Traditional Italian Biscotti

Biscotti and coffee

 Elaine Lemm

Prep: 16 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 41 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Yield: 24 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
113 Calories
4g Fat
17g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 113
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 89mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 39mg 3%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 59mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There are as many recipes as there are variations of biscotti, the lovely twice-baked cookie traditionally served alongside a coffee in Italy. Many of these are modern takes on the classic cookie which would only have almonds tucked into the dough.

Biscotti di Prato—to give them their full name—come from Prato in Tuscany. There, the cookies have a more rustic appearance, made without any oil or butter and cooked to a golden brown, then cooled slightly and rebaked to increase not just their crunch, but also their shelf life. When stored in an airtight jar or box, biscotti will keep for several weeks.

Biscotti, or cantucci as you will also hear them referred to in Tuscany, may now be dipped into a hot, bitter espresso coffee or a sweet caffe latte, but the Tuscans prefer them dunked into Vin Santo, a sweet after-dinner wine famously made by monks but any sweet wine will work as well.


  • 9 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 6 ounces fine sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 large fresh free-range eggs

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 4 ounces unblanched almonds, skin on, chopped

For the Glaze:

  • 1 large egg yolk, for glaze

  • 1 tablespoon milk, mixed with egg yolk for glaze

  • 1 tablespoon fine sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a stand mixer or in a baking bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, whole eggs, and the yolk, beating together to form a smooth dough.  

  3. Add the chopped skin-on almonds and using your fingers, gently knead the nuts into the mixture.

  4. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a ball and divide into 4 evenly sized pieces.

  5. Roll each quarter of dough into even-sized cigar-shaped logs 2 inches wide and 6 inches long.  

  6. Preheat oven to 450 F. Cover a heavy baking sheet with lightly greased baking parchment, sit the logs on the sheet making sure they are at least 2 inches apart (they will spread when cooking and you need each log to stay separate).

  7. Paint the glaze all over the surface and sides of the logs using a pastry brush. Sprinkle with the fine sugar.

  8. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. 

  9. Lower the oven to 300 F. Cut the logs into 1-inch slices while still warm. Lay each slice back on the baking sheet and bake for another 15 minutes.

  10. Remove from the tray and place onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.   

  11. Store the biscotti in an airtight container and they will keep for several weeks, though they're so delicious they will probably be eaten long before that time. 

Kitchen Notes

Though this is a recipe for the traditional biscotti with almonds, you may want to vary the recipe from time to time. A few suggestions that won't compromise the cookies too much: substitute the chopped almonds for chocolate chips, or dried mixed fruits, pieces of dried apricots or figs.