Saturday, July 12, 2014

Basic Biscotti

Biscotti cookies twice baked chocolate cranberry almond
Basic Biscotti Recipe
Biscotti are oblong twice-baked cookies or biscuits, originating from Italy.  Their dry texture makes them the perfect dunking companion for a cup of coffee.  I picked up this recipe from an old roommate several years ago and since then have modified it only slightly.  This is a pretty simple and basic biscotti recipe.  I like that the base has only a hint of sweetness and it's incredibly versatile with your choice of mix-ins.  I typically make my biscotti with chocolate chips, toasted almond slivers, and dried cranberries - simply because those are staple ingredients in my pantry.  It's important not to get overly ambitious with your mix-ins or else your dough won't hold together. Try to keep your mix-ins to a total of 1 cup.  Some other combinations that would work well include:

  • hazelnuts, chocolate chips
  • candied ginger, chocolate chips
  • dried figs, walnuts
  • pistachio, dried cherries, chocolate chips
  • lemon zest, almonds
Biscotti recipe cookie chocolate chips toasted nuts craisins
Biscotti with Chocolate Chips, Toasted Almonds, and Craisins
I've been meaning to adapt this recipe to make savory biscotti, such as parmesan or rosemary and almond, but haven't had a chance to try that out yet.  One of these days!

Basic Biscotti
Makes about 30 pieces

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened 
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup total mix-ins (toasted nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruits, etc.)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, mixing thoroughly between each addition. The final dough should be fairly dry, not at all like a cookie dough.  It should be easily handled by your hands and not sticky - if it is difficult to handle, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough no longer sticks to your hands when handled.  
  4. Split dough into two portions.  Roll each into a log and flatten into a 3"x12" rectangle about 1/2" thick.  Bake for 30 minutes and let cool for at least 1 hour.  
  5. When you're ready for the second bake, preheat oven to 325F.  Remove cooled biscotti logs from the baking sheet and cut at a 45 degree angle into 1/2" or 3/4" slices.  Lay pieces flat on the baking sheet, cut-side down.  Bake for 15 minutes on each side and then let cool.    
Biscotti store well in an air-tight container at room temperature for 4-5 days.  I tend to sneak a few pieces when I'm slicing these after the first bake.  They'd be pretty good at this point if you decided not to do the second bake but the second bake is what makes them more dry and dunkable.  

biscotti cookie twice baked
Biscotti after the second bake


  1. Um. Yes, please. My belly is ready for some. Thanks in advance. ;)

  2. i'd love to have some with coffee now!