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.)

Oatmeal Chocolate Cherry Cookies

I can't believe it's been so long since we had any cookies around here. I admit, I got so caught up with delicious summer fruit and ice cream and preserves that I forgot how nice it is to have a little portable sweet treat lying around. These are the chewy centered, crispy edged variety of oatmeal cookies which just happen to be my personal favorite and I like to sprinkle them with a little salt before heading into the oven too. If sweet/salty isn't your thing feel free to skip the step, but if you've never tried it, give it a go with a cookie or two. They would make a great lunch box dessert if you have kiddos heading off to school this fall and after you tuck one or two in their lunch boxes you can eat a few for breakfast with your morning coffee. I mean, they're made of oatmeal right?

Oatmeal Chocoalte Cherry Cookies 

adapted from BAKED

yield 18 cookies

3/4c flour

1/2t baking soda

1/2t sea salt (plus a bit more to sprinkle on top of the cookies)

1/2t cinnamon (I used Saigon Cinnamon from Penzey's that was super strong, so if you use another variety you may want a little more here)

a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1/2c butter

3/4c brown sugar

1 egg

1t vanilla extract

1 1/2c rolled oats

1/2c chopped dried cherries

1/2c chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 375ºF

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer (or in a bowl with a hand mixer) cream the butter and the sugars, then add the egg and mix until combined, then add the vanilla.

3. WIth the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Then remove the bowl from the mixer, add the oats, chocolate and cherries and stir them in by hand.

4. Divide the mixture into 18 even balls, I used a cookie scoop about the size of a generous tablespoon and place on two parchment lined cookie sheets. Gently press the cookies down to ensure they spread and sprinkle each one with a tiny bit of sea salt.

5. Slide the sheets into the oven and bake the cookies until lightly golden on the edges and soft in the middle, about 12min. Don't forget to rotate the pans halfway through baking. Cool the cookies on the sheets for a few minutes then remove them to a wire rack and try not to eat the whole batch all at once.

These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temp for about 3 days.