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Biscotti-- eggs or butter?

jordana Sep 12, 2006 10:00 PM

Does anyone have an authentic biscotti recipe? Is biscotti egg based or butter based?

I have been making biscotti recently and I have been using a butter based recipe they are good but not as hard as I would like. They always turn out to crumbly .

Also any tips on biscotti baking and ideas for mix ins would be appreciated

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    bookgirl234 RE: jordana Sep 12, 2006 10:57 PM

    I use Maida Heatter's recipe for Almond and Chocolate Chip Biscotti and everyone loves it. It doesn't call for butter and the cookies come out hard but not that crumbly. I don't know how authentic the recipe is but they're as good as I've had in Italian bakeries. As for ideas I sometimes substitute a bit of the flour for cocoa powder. I'm going to include dried cherries the next time I make them. And I think that's going pretty soon because I'm now craving them!

    Here's a link to the recipe online; it can also be found in Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts:

    8 Replies
    1. re: bookgirl234
      sivyaleah RE: bookgirl234 Sep 13, 2006 04:57 PM

      Thanks for the link - it's a great site in general, so I've bookmarked it for future use. I especially look forward to the Gingerbread Biscotti recipe for Christmas.

      1. re: bookgirl234
        cherrypie RE: bookgirl234 Nov 5, 2006 04:13 PM

        Thanks, I'm new to this site, I have been searching for a recipe without butter or oil and will try this one. Any suggestions on storage for advanced holiday baking, freezing or plastic bags??

        1. re: cherrypie
          bookgirl234 RE: cherrypie Nov 7, 2006 02:19 PM

          I've never made them in advance so I'm not sure about freezing. I do store them in plastic bags and that seems to work fine. Having said that though they don't really linger in the bag - too many hands reaching in for one!

          1. re: cherrypie
            AGM_Cape_Cod RE: cherrypie Dec 23, 2006 11:57 AM

            I have had great success finishing the first baking, cooling, wrapping and freezing the logs. Then defrosting and doing the second baking.

            1. re: cherrypie
              shumash RE: cherrypie Nov 11, 2010 07:17 PM

              Why oh why would you freeze biscotti? Am I missing something? They keep unrefrigerated in an air-tight container for weeks. Two weeks at the very least.

              1. re: cherrypie
                cherrypie RE: cherrypie Feb 24, 2011 05:52 PM

                Biscotti freeze very well. I put them in zip lock freezer bags, I know I've had them frozen at least a month. I usually take one day, and make several batches, the only way to have any left to store!! It's so nice to just pull a dozen out of the freezer, when everyone thinks there are no "sweets"!! Also allows you to make several different kinds for the holidays. Note..you do not even have to defrost them, they come out perfect, ready to eat!! The recipe I use is made with oil, don't know if that affects the freeze process or not.

              2. re: bookgirl234
                mochi mochi RE: bookgirl234 Dec 21, 2006 08:35 PM

                Thank you for this link! By far, this is the best biscotti ever.

                1. re: mochi mochi
                  ali patts RE: mochi mochi Dec 22, 2006 08:52 AM

                  the gingerbread ones are lovely with some pecans thrown in to the mix!

              3. e
                emmisme RE: jordana Sep 13, 2006 01:10 AM

                How can one achieve crisp biscotti? I'm not a "dunker" so I would love to find a T & T recipe with a crisp rather than hard texture.

                6 Replies
                1. re: emmisme
                  Robert Lauriston RE: emmisme Sep 13, 2006 10:42 PM

                  Use a nontraditional recipe that includes butter.

                  1. re: emmisme
                    yayadave RE: emmisme Sep 14, 2006 03:20 AM

                    I don't know what a T & T recipe is, but I like a biscotti that doesn't make me think of Melba Toast. This looks pretty good and it's a classic combination. I only came across it today, so I haven't tried it yet, but it looks a lot like next.

                    Terry's White Chocolate Macadamia Biscotti, (Tender Biscotti)

                    1. re: yayadave
                      Robert Lauriston RE: yayadave Sep 14, 2006 03:55 PM

                      That recipe's more like chocolate-chip cookies cooked in the style of biscotti. Pretty radical Americanization of the Italian original.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        yayadave RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 14, 2006 05:24 PM

                        Maybe it's an "Original American Riff on an Italian Original." They should end up dryer than a cookie would be. But you're right about cookie-like. I was thinking about a hermit type of biscotti, also.

                      2. re: yayadave
                        Cheese Boy RE: yayadave Sep 14, 2006 05:48 PM

                        Tried and True, yaya.

                        1. re: Cheese Boy
                          yayadave RE: Cheese Boy Sep 14, 2006 05:52 PM

                          Thanks. All this modern stuff just befuddles me.

                    2. p
                      piccola RE: jordana Sep 13, 2006 03:38 AM

                      Traditionally, biscotti are made with no added fat besides eggs.

                      1. rosielucchesini RE: jordana Sep 13, 2006 03:40 AM

                        i have a biscotti cookbook that i've used for years and not one recipe calls for butter. and they all turn out fantastically dry and crunchy-just begging to be dipped.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: rosielucchesini
                          jay27 RE: rosielucchesini Mar 30, 2009 06:27 PM

                          Would you please provide one of your favorites from this book?

                        2. rosielucchesini RE: jordana Sep 13, 2006 03:41 AM

                          and as for mix-ins (sorry, I forgot to respond to your second question), i prefer the classic add-ins: almonds, pine nuts, and/or lemon/orange zest. enjoy!

                          1. l
                            La Dolce Vita RE: jordana Sep 13, 2006 04:02 AM

                            Hands-down, the best biscotti recipe (in my opinion) can be found in Corby Kummer's book, "The Joy of Coffee." He gives two recipes, one with butter (from an Italian lady) and one without butter. The one without butter is my favorite. It is crunchy, totally delicious, and easily converts to a chocolate biscotti (he gives directions for this, if I recall correctly.)

                            1. m
                              Mila RE: jordana Sep 13, 2006 03:30 PM

                              I made white chocolate, pistachio and sun dried cranberry combination last Christmas. It was delicious, but I'm sure very untraditional.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Mila
                                Cheese Boy RE: Mila Sep 13, 2006 04:41 PM

                                As I was reading this thread, I was trying to remember where someone had a great combination (and colorful) add-ins to their biscotti. Then I saw your reply, Mila. Did you post this recipe in an earlier thread? Would love to have it, or please supply the link. Thank you.

                                1. re: Cheese Boy
                                  Mila RE: Cheese Boy Sep 13, 2006 04:50 PM

                                  I'm trying to remember where I got this recipe. I'm thinking either Sugar by Anna Olsen or Martha Stewart.
                                  But I found this Epicurious recipe.

                                  I'll take a look when I get back from my extra long weekend.

                                  By the way, I discovered when making this recipe there is a huge difference in dried cranberries. We got some fresh ones (well fresh dried) from the farmers's market and the taste was unbelieveable compared to the grocery store version. It was not a product that I would have assumed would have had such a difference.

                                  1. re: Mila
                                    Cheese Boy RE: Mila Sep 14, 2006 12:53 AM

                                    Thanks, Mila. I'll be on the lookout for "moist" dried cranberries. I think that's what you were implying if we were to get them from a farmer's market, right? They're actually fresher that way.

                                    1. re: Cheese Boy
                                      Mila RE: Cheese Boy Sep 19, 2006 01:48 PM

                                      Hi Cheese Boy,
                                      Finally remembered where I got this recipe. I also dipped the end of the biscotti in white chocolate which seems to have been my invention.

                                      We have this amazing free magazine produced by the government run liquor stores in Ontario and they still had the recipe from 2000.


                                      The cranberries, which I got at a Farmers market in Quebec City, were a brighter red than usual. They were a little bit plumper than your average dried cranberry. I'm going to try and find some here this year.

                                      Can't believe you've got me thinking about Christmas baking. LOL. Hope recipe works for you.

                                  2. re: Cheese Boy
                                    sheiladeedee RE: Cheese Boy Dec 22, 2006 09:45 AM

                                    epicurious has a great pistachio and dried cranberry biscotti; I have done that one for years. I also do one with slivered toasted almonds and candied orange peel, one with hazelnuts and dipped in chocolate, and one with honey, cinnamon and almonds. I did one with candied ginger and I liked it but not enough to make it again.

                                2. j
                                  jordana RE: jordana Sep 13, 2006 09:16 PM

                                  I like to mix in chocolate chips and dried apricots.
                                  I never use sugar if i am using chocolate chips--because it always comes out too sweet. Also i justify eating a lot of them because sans chocolate they ae sugar free :)

                                  What other mix in do u like?

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: jordana
                                    Anna B RE: jordana Nov 5, 2006 08:04 PM

                                    white chocolate, crystallized ginger, lime zest, and toasted pistachios!

                                    1. re: jordana
                                      Nettie RE: jordana Dec 22, 2006 11:15 PM

                                      I just substituted Scharffenberger chocolate nibs for chocolate chips when I made some biscotti recently--I like the nibs better than chips because they stand up to the two bakings without melting.

                                    2. m
                                      mpfd RE: jordana Sep 14, 2006 12:31 AM

                                      My absolute favorite biscotti recipe is this one for Orange and Almond Biscotti, made with 3 eggs and just a bit of oil. Always get requests for the recipe when anyone tries them. They're not too hard and have a great texture and flavour. Try it and let me know what you think.

                                      ALMOND ORANGE BISCOTTI

                                      21⁄4 cups flour
                                      11⁄4 cups sugar
                                      2 tsp baking powder
                                      pinch salt
                                      3 eggs, lightly beaten
                                      1 Tbsp canola oil
                                      1⁄4 tsp almond extract
                                      finely grated zest of 1 orange
                                      1⁄2 cup chopped almonds

                                      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

                                      Place a sheet of parchment paper on cookie sheet.

                                      In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

                                      Make a well in the centre of the mixture. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Divide the dough in half.

                                      Shape each half into flat-bottomed cylinders (1" high x 2-1/2" wide x 8" long).

                                      Bake 30-35 minutes or until brown on top. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

                                      Cut into 3/4" slices.

                                      Return to oven with cut side down for 15 minutes or until slices are brown.

                                      Remove from oven and cool on racks.

                                      1. e
                                        emmisme RE: jordana Sep 14, 2006 05:08 PM

                                        I found an interesting website that talks about the ratio of eggs to flour and oil/butter to flour to achieve a specific texture of biscotti. As I stated previously, I'm not a "dunker" so traditional hard biscotti is not for me. I'm looking for a light, crisp texture so I'll be experimenting with the formula stated in the website.

                                        The texture I'm looking for is like Nonni's biscotti I bought at Costco.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: emmisme
                                          yayadave RE: emmisme Sep 14, 2006 05:29 PM

                                          I borrowed a couple of biscotti cookbooks from the library looking for information "about the ratio of eggs to flour and oil/butter to flour to achieve a specific texture of biscotti." They only had recipes, but not the information I was seeking. Could you post the address of the site you found?

                                        2. e
                                          emmisme RE: jordana Sep 14, 2006 06:31 PM

                                          Scroll halfway down the page to "Biscotti: History..."


                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: emmisme
                                            yayadave RE: emmisme Sep 14, 2006 09:51 PM

                                            Good stuff. Thanks. I saved two articles about biscotti. So much for the library. Everything's on the internet!

                                          2. a
                                            Abbeshay RE: jordana Sep 14, 2006 08:45 PM

                                            Nancy Silverton has a good recipe in her dessert cookbook that uses up the crumbs of another type of cookie ( I have used crumbled cinnamon graham crackers with excellent results). The recipe call for both melted and cooled butter and egg, both the yolks and the whites, and I sometimes add some chopped nuts (about one cup) to the dough, which is very dry. This is an excellent recipe both in flavor and texture, which reminds me of the type of biscotti you might get in an old Italian coffeehouse in Soho.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Abbeshay
                                              57suz RE: Abbeshay Oct 25, 2010 06:52 AM

                                              What is the name of the book? I've been looking for this recipe everywhere?

                                              1. re: 57suz
                                                Robert Lauriston RE: 57suz Oct 25, 2010 09:00 AM

                                                "Desserts." http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Searc...

                                            2. j
                                              jordana RE: jordana Sep 15, 2006 01:08 AM

                                              does anyone have a good biscotti recipe that uses olive oil?

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: jordana
                                                k_d RE: jordana Dec 22, 2006 03:04 PM

                                                Michele Sciocolone's cookbook is the best source for every type of biscotti you can think of (both traditional and Americanized).


                                                1. re: jordana
                                                  buzzedchef RE: jordana May 3, 2010 07:03 AM

                                                  no why would you want to put olive oil in biscotti

                                                  1. re: jordana
                                                    shumash RE: jordana Nov 11, 2010 07:14 PM

                                                    From my experience, oil is actually great for biscotti. I've tried a recipe that did not have any fats and it did not come out well... at all. Adding 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower, but olive oil might work too) made all the difference. These are not hard-as-stone, but rather crispy and great by themselves without dipping.

                                                    For the dough:
                                                    3 eggs
                                                    3.5 cups all-purpose flour
                                                    3/4 cups white sugar
                                                    1/4 cup dark brown sugar
                                                    1/2 cup vegetable oil
                                                    1 pinch salt
                                                    1 Tbsp baking powder

                                                    Of course, you need flavorings, nuts and/or dried fruit too.
                                                    There are instructions on making this dough here:

                                                    1. re: shumash
                                                      vvvindaloo RE: shumash Feb 24, 2011 02:37 PM

                                                      my family's recipe calls for oil, too. i think they're great that way- the darker and crisper, the better. you never really see oil in printed or online recipes for biscotti- only on faded, stained pieces of paper from nonna's kitchen drawer!

                                                  2. b
                                                    buzzedchef RE: jordana May 3, 2010 07:01 AM

                                                    the best biscotti is an egg base recipe. You must cream your eggs and sugar together and when baking like most all biscotti its twice baked. First go around is in a solid mass on a cooking sheet. When its done it will still be soft in the center and crusty around the edge. Slice the biscotti into strips or any way you want it. Place back in the oven at 200 or so and dry it out. When im training someone to bake at work I'll teach them to follow recipes but its not the recipe thats doing the baking. Time and Temp are allways important but you are better off watching and testing constantly rather the set it and forget way.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: buzzedchef
                                                      k_snap RE: buzzedchef Nov 10, 2010 09:42 PM

                                                      Almond Biscotti from Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food. (no butter)


                                                    2. felicekitchen RE: jordana Apr 30, 2013 01:57 PM

                                                      no butter should be used in an italian biscotti recipe (cantucci)
                                                      the american version does use it however

                                                      1. applgrl RE: jordana May 1, 2013 03:55 AM

                                                        Cook's Illustrated "Lemon-Anise Biscotti" is divine. Before Christmas I bought fresh anise seed at a boutique spice shop and the result was the best holiday cookie of the season.

                                                        My kids wanted me to cover it in chocolate but I refused so that I could keep them all to myself.....anise isn't for everybody......

                                                        1. Chocolatechipkt RE: jordana May 1, 2013 10:09 AM

                                                          Dorie Greenspan's Lenox Almond biscotti are fabulous. They're a little non-traditional, as they include some cornmeal, but they're also crunchy without breaking your teeth. Really really good.

                                                          (scroll down for the recipe)

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