Almond Biscotti Recipe
Make this perfect biscotti recipe! Crisp, light, crunchy, and infused with sweet almond. So nice with a cup of coffee!
Back in my days as a pastry chef in an Italian kitchen, I used to make biscotti by the hundreds!
I truly loved making all those authentic Italian recipes. It made me feel closer to my dad’s family and reminded me of their big get-togethers with Italian delicacies piled high on every surface. And now I always feel so nostalgic whenever I make pizzelle, panettone, or tiramisu!
So this year I decided to bring back more of those happy memories with this almond biscotti recipe.
Sadly, I did not snag the biscotti recipe from my old place of work, so I needed a starting point. So I scanned many, many biscotti recipes, looking for one that seemed most similar to what I remember. I settled on the spiced biscotti recipe from Cook’s Illustrated’s The New Best Recipe cookbook, removing the spice and subbing in coarsely chopped toasted almonds, vanilla, and almond extract.
I think you’re going to love it. They bake up so light and crisp, with a really satisfying crunch. The flavor is sweet and almond-y, so perfect for this time of year, especially when dunked in a hot cup of coffee or cocoa.
And they are wonderfully authentic. Just as I remember and just as good almond biscotti (aka: cantucci) should always be.
Definitely give this almond biscotti recipe a try! They make a lovely homemade gift and they’ll be a great addition to your holiday cookie tray!
WHAT IS BISCOTTI?
Biscotti are a classic Italian cookie. The word “biscotti” means twice baked. So to make these cookies, the dough is first baked in a loaf shape, then cut into slices and baked a second time until toasty and crisp.
The cookies can include any number of different add-ins (such as nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate), but traditionally they’re made with almonds and sometimes anise, which has a sweet licorice flavor. When I used to make them for work we always included anise extract, but since I always make pizzelle at Christmastime, and they’re also anise, I decided to leave it out for this recipe. Just for variety’s sake! Feel free to sub anise extract in place of the almond extract, if you prefer!
Biscotti cookies bake up crunchy and sweet, and traditionally they can be a bit hard. But I find this particular recipe to be more crisp than hard.
They are good by themselves, but even better when they’re dunked in coffee, tea, or a sweet wine such as vin santo.
HOW TO MAKE ALMOND BISCOTTI COOKIES
To make these cookies, start by whipping eggs and a couple of extra egg yolks together with sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. This step is key to making biscotti that are crisp but not hard.
Get the mixture very pale, thick, and airy. All that air will help lighten the biscotti. This should take around 5 minutes on high speed.
Next, add the dry ingredients. Flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt can all get tossed in.
Switch to the paddle attachment before stirring the dough together- it will be very stiff and sticky!
Mix it up until just barely combined. It’s ok if there are still a few streaks of flour. If you overmix it, your biscotti could come out tough and hard.
Now toss in the almonds. I like to use whole almonds. Then I toast them to bring out their sweet, cherry-like flavor and make them extra crunchy. And chop them roughly so there are still big hunks of almond all throughout the cookies.
One more quick mix and that’s your dough made!
Divide it in half and form each half into a long loaf shape. It’s helpful if you first dust your baking sheet with flour, and then sprinkle a little flour over the dough as well. It’s extremely sticky!
Pop the loaves into the oven and bake until crackly and golden.
Once they’re cool enough to handle, cut them diagonally into half-inch slices. Then arrange them on a baking sheet, cut side up, and bake them a second time. It’s a good idea to flip them over halfway through the baking process, so they get toasty on both sides.
Keep in mind that a longer second bake will result in a drier, more crisp cookie. If you shorten that bake time, the biscotti will be softer.
Now, if you’d like (and this is totally optional) you can jazz them up with a drizzle of melted chocolate. Feel free to use any kind of chocolate you like: dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, etc. Personally, I really love these with a semisweet chocolate drizzle.
For a bigger hit of chocolate flavor, you could also dip them in melted chocolate.
CAN YOU USE OTHER FLAVORS?
The possibilities for making this biscotti recipe your own are truly limitless!
- Swap out the almonds for just about any kind of nut.
- Throw in a handful of dried fruit, like cranberries, apricots, figs, cherries, coconut, or candied ginger or citrus peel.
- Spice them up with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, or even black pepper.
- Add mini chocolate chips or white chocolate.
Get as creative as you like, and make this recipe uniquely you.
These cookies are naturally dairy-free! So if you’re thinking about making them for someone with a dairy allergy or intolerance, you can rest assured that this recipe will work for their needs.
For a version that’s also gluten-free, look for a gluten-free flour blend that subs 1:1 for regular flour.
HOW TO EAT BISCOTTI
My preferred way to enjoy these cookies is to dip each bite in coffee first. Could be hot or iced; either way, it’s so delicious. The sweet almond flavor plays beautifully against the bitterness of the coffee, and they soften up just enough to make them easy to bite.
They’d also be fantastic along with a cup of tea or hot cocoa.
And traditionally, they’re often served with a sweet Italian wine such as vin santo or marsala.
- amaretto, or
Biscotti keep very well. Especially if they’re well-toasted. In fact, the longer the second bake time, the longer they’ll keep.
They’ll last at room temperature in an airtight container for 4 weeks.
They can also be tightly wrapped and frozen. They’ll keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
A FEW MORE OF MY FAVORITE HOMEMADE GIFTS:
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Almond Biscotti Recipe
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 2 (88 g) eggs, (large)
- 2 (36 g) egg yolks, (from large eggs)
- 1 teaspoon (4.93 g) vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.46 g) almond extract
- 2 1/4 cups (281.25 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (4.93 g) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.46 g) baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.23 g) kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (107.25 g) whole almonds,, toasted* & coarsely chopped
- melted chocolate, (for garnish), optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, line baking sheets with parchment paper, and dust with flour.
- Place the sugar, eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and almond extract in a large bowl and whisk until very pale and airy (about 5 minutes on high speed).
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix together until just barely combined.
- Stir in the almonds and divide the dough in half.
- Place half the dough on one side of the prepared baking sheet, and the other half on the other side.
- Lightly dust with flour and shape into 2 long loaves (approx. 13-inches long and 2-inches wide).
- Bake until puffed and cracked on top, and just beginning to turn golden around the edges (about 35 minutes).
- Cool for 10 minutes, then cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices.
- Place the slices on a baking sheet, cut side up, and bake a second time (turning each slice over halfway through baking) until crisp and toasty (about 10 to 15 minutes).
Love this recipe!! I started using it last year, and these are being requested again. Can the dough be batched and refrigerated, or does the mess up the shape and the cook of the cookie? Would love to cut some time in the kitchen 🙂
thanks again for a fabulous authentic Biscotti!!
You bet! So happy you like it! I think that could probably work!
Amazing recipe! Thank you!
Wondering if I can cut back the sugar? If so how much without affecting the texture and taste too much? Thanks.
Have you made this recipe before and found it to be too sweet for your tastes? I’m asking because I try to formulate all my recipes with as little sugar as possible, to begin with. I find that this ratio works best in this particular recipe, just because a certain amount of sugar is necessary to provide that crisp texture. But feel free to experiment if you like! You’ll notice the less sugar you use, the longer you may need to bake (since sugar encourages browning and crispness), in addition to cutting the sweetness. Good luck!
Madon…to heck with any other cookies. Superb!!!
I’m going to make ones with dried cherries and pistachios, lemon zest and pecan, etc.
Thanks so much for the authentic Italian recipe I’ve been looking for.
You got it! Thank you for the great feedback. I love the sound of that flavor combination!
Your biscotti look delicious, but I noticed the recipe doesn’t call for butter or oil , just wanted to double check before u get started 😊
Yes that’s correct! Good luck!
I loved all you had to say and your perfect recipe!