Saturday, December 16, 2006

HOLIDAY GIFT: Sugar-Free Almond Biscotti

In my life, there are many diabetics. My father, my grandmother, my mother-in-law, my brother-in-law, many. My normal Christmas mindset is goodies. Getting goodies. Giving goodies. Eating goodies. It is a wonder I am not diabetic myself. Until this year, I had avoided food gifts with my diabetic friends and family, for fear of putting health in jeopardy. This year, I embarked on a journey to seek to understand how to cook for them. The following recipe is one I came up with in my search. It is from the Splenda website. I have modified and adapted it to suite my tastes and styles. For a sugar-free food, I have to say, it's really good. I did not expect that.


Sugar-Free Almond Biscotti

1/2 Cup almonds, slivered
1/2 Cup canola oil
3/4 Cup Splenda granulated no-calorie sweetener
3 tbs. sugar (*note, necessary for the baking "science" has negligible glycemic impact)
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp anise seed (optional - I did not use)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray cookiesheet with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

IF DESIRED, toast almonds for 7-10 minutes until golden (I did not, I prefer the texture/taste of the raw almond in this recipe).

Mix oil, Splenda and sugar together in a large bowl. Add eggs and egg white one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add extract and mix well again.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powser, baking soda, nonfat dry milk (if adding anise, add at this step as well). Pour into the oil/egg mixture and stir until well blendd. Add almonds and mix until just blended.

Divide dough in half. Roll each half unto a log approximate 3 1/2 inches wide by 12 inches long. (Note about dough, much looser than a normal biscotti dough. You may have to scoop and smooth into log shapes "frosting" style. I did not attempt to kneed and shape into rolls - but you could with well greased hands)

Bake 20-30 minutes (until lightly browned and springs back to touch) be cautious not to cook TOO much at this step, if it is too dry to cut, it will be difficult for the next step, remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. With a sharp, serrated knife, slice each loaf on the bais into 1/2" cookies. Return, cutside down, to baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove, flip over, bake another 8 minutes.

Remove from oven, and pan and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Serve dipped in tea, coffee or Sugar Free Hot Cocoa (mmmmm....another recipe to be posted tomorrow!).

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