed it! As I dive into the fun of gluten-free baking, I am so happy to have this resource on my shelf because it is full of just the kind of recipes I love to make (including lots of fruit desserts!!).

I started with one of the simpler recipes in the book, mostly because I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand. Turns out that everyone else on the internet made these cookies too, and they all look beautiful which is the hallmark of a great recipe :) I, but I can't wait to try Alanna's layer cakes, crisps, cobblers, brownies, and more!

Buckwheat Bergamot Double Chocolate Cookies

from Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin

makes about 30 2-inch cookies

These cookies are deeply chocolatey and extra fudgy, almost like little brownie bites. Bergamot is a citrus fruit that gives earl grey tea its flavor, which can be tough to find out of season so substitute a bit of orange zest if you like. The cookies are also awesome without the citrus so choose your own adventure!

6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60–70% cacao mass), chopped (about 2¼ cups), plus several chunks for the tops of the cookies

1 1/2 teaspoons packed finely grated zest from 1 medium bergamot (or orange)

1/2 cup (65g) buckwheat flour

2 tablespoons (15g) tapioca flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (130g) cane sugar

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Flaky salt such as Maldon, for the tops 

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line 2 rimless cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Place the butter in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan set over the lowest possible heat. Add 8 ounces (230g) of the chocolate, and the bergamot zest (if using) and melt together, stirring frequently to prevent the chocolate from scorching. Continue cooking until the mixture is pleasantly warm, but not super hot, to the touch. Remove from the heat and keep warm. Sift the buckwheat flour, tapioca flour and baking powder into a small bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, place the eggs, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and whip on medium-high speed until the mixture is very light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and stir in the vanilla until just combined, then the warm chocolate butter mixture. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a flexible silicone spatula to fold in the remaining 4 ounces (115g) chopped chocolate.

If the batter is very runny, let it cool for a few minutes until it firms to the consistency of a thick brownie batter. Use a #40 spring-loaded ice cream scoop or 2 spoons to drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Top each cookie with a few chunks of chocolate and a few flecks of flaky salt.

Bake the cookies until puffed and cracked and the edges are set, 8–12 minutes, rotating the pans front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking. Let cool on the pans. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. The cookies are best the day of baking but will keep, airtight at room temperature, for up to 3 days.