Everyone likes biscotti! Traditional Italian biscotti (or “cantucci” as they are known in Italy) are from Tuscany and are enjoyed with Vin Santo (Tuscan dessert wine). They are commonly known as biscotti (plural for biscotto, which means “twice-baked”) because no one can eat just one! :-)
My biscotti take a twist and turn from the traditional recipe. They are softer in texture, yet still crumbly without being dry. I add additional ingredients to the traditional recipe that offer a delightful mix of flavors in just one bite. I’ve tried biscotti of different flavors: plain, chocolate, with or without nuts, and even dipped in chocolate. I don’t discriminate, I like them all. However, at home, I always go back to this recipe; I have been making it for years and no one has allowed me to change it. I have always called them “miei biscotti” (“my biscotti” in Italian); and now, they are also yours!
About this recipe
I have reduced the amount of sugar and fat (so you can enjoy an extra biscotto or two without guilt). You can of course omit or replace any of the flavoring ingredients if you are not on friendly terms with them. They don’t overpower each other, and together, they bring out an amazing combination of flavors. These biscotti are always a success with anyone who’s tried them. They are so good you’ll find an excuse to eat them all day long!
Yields 20-24 small biscotti (approx size: 2.5-3 inches/ 5-6cm)
Prep time: 10-15 min
Total cook time: approx 20 min
Cooking temp: 350°F/180°C
- 2 cups (280g) of all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (100g) granulated (superfine/caster) sugar
- 1 tsp (5g) baking powder
- 3 Tbl (40g) unsalted butter (softened)
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup (27g) slivered almonds
- 1 Tbl (7g) anise seeds
- ¼ cup (25g) dried cranberries
- Grated peel (zest) of 1 large orange
- ½ cup (75g) golden raisins (if they are not plump and moist, let them soak in orange juice for 5-10min) (raisins also known as “sultanas”)
- 2 Tbl orange juice (for soaking the raisins, otherwise just add to dough)
- Sift flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. In separate bowl, beat eggs, butter, orange juice and orange zest and add to flour mixture. Stir with a fork until dry ingredients absorb the liquid.
- Add anise seeds, almonds, cranberries, and raisins to the bowl and mix by hand. Kneading the dough until it can be made into a ball.
- Note: I prefer golden raisins in this recipe because black raisins’ sweetness can overpower the taste of the other ingredients. You can always reduce the amount of anise seeds, but try not to eliminate them; they add a special subtle note to this recipe.
Shaping the biscotti:
- Divide dough in half and shape into 2 logs.
- I usually shape the logs about 10-12 inches (20-25cm) long, and 2.5 inches (5cm) wide. You may shape the logs thinner and longer (smaller biscotti) or shorter and wider (larger biscotti). If you change the size from my suggestion, adjust cooking time accordingly; the thinner the log the faster it will cook.
Baking the biscotti:
- Butter and flour a baking sheet (or use parchment paper or silicone mat) and bake the logs for 12-15 minutes (until light golden color) in a preheated oven at 350°F/180°C.
- Take them out of the oven and with a serrated bread knife, carefully cut the logs into ¾ inch (1.5cm) wide slices. Each log should yield about 10-12 biscotti depending on size. Don’t cut too thin or it will crumble. Note: Be careful when cutting as logs will be hot.
- Separate the “half-moon” shaped slices slightly apart on the baking sheet (but leave them standing up so they continue to cook on both sides) and return them to the oven for another 5-8 minutes or until slightly darker golden color. Pay attention not to overcook them or they will become hard.
- Let them cool for approximately 20-30 minutes (if you can wait that long). Make sure they are completely cool before storing them in an airtight container.
I usually double the recipe because they go so fast! They can last 1-2 weeks if properly stored. Mine have always disappeared within the first couple of days I make them. I hope you enjoy these biscotti as much as I do!