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favorite biscotti recipes?

  • p

just what it says -- can anyone share? i'd like to include some biscotti in my homemade gift baskets this year, but have never made them before. i've had an almond-orange or some such which was delicious, and would especially love recipes along this vein.

also, how long do biscotti last?


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  1. The key in how long biscotti last is whether they have butter in the recipe. The very traditional hard ones do not and last a very long time. Some newer recipes include butter to make them richer and more tender and shorten there life to maybe 2 weeks in my experience. Most Italian baking books have a basic recipe that you can easily experiment with adding different types of nuts and flavorings.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rjka

      for years I have made biscotti from recipes in Cooks Illustrated, January/February 1994: lemon-anise, honey-lavendar and orange almond. I like them all but must say I don't understand and don't like biscuity (higher fat content) 'biscotti'. I always look for a hard break and less sugary-sweetness than biscotti in shops seem to have adopted now as a standard. Is this just my idiosyncracy or were biscotti once less cake-like than they are now? Sometimes I buy biscotti at a local Italian bakery and they are positively soft but I give them a second bake in the oven and then they are crispy. Not dense and hard as I prefer, but better than the softer kind (save me from chocolate chips!) Starbucks promulgates.

      1. re: Dbird

        I agree that jawbreaker style biscotti are so much more satisfying. The cakey kind is just another cookie.

        I am sure that this trend is just a reflection of marketing to Americans' tastes. They want a chocolate chip cookie, but want to be sophisticated, too. Voila! The chocolate chip biscotti.

        1. re: ironmom
          Caitlin McGrath

          You definitely must stick with classic recipes that have eggs only, no butter, to get good, crunchy-hard biscotti. Creamed butter=cake=soft cookies, even twice-baked.

    2. b
      Bride of the Juggler

      I've used the epicurious recipe as my base biscotti recipe for years, varying the add-ins from ginger and apricot to chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, walnuts, dried cranberries, etc. They last a week or two in a sealed ziplock bag, longer if frozen.

      Link: http://www.epicurious.com/run/recipe/...

      1. There's a recipe for pistachio and cranberry biscotti in December 2001 Gourmet magazine. It looks great. I have all the ingredients purchased, but don't know if I will get around to making them before Xmas. This recipe has no butter in it, so I guess it is a more traditional version. Looks festive, too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ann Vuletich

          I have made the cranberry pistachio biscotti and it is very good. It looks festive too. Also on the Epicurious.com forum-Gail's Swap I found a gingerbread biscotti with almonds. I substituted craisins for the almonds and it is yummy. The other one I love (from a little biscotti cookbook I have) I posted on Gail's Swap was a candied orange rind and pecan biscotti which I use with my leftover candied rinds.

        2. Last night I made three batches of the Pecan Cranberry Biscotti from marthastewart.com, and they are excellent!

          1. I have made really tasty biscotti the last two years by altering the biscotti recipe in Chez Panisse Cooking (the Paul Bertolli one). That recipe is a walnut one, using butter. I add 1 Tbsp orange zest, some almond extract, and substitute almonds for the walnuts. It's very easy, and really good.
            I read in this thread that not using butter makes them last longer, and I have to admit that these seem a little more tender than traditional biscotti, but mine have never been around long enough to go stale. I'd say you have at least 2 weeks.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dumpling

              I second the vote for Paul Bertolli's biscotti. They've been a favorite of mine for years. Double the recipe, because you can never have enough. I make them with walnuts, and currants soaked in brandy.

            2. My favorite biscotti recipe is one that I got out of an old issue of Gourmet. I make them every so often, and brought a batch with me when I moved to China in August--I managed to go through the batch VERY slowly, and so brought some home with me in December, and they were still excellent!


              1 pound almond
              1 cup sugar
              2 cups all-purpose flour
              1 cup light brown sugar
              1 teaspoon cinnamon
              1 teaspoon baking powder
              3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
              2 large egg, beaten slightly
              For Egg Wash
              1 large egg
              2 tablespoons milk

              Toast almonds in jelly roll pan at 375 for 10 min and let them cool. In a blender or f/p grind fine 1/4 of almonds with 1/4 cup sugar and transfer to large bowl. Stir in flour through butter and mix to combine. Add eggs and knead in bowl until combined (you can add some water to make this easier). Grind remaining nuts coarse, add to bowl. With floured hands pat dough into two-three rectangles, place on buttered & floured baking sheet. Bake 375 for 20-25 min until golden brown and skewer comes out clean. Cut crosswise into 3/4" slices and let stand in turned off oven for 15 minutes. Store in air tight container.

              1. The best biscotti of all time is in the "Classic Home Desserts" book - the Cornmeal almond biscotti from Judy Rogers at Zuni.

                It's a hard crunchy kind with just the right feeling in the mouth, toasted almonds, slight anise flavor. I'm addicted to them and my friends always beg me to make them.

                1 Reply
                1. Maida Heatter's Ginger Biscotti. Hard, spicy with a real kick.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kit williams

                    these are in my cookie jar at the moment:)

                  2. i tried a recipe from cook's illustrated last night -- orange almond, but made without the butter for a crunchier cookie. delicious! i will try some of the other suggestions posted here over the next few days.


                    1. This recipe was much, much easier than Michael Chiarello's (Tra Vigne cookbook) that I had been using for the past few years. However, I think the posted cooking time was too short*, and the cookie is sweeter/stickier than I like, so next time I will cut-down on the amount of sugar in the recipe. Also, I didn't have any almonds, so I used some pecans that I had in the freezer. Overall, I very much liked the results; Quite Tasty!

                      * (I'm not sure how much longer I actually cooked it, b/c I kept checking and putting them back in - probably another 15 minutes - which, may have actually been too long as some pieces are extra, extra crunchy)

                      1 c. almonds; 3 & 1/3 c. all-purpose flour; 4 large eggs lightly beaten; 2 & 1/2 c. sugar; 1/2 tsp baking powder; 1/2 tsp. salt. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or oil sheet very well if no parchment paper available.

                      Toast almonds until pale, golden brown. Let cool and then roughly chop.

                      Place flour, eggs, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Add the almonds and incorporate well.

                      Turn dough onto a well-floured work surface and divide dough into two separate balls. Shape and flatten each ball into a "log" to fit within the confines of the baking sheet.

                      Bake until lightly browned, 20 - 30 minutes.

                      Remove from baking sheet and diagonally slice each log into 2/3" pieces. Place back on parchment-lined/well-oiled baking sheet and bake until golden brown (about 10 more minutes).

                      Let cool on a rack. Yield 30-40 cookies.

                      1. I haven't tried these yet, but they sound fantastic to me...i plan to try this out at my next cocktail type party...


                        the only other kind i've ever made are hazelnut biscotti. The recipe for which i later morphed into a cheesecake crust !!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: im_nomad

                          You must try the Mosaic biscotti in Gina Di Palma's new cookbook "Dolce Italiano". She's the pastry chef at Babbo in NYC. the recipe is easy and wonderful!

                        2. One of my little tricks when it comes to biscotti is to do the first bake and then only bake what I need for the second. I put the remainder in the freezer and when I need more I defrost and proceed with the recipe. Sort of like slice and bake cookies!

                          1. THE ONLY BISCOTTI RECIPE YOU'LL EVER NEED!

                            Anise Biscotti
                            Makes 32 ½-inch biscotti

                            This recipe is from The Culinary Institute of America's Baking and Pastry, Mastering the Art and Craft cookbook


                            • 2 cups all purpose flour
                            • 1 teaspoon baking powder
                            • 1 teaspoon baking soda
                            • ½ teaspoon salt
                            • 1 cup sugar
                            • 3 large eggs
                            • 1 teaspoon anise extract
                            • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                            • ½ cup sliced almonds
                            • 2 teaspoons anise seed


                            1. Preheat oven to 300° F.
                            2. Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
                            3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bow and set aside.
                            4. Whip the eggs, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts and salt in a mixer with the whisk attachment on high speed until thick and pale yellow, about five minutes.
                            5. Add the flour mixture and blend on low speed until the dough is just blended.
                            6. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
                            7. Blend in the almonds and anise seed.
                            8. The dough will be slightly sticky.
                            9. Divide the dough evenly between the prepared baking sheets
                            10. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, forming two 3 inch wide, 12 inch long strips and about 1 inch thick on each sheet. Moisten fingertips and smooth dough into logs.
                            11. Bake, until a skewer inverted in the center of the logs comes out clean about 25-30 minutes.
                            12. Remove from the oven and cool on the pans for about 10 minutes.
                            13. Reduce the oven temperature to 275° F.
                            14. Using serrated knife, cut logs on diagonal into ¾ -inch-thick slice.

                            Note: Wait until the first baking has cooled down COMPLETELY before cutting the cookies for the second baking. This is a must; otherwise the cookies tend to break.

                            15. Arrange slices on baking sheets.
                            16. Bake cookies until dry and slightly brown, about 10 minutes.
                            17. Turn the biscotti over and continue baking on the other side until they are completely dry and crisp, another 10 minutes.
                            18. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely before serving.

                            Note: Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store in airtight containers at room temperature.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: speyerer

                              This looks interesing and I'd like to give it a try. Couple of questions. In the list of ingredients you mention anise extract but in the instructions it's almond extract. Also, is the anise seed whole or ground? I see both available from Penzey's. Thanks.

                              1. re: JoanN

                                here is another link and another anise/almond that is really good - I put the anise seed in whole without a problem for this recipie.


                                1. re: JoanN

                                  1. In the list of ingredients you mention anise extract but in the instructions it's almond extract. ( I add both sorry for the confusion)
                                  2. Also, is the anise seed whole or ground? ( Whole.)

                                2. re: speyerer

                                  This is a very good recipe, I have used it a few times.

                                  Most biscotti recipes use baking powder only. What does the addition of baking soda bring to the party in this recipe???

                                3. another "best biscotti thread" -- for further ideas!

                                  1. Give Nick Malgieri's Classic Tuscan Biscotti (Cantuccini) a try:

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: JanRan

                                      Without a doubt-these are the most authentic cantuccini di Prato biscotti I've ever tasted here in the USA.

                                      1. re: JanRan

                                        gotta google this recipe, but it can be found easily.

                                      2. i make a recipe for mandelbrot similar to biscotti using cut almonds and walnuts. I have orange citron and dried apricots which I will attempt in the future. They are baked in loaves, cut at an angle and rebaked for 4 minutes until they are hard.

                                        1. Dorie Greenspan's almond biscotti are the best. Here's the recipe, with lots of variations at the end: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                            Thanks for the recipe link. I made them yesterday and they are really ice - much different than others I have made or tasted. THey are softer, and I can really taste the sweetness from the cornmeal. All in all a very delightful alternative. Thanks!

                                            1. re: Tehama

                                              You're welcome! I like that they're not quite as rock-hard as some (plus they taste good!) :)

                                          2. One from Martha I've made several times and love, Just can't find the recipe right now. But take a basic biscotti recipe and add cocoa powder, mini chocolate chips and pistachios.

                                            1. This is my go to. I've altered what nuts/dried fruit/chocolate combo and how much of each goes into it but the base cookie recipe is fantastic. If the holidays roll around and I haven't made a batch, friends and coworkers from all over will start asking after them. The cookies come out perfect every time. Just the right amount of hard without being a teeth breaker and I've kept them around in an air tight box for 2 weeks with no problems. Not sure about longer than that, they're always eaten too fast!


                                              1. I just got this recipe from Serious Eats, I am going to make them this weekend.

                                                Greek Lemon Sesame Biscotti
                                                (Paximathakia Portokaliou)

                                                serves makes 5 dozen cookies, active time 30 minutes, total time 1 1/2 hours

                                                •1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons pulp-free orange juice
                                                •1/4 teaspoon baking soda
                                                •3 1/2 cups (about 17 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
                                                •1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
                                                •1/2 teaspoon salt
                                                •1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                                                •1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
                                                •2 tablespoons grated lemon zest and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from about 2 lemons
                                                •1/4 cup warm water
                                                •1/3 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) sugar
                                                •1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

                                                1.Adjust oven rack to middle and upper middle positions and preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine orange juice and baking soda; set aside.

                                                2.In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

                                                3.Add olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and warm water to bowl with orange juice and whisk to combine. Add sugar and whisk until well combined and lightened, about 3 minutes. Add flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in sesame seeds.

                                                4.On a lightly floured surface, kneed dough until it it smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into four equal logs, each about 14-inches long. Transfer two to each baking sheet. Score the each log with 1/3-inch slices, cutting close to the bottom but not all the way through the dough.

                                                5.Bake logs unti golden on top, about 15 minutes. Take cookies out of oven and decrease temperature to 200°F.

                                                6.When logs are cool enough to handle, use a serrated knife to cut into individual cookies. Place cookies back in the oven and bake until dry, about 1 hour.