1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter
3 teaspoons ground lavender
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup toasted almonds
1/2 cup melted semi-sweet chocolate (optional)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
1. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lavender, orange and vanilla at medium speed until well blended. Beat in egg whites.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating until blended. Stir in almonds.
3. Turn biscotti dough out onto a floured surface. With lightly floured hands, shape the dough into two 5"-long rolls; move to the baking sheet and flatten the rolls to a 1" thickness.
4. Bake 30 minutes. Remove the rolls from the baking sheet, and cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
5. Cut each roll diagonally into seven 1/2" slices with a good sharp knife, and then place the slices on the baking sheet.
6. Bake the slices for 15 minutes. The cookies will be slightly soft in the center, but they will harden as they cool.
7. Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire rack.
8. Dip the cooled biscotti into the melted chocolate (if using) and place on waxed paper to cool and harden.