For a coffee-lovers gift, team these homemade coffeehouse pleasures with a bag of coffee beans and a pretty mug. Times given do not include chill or cool times which = 3 hrs (although, personally, I have yet to let biscotti cool for an hour before slicing)
- 1⁄4 cup butter, softened (no substitutes)
- 1 cup Splenda granular, sugar substitute
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 cup egg white
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1⁄4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons anise seed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 cup dried cranberries or 1 cup unsweetened dried cherries
- 3⁄4 cup pistachios, shelled
- 1⁄2 cup dried apricot, snipped
- 1 egg
- Beat butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.
- Add baking powder, baking soda, and salt; beat until combined.
- Beat in the 3/4 cup egg whites, vanilla, and almond extract until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer, adding the Splenda with the first two flour additions.
- Stir in any remaining flour; the anise and fennel seeds; and the cranberries, pistachios, and apricots with a wooden spoon.
- Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or till dough is easy to handle.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 12-inch-long log 1-1/2 inches in diameter.
- Place logs at least 3 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten each log slightly to 3/4-inch thickness.
- Combine egg and 1 tablespoon water.
- Brush over logs.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or till light brown.
- Cool logs on cookie sheet 1 hour or till completely cool.
- When logs are cool, preheat oven to 325 dgrees F. Transfer logs to a cutting board.
- Cut each log diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
- Lay slices down on cookie sheets.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.
- Turn slices over, and bake 5 minutes more or till dry and crisp.
- Remove and cool on wire racks. Makes about 48.
- TO STORE:: Place in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.