This classic biscotti recipe makes the best biscotti cookies! A basic biscotti recipe plus recipes for almond biscotti, chocolate biscotti and cranberry orange biscotti. These homemade biscotti cookies are easy to make and perfect for holiday gifts and cookie trays!
With Christmas coming soon, I wanted to share one of my favorite holiday cookie recipes with you, these classic biscotti cookies. I love biscotti because they are crisp on the edges and just the tiniest bit soft in the center. You can easily flavor your biscotti with your favorite flavors. The best part about crunchy biscotti cookies is that they are perfect for dunking in a mug of coffee or tea!
I have made biscotti for years, but I had never played around with recipes until recently. I decided it was time to do some research and recipe testing to create the best classic biscotti recipe. I tested batch after batch of biscotti just for you and just in time for Christmas cookie baking season!
WHAT ARE BISCOTTI?
Biscotti are traditional Italian pastries. Classic biscotti cookies are dry and crisp, so they are ideal for dipping in hot coffee or tea. Sometimes biscotti are dipped in melted chocolate.
Biscotti are baked twice, which gives them their dry, crunchy texture. The dough is first shaped into a log and baked. After the baked dough log cools, you slice it on the diagonal and bake the cookies a second time until they are crisp.
You will find many different recipes for biscotti. Classic biscotti flavors include vanilla, anise and almond. Since biscotti are made with less butter and sugar, they are a healthy cookie.
If you like to bake homemade cookies for gifts for teachers, friends and neighbors, biscotti are a great choice. They stay fresh longer than most other types of cookies and they don’t break easily. There is nothing worse than worrying that the cookies you are giving away will be stale or broken by the time they get eaten.
This recipe is so easy and you can make lots of different flavors of biscotti so that there is something everyone will like. I made four batches in one morning and it was nice to be able to give away a plate with a variety of biscotti flavors to my family and friends.
Butter: I use 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter in my biscotti recipe. Adding more butter will result in a softer biscotti cookie and omitting the butter will give you a drier, crispier cookie. I found that 4 tablespoons is the perfect amount. Start with cold butter and cut it into four pieces. It will soften up as you beat it with the sugar.
Sugar: This recipe uses granulated sugar. You will want to beat the sugar and butter together until the mixture is creamy.
Eggs: You will need two large eggs for this recipe. The eggs are combined with the butter and sugar. The mixture might look a bit curdled, this is ok. When you mix in the flour everything will get incorporated.
Extracts and flavors: My basic biscotti recipe uses vanilla extract. You may also add almond extract or anise extract, which are both classic biscotti flavors. You can add some orange zest or lemon zest to the wet ingredients if you want citrus flavor in your biscotti.
Flour, baking powder and salt: I use a combination of white whole wheat flour and all purpose flour in my biscotti recipe. I like the depth of flavor that whole wheat flour adds to these cookies, and I like to sneak in extra nutrition whenever I can. You may replace the white whole wheat flour with all-purpose flour if that is all that you have on hand.
Baking powder helps the dough to rise. Adding salt to baked goods enhances the flavor.
HOW TO MAKE BISCOTTI COOKIES
Biscotti are easy to make. There are just a few simple steps, and I’ve included a few pictures of how I shape and cut the biscotti dough.
First you will beat together the butter and sugar. Next you’ll add two eggs and vanilla. If you are using other extracts, such as almond extract, mix them in now. This is also when you will want to add citrus zest such as orange or lemon zest.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined.
Finally, stir in any mix-ins that you want to use, such as nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips.
Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a log shape. If the dough sticks to your hands, using slightly wet hands can help. I start by making a ball out of each half of the dough. Then I pat the dough between my hands to shape it into a log.
Place the logs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Press down with your hands to flatten the logs. You want them to be about 3/4-inch thick. You can also use your hands to smooth and flatten the edges of the dough logs.
If you want, you can sprinkle the dough with turbinado sugar (coarse sugar) before baking. This will give your biscotti cookies a pretty sparkle on top.
Bake the dough logs for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees, until they are lightly golden. The center will be slightly soft and should bounce back when you press it lightly.
Be sure to let the baked biscotti logs cool before slicing. If you slice them when they are too warm, the cookies will crumble.
Slice the logs on the diagonal, pressing a sharp knife straight down into the dough. Place the cookies back on the baking sheet, cut sides up. Slicing at a greater angle will result in longer cookies, and less of an angle will produce smaller biscotti.
Bake the biscotti a second time, for 12-16 minutes, until crisp.
How long will biscotti last? Store your biscotti in an airtight container at room temperature. They will stay fresh for 1-2 weeks this way. You can also wrap your biscotti airtight and store them in the freezer for 3 months.
How to make mini biscotti: To make small biscotti, shape the dough into three or four logs instead of two. The smaller dough logs will require less baking time, so begin checking on them after 15 minutes.
CHOCOLATE BISCOTTI RECIPE
To make chocolate biscotti, you will add unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate chips to the biscotti dough. You will use 1/4 cup less flour to account for the addition of cocoa powder. I like to dip my chocolate biscotti in white or dark chocolate, and sometimes I mix in almonds or walnuts.
ALMOND BISCOTTI RECIPE
Almond biscotti are one of my favorites! To make almond biscotti, add 1 teaspoon of almond extract and reduce the vanilla extract to 1/2 teaspoon. You will also mix chopped almonds into the dough.
CRANBERRY ORANGE BISCOTTI RECIPE
To make cranberry orange biscotti, you will mix orange zest into the creamed butter and sugar. Then stir dried cranberries into the biscotti dough. Sometimes I like to add almonds or pistachios to my cranberry biscotti.
TIPS FOR BAKING THE BEST BISCOTTI COOKIES
- This recipe makes about 20 medium sized biscotti. You can double the recipe to make more biscotti.
- Be sure to let the baked biscotti logs cool for about 30 minutes before slicing them to prevent your biscotti from crumbling.
- Bake the sliced cookies longer if you want them more crunchy, and for a shorter time if you want them softer. The centers will be a tiny bit soft when you remove them from the oven, but they will crisp up as they cool.
- You may sprinkle turbinado sugar (coarse sugar) on the dough logs before baking for a pretty sparkle. I did this with my classic biscotti pictured above.
- You can dip your cooled biscotti in melted chocolate. Refrigerate chocolate dipped biscotti for a few minutes to help the chocolate harden.