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Cranberry and Almond Biscotti

For a sophisticated but healthful treat, try these whole-wheat biscotti with almonds and fruit.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup whole almonds
1 cup sugar, divided
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup golden raisins
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. almond extract

Instructions:

Cover cranberries in warm water in a small bowl and soak to plump them, about 20 minutes. Drain, gently squeeze out excess moisture and pat them dry with a paper towel.

Set a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or foil lightly coated with canola oil spray). Set aside.

Grind the almonds with 2 Tbsp. of the sugar, pulsing in 5-second bursts until most of the almonds are a powder, about 30 seconds. Place the nuts in a large mixing bowl.

Add the remaining sugar, both flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt to the nuts. Toss the cranberries and raisins with a tablespoon of this mixture, then stir them into the dry ingredients, mixing well. Mix in the eggs, vanilla, almond extract and 2 tablespoons water. With a wooden spoon, mix until a sticky, dense dough forms, working in all the flour.

Halve the dough. Moistening your hands lightly with cold water, shape the dough into two flattened 13x2 1/2-inch logs, spaced 4 inches apart on the lined baking sheet.

Bake until golden and firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Cool logs on the baking sheet for 15 minutes.

Transfer logs to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut each log diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange them cut-side down in one layer on the baking sheet, with slices touching each other. Bake 10 minutes, turn, and bake 10 more minutes, or until biscotti are a honey color and dry to the touch. Turn the oven off and leave biscotti there for 10 more minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet. Store sealed in an air-tight container for up to 3 weeks.

Nutritional Information:

Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies. Per cookie: 70 calories, 2 g. total fat (less than 1 g. saturated fat), 12 g. carbohydrate, 2 g. protein, 1 g. dietary fiber, 40 mg. sodium.

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