Cook diced fennel in a microwavable dish with ½ cup of water. Cover and microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes until tender. Drain the cool fennel before adding it to the recipe. Preheat oven to 325°F.
In a mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs, extract, and orange zest. Add flour, baking powder, salt and mix until well blended. Fold in fennel, nuts and Cherries
Divide dough in half and place on a floured cutting board. Form two logs,(each ½ inch thick, 1½ inches wide and 14 inches long).
Space the logs about 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet and place baking sheet in the middle of the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes at 325°F or until logs are lightly brown. Transfer the logs to a cooling rack and allow to cool 5 minutes. Place logs on cutting board and using a serrated knife, slice them diagonally at a 45° angle, into ½ inch slices. Place cut side down on baking sheet and return them to a 300°F oven for 15 minutes to dry slightly. Remove from oven and let them cool on a rack.
Store the biscotti in a an airtight covered container. Biscotti also freezes very well.