I am a big believer in mastering a handful of recipes that seem far more difficult to make than they really are. The key is to not divulge this fact and instead simply say "thank you" when people compliment you (which they will).
In my opinion, eclairs fall into this group of recipes as do meringues, caramels, and biscotti. This recipe is filled with dark chocolate and cherries but if you are not a fan of those flavors, you could substitute practically any nut or dried fruit...pistachios, cranberries, white chocolate, rosemary and apricot...
Chocolate Cherry Biscotti
Adapted from Bon Appetit, December 1999
Make the biscotti: Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Mix sugar, melted and cooled butter, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl with a wooden spoon until combined. Add flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir until it is all incorporated. Mix in chocolate and cherries until combined.
Divide the dough in half and then shape each half into a 2-inch by 13-inch log (flouring your hands can make this part easier as it is a sticky dough). Place them on the baking sheet and space them apart by at least 3 inches.
Bake logs for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool completely (20-40 minutes), remove then from the baking sheet and place them on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, slice the logs on a diagonal into 1/2-inch wide slides. Arrange the slices cute side down on the same baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes on each side.
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/3 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
10 tbsp (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (60-70%)
1 cup dried cherries, chopped