biscotti with coffee and orange

Biscotti is a delicious cookie treat loved by adults, that’s for sure. They aren’t drenched in frosting, slathered in sprinkles, or filled with dubious white goo. They may appear fairly plain, and they are definitely on the hard side — in fact, that is their defining characteristic. Their name comes from "biscoctus," a Latin word that means cooked twice (via NPR), and as you can see from this recipe, that is exactly how they are made.

Recipe developer Miriam Hahn says, "I am 100% Italian, and this recipe is an old recipe from my grandmother. I love this recipe, because they taste like a traditional biscotti — not too sweet, toasted perfectly, and fancy looking." As befits an adult kind of cookie, biscotti are not meant to be washed down with a glass of milk. Hahn says they go great with a cup of coffee. (Unlike a donut, they won’t get all soggy when you dunk them!) She also mentions, "My mother used to serve [biscotti] with wine or an after-dinner drink like Amaretto."

Gather the ingredients for Italian biscotti

ingredients for biscotti

These biscotti include some pretty standard cookie ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, and eggs. Actually, just one egg plus an extra egg white. Why the extra white? Hahn says, "The extra egg white just helps bind the ingredients together." She also uses coconut oil to make these cookies. As she tells it, "The original recipe used canola oil, something that we now know can be detrimental to our health. If I am going to use an oil in baking, it is typically coconut oil."

To flavor these cookies, you’ll use cinnamon, orange juice, an orange peel, and both vanilla and almond extracts. The biscotti get some extra crunch from blanched almonds, and a hint of chocolate from some mini chips.

Make the biscotti dough

adding almonds to biscotti dough

Begin preparing the dough by mixing all of the dry ingredients together: the flour, the baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. In another bowl, beat together the egg, the egg white, and the sugar — Hahn suggests using an electric hand mixer for this. Beat the oil, orange juice, zest, and extracts into the eggs, then stir in the flour mixture. Use the mixer on low speed until all ingredients are combined. When you’re done mixing, hand-stir the nuts and chocolate chips into the mix, then put the bowl of dough in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes or so.

Bake the biscotti for the first time

once-baked, unsliced biscotti

As the dough chills, preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper or a silpat, then take the dough out of the fridge, and form it into a foot-long mound in the middle of the sheet. Bake the cookie mound for 25 minutes, then take it out of the oven, and let it cool a bit. Don’t turn the oven off, though! You’ll be using it again real soon.

Bake the biscotti for the second time

biscotti on wire rack

In about 10 minutes or so when the cookies — or rather, still just one big cookie at this point — are (is) cool enough, take a sharp serrated knife, and cut the log into ½-inch slices. Take each cookie, and put it back on the baking sheet lying on its side. Put the cookies back in the oven, and cook for five minutes, then flip them over to the other side, and bake for five minutes more. As Hahn explains of the whole double-baking process, "You want biscotti crispy, but not dried out, so the double baking makes each side golden brown and perfectly toasted."

Once the cookies are cool, they’re ready to enjoy with your beverage of choice. Hahn notes, "I think they are great to have around for the holidays," adding, "They also are so pretty on a brunch menu or a girls’ wine and dessert night!" This is a great recipe to prepare for a cookie swap, or even to make up cookie gift boxes for your family and friends.

This recipe for Italian biscotti is not too sweet, toasted perfectly, and totally fancy looking for a holiday spread.

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ tablespoon orange juice
  • ½ tablespoon orange peel zest
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup blanched almonds
  • ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips
  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Combine the egg, egg white, and sugar in a large bowl using a hand mixer.
  3. Beat in the oil, cinnamon, orange juice, orange zest, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, and beat on low speed until well blended.
  5. Fold the almonds and chocolate chips into the cookie dough by hand.
  6. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  8. Form the dough into a 12-inch-long mound.
  9. Place the dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 25 minutes.
  10. Allow the cookie to cool.
  11. Use a sharp serrated knife to separate the biscotti into ½-inch slices, and place the cookies on their sides on the cookie sheet.
  12. Bake the biscotti for 5 minutes, then flip to the other side, and cook 5 more minutes, or until lightly browned.

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.