Now that we have a coffee maker, I felt called upon to make some kind of treat to go with each sweet, milky cup. Heaven knows, I'd like to just go out and buy six boxes of Little Debbie Dunkin' Sticks and let the wrappers fall where they may, but as I said earlier today, we're all watching our calorie intake and I have to keep a close eye on my blood sugar so Little Debbie and I have had to have a tearful parting, promising to get together and to stay cool and have a good summer. I comforted myself by buying Kieren four boxes of Fudge Rounds as part of his Christmas present.
I've spent some time on the internet researching biscotti and how to know a good recipe from a bad one and what goes good with coffee and would I have to have three thousand exotic ingredients, or could this just be a simple venture. After reading about twenty recipes, I cobbled together one that I thought would please the family. You can see it there above in the picture, where you also may note that I haven't yet got the technique for rolling the dough into logs and cutting it into the thin sticks by which biscotti seems to be characterized.
Here's the simple recipe, which tastes delicious, even if I don't quite have the correct shape. It's very, very simple to throw together, requires no fantabulous ingredients like the eyelash of a baby unicorn, and leaves you with very little to clean up. A keeper!
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Splenda
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 beaten egg
2 tablespoons of sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment or by spritzing it with cooking spray.
While the oven is heating, mix the first four ingredients in a small mixing bowl; set aside.
Combine the Splenda, butter, eggs and vanilla in a larger bowl and mix until creamy. Gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing until a soft dough forms. Stir in the pecans and cranberries.
Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, take half the dough and shape it into a log with your hands, kind of like you'd do with modeling clay. The log should be about nine inches long and about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place it on the baking sheet and repeat with the second ball of dough. Flatten both logs slightly. Brush with beaten egg.
Place baking sheet in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the logs are firm to the touch and golden brown on top. Remove from oven and cool on the baking sheet for fifteen minutes. Don't turn off the oven! The dough will have increased in size, so cut both logs in half lengthwise, and then cut into shorter "sticks." After the fifteen minutes of cooling, sprinkle the sticks lightly with sugar and return to oven; bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, cool and serve with coffee. Store the remainder in an airtight container.
This recipe can easily be doubled, although you may need to use two baking sheets to accommodate your extra logs of dough. The yield will depend on how long you want your biscotti sticks to be, if you see what I mean. I intend to experiment by seeing if I can make my dough logs longer, so that I can make sticks that are both longer and thinner. As you can see from my photo, they're a bit short and fat. Kind of like their maker.
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