These mini panettone are filled with delicious dark chocolate and sweet cherries. They are sure to delight on Christmas morning!
Let the Christmas baking begin! I am so excited to share with you all of the delicious Christmas treats I have been making, testing and tasting over these past few weeks! I thought I would start off with my Mini Dark Chocolate and Cherry Panettone. It has become a bit of a tradition of mine to bake a panettone each Christmas. It started with these mini ones and then last year I made a more traditional large loaf. I decided to go back to the mini ones again this year. There is just something about mini desserts that is so fun. They are easily shareable and hard to resist!
I love that these aren’t overly sweet. The slight bitterness of the dark chocolate pairs really well with the sweetness of the dried cherries. Its a delicious combination. I love the tender, flakiness of the panettone dough. I have been enjoying these for breakfast with a cup of tea! yum!
What Exactly is Panettone?
Well I am glad you asked! It is a traditional Italian sweet bread that is typically prepared around Christmas. It is usually a large loaf with a round base and a muffin like top. The dough is made using lots of butter and eggs which gives the Panettone a tender flakey texture. It usually has candied citrus and/or dried fruits throughout.
Making the Dough
Making a yeast dough can always be a little nerve racking but it is totally worth it! This dough comes together quickly and doesn’t require a lot of kneading. Just make sure you start the process early on in the day as it requires two 90 minute rise times before heading to the oven.
The only other thing to be cautious of when making these panettone is not over heating the milk and butter. Just heat until all the butter has melted and the milk is warmed. You don’t want it to get too hot! If you add super hot milk to the flour and yeast mixture you could kill the yeast and your dough won’t rise as it should. It will also melt the chocolate chips which you don’t want either!
Mini Dark Chocolate & Cherry Panettoni
Makes: 12 mini panettoni
Time: 30 minutes active time, 90 minute rise time x2
2 packages instant yeast
4 c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 c warm milk
1/4 c warm water
1/4 c butter
1/2 c sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c dark chocolate chunks
1 c dried cherries
2 tbsp milk
Grease a large bowl with butter, set aside
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together flour, yeast and salt on low speed for 5 minutes. In a small saucepan over medium heat combine milk, water, butter and sugar. Heat until all the butter is melted and mixture is warm, do not over heat. If the mixture is too hot, it will kill the yeast. The milk should be warm to the touch, if it feels too hot wait for it too cool down slightly before adding it to the flour mixture.
On low speed, slowly pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Add in eggs, egg yolks and vanilla. Stir in dark chocolate and dried cherries. until just combined. The dough should be sticky to the touch Transfer dough to prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise in a warm, draft free area until doubled in size (approx 90 mins)
Line cupcake pan with parchment paper cupcake liners. Once dough is doubled in size, punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into 12 even pieces. Roll into balls and place in cupcake liners. Cover with clean tea towel and let rise until doubled in size (aprox 90 mins).
Beat together remaining egg and 2 table spoons of milk to create egg wash. Brush on tops of each mini panettone. Bake at 350F for 11-15 minutes or until tops are golden brown.