Almond Biscotti

Tested & Perfected RecipesCookbook Recipe

These almond biscotti are everything you want biscotti to be: buttery, lightly sweet and crunchy — and delicious any time of day!

almond biscotti

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

Inspired by the almond biscotti served at the celebrated Zuni Cafe in San Francisco, these Italian-style cookies are made by forming a fragrant, almond-studded dough into loaves, partially baking it, slicing it and then baking it again. They are everything you want biscotti to be: buttery, lightly sweet, crunchy but not tooth-shattering — and as good with your morning coffee as they are with dessert wine, afternoon tea, ice cream, parfaits, pudding, baked pears or fruit salad.

What you’ll need to make almond biscotti

ingredients

The recipe calls for a few unusual ingredients that make the biscotti exceptional: cornmeal, which adds wonderful texture, and anise seeds, which add a hint of licorice flavor that complements the almond flavor nicely. You can omit the anise seeds if you like, but I think they bring the cookies to life, and I don’t even like licorice.

How to make biscotti

Begin by combining the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, anise seeds and salt in a medium bowl.

dry-ingredients

Whisk until well combined and set aside.

whisked-dry-ingredients

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar.

creaming-butter-and-sugar_edited-1

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.

beating-in-eggs

Add the chopped almonds and dry ingredients to the batter.

adding-dry-ingredients

And mix on low speed until just combined.

mixed-batter

Dust your hands with flour and form the dough into two even disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

disks-of-dough

Divide each disk in half, and form the dough into logs on parchment-lined baking sheets.

forming-logs

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the dough is firm and golden around the edges.

baked-logs

Let the logs cool for about 15 minutes, then slice diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces.

slicing-biscotti

Place the biscotti cut side down back on the lined baking sheet and cook for about 10-14 minutes more, flipping once in between.

twice-baked

Let the biscotti cool completely on the baking sheet before serving.

Note: While this recipe was inspired by the almond biscotti served at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco, I made many changes to the recipe, such as eliminating the step of toasting the almonds, replacing the anise liqueur with vanilla and almond extracts and reducing the anise seeds. I also doubled the recipe and adjusted the baking times accordingly.

 

almond biscotti

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

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Almond Biscotti

These almond biscotti are everything you want biscotti to be: buttery, lightly sweet and crunchy — and delicious any time of day!

Servings: 48 biscotti
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with knife
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon anise seeds, crushed with the back of a spoon into a powder
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1-1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-3/4 cups slivered almonds, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set the oven racks in the upper and middle thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and crushed anise seeds.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as necessary. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts. Add the flour mixture and almonds and mix on low speed until just combined. Dust your hands lightly with flour and divide the dough into evenly into two disks; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide each disk into two equal pieces. Dust your hands with flour and form each portion into logs about 2-inches wide and 3/4-inch tall directly on the lined baking sheets (if the dough is sticky, dust your hands with more flour as necessary). Leave about 4 inches of space between the logs to allow the dough to spread. Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back midway through, until the loaves are firm to the touch and golden around the bottom edges. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes.
  5. Once cool, transfer the logs to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife and a sawing motion, cut the logs diagonally into generous 1/2-inch slices. (They will look a little undercooked in the middle.) Arrange the cookies, cut side down, back on one of the lined baking sheets. It will be a tight squeeze; it's not necessary to leave any space between the cookies. Return to the oven on the middle rack and cook for 5-7 minutes, until lightly golden on the underside. Remove the pan from the oven, carefully flip the biscotti over and cook for 5 minutes more, until lightly golden all over. Let cool on the baking sheet completely before serving. The cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to a month.
  6. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The Dough can be Frozen for up to 3 Months: Shape the dough into 2 logs, wrap each securely in plastic wrap, and place them in a sealable bag. When ready to bake, remove the logs from the freezer, thaw the dough until pliable, and then proceed with recipe. To Freeze After Baking: After the biscotti are completely cooled, double-wrap them securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving. It also works well to prep your biscotti up through the first round of baking and cut them before freezing – this allows you to do more of the work ahead, and because it will already be sliced, it will take less time to defrost and bake.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (48 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 biscotti
  • Calories: 93
  • Fat: 4g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Sodium: 60mg
  • Cholesterol: 14mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jenn, I love these biscotti! I’m going to make a batch for party favours and the boxes they need to fit into are exactly 4” long. I am wondering if I can divide the dough into 3 logs vs the 2 logs in the recipe, so that the biscotti are slightly smaller. Would that change the texture at all? Do I need to adjust any of the baking times?
    Thank you so much!
    Molly

    • — Molly Pellecchia on May 16, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Molly, cutting the biscotti into 3 logs shouldn’t impact the texture or the baking time. Just make sure you keep the dimensions of each log the same (2-inches wide and 3/4-inch tall). Hope everyone enjoys! 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 16, 2019
      • Reply
  • My 12 yr old woke early to make this for a Mother’s Day surprise. We’ve never made biscotti before so I’m impressed that he took it on and am happy to say it was a success! Your recipe was wonderful! Thanks.

    • — Jen on May 12, 2019
    • Reply
  • Honestly, this biscotti is better than any that I’ve had from a coffee house or restaurant. My family all think I’m a genius when I bake this for them. It keeps for a long time in a closed container, and also ships well. Make it exactly as the recipe is written – don’t change a thing. The anise seeds give it that authentic biscotti flavor, and the almonds a bit of crunch that sends it over the top. This is my go-to biscotti recipe and it has become a tradition in my home. Thanks Jennifer! This is definitely worth five stars.

    • — Diane Woodall on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • I could barely wait until the biscotti were done baking, they smelled so wonderful! It was a snowy day so the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon, baking. Jenn’s directions were spot on, as always. My oven is on the slower side, so I kept them in the oven about 10 minutes/side for the final bake so they had that golden look. And they are as delicious as I had hoped!

    • — Sally Prangley on February 9, 2019
    • Reply
  • Can I used crushed Anise stars in place of the seeds?

    • — Michele on February 5, 2019
    • Reply
    • I haven’t tried it Michelle, but I think it should work. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 7, 2019
      • Reply
  • Is it possible to substitute almond flour for the corn meal? Thank you

    • — JOhn on December 21, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure, John – I think that’d work.

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2018
      • Reply
  • It’s perfect!

    • — Shannon on December 18, 2018
    • Reply
  • We loved these! I used 1 1/2 cups of almond flour instead of 1 3/4 cups of almonds and accidentally used 1/3 cup of cornmeal instead of 1/4, which I think was a happy accident and worked well with the almond flour switch. Crunchy, not hard, and held up well dunked into my tea. Thank you for sharing!

    • — Beth on December 7, 2018
    • Reply
  • Made these today along with the Mandel Bread/Biscotti. Both are just delicious and easy to make. I did omit the cornmeal, as I did not have. Don’t need to look anywhere else for recipes because everything I make from Once upon a chef is great! Thanks Jen!

    • — Ria on December 4, 2018
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on December 4, 2018
      • Reply
  • Made these this weekend and am very happy with the results, everyone who’s tried them loves them. I agree about the anise, I hate licorice so I was a little skeptical about adding it to the recipe but it’s just a hint and adds to the overall flavor. Definitely a keeper!

    • — Sandy Pochapin on December 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • My family has voted this biscotti recipe the very best ever! The only change I made was to substitute almond meal for the cornmeal. Came out GREAT, so easy to make!

    • — Diana on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • Another great recipe. Discovered this one in the cookbook. Followed the instructions exactly as written (except the final baking step took a little longer than 5-7 mins per side) and the biscottis turned out perfectly. Absolutely delicious.

    • — T.A. on September 24, 2018
    • Reply
  • We love these biscotti, but I think I messed up the third time I baked them. Because it was evening when I started, at the point when I wrapped the discs and put them in the refrigerator I decided to wait until morning to finish and bake them. Although the chilled dough was much easier to handle and shape, during baking the biscotti didn’t spread as usual. Therefore the cookies are smaller and less tender than usual, although the flavor is still delicious. Do you think the extra chilling prevented the spreading and caused the different result? I do fluff my flour before measuring and feel certain that I followed the recipe exactly.

    • — Judy on August 22, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Judy, refrigerating the dough longer shouldn’t have a significant impact, but if you feel confident that, other than that, you followed the recipe exactly, that could be the case. Next time, after you shape the dough into 2 logs, you could let it sit for a few minutes to take the chill off.

      • — Jenn on August 23, 2018
      • Reply
  • I have never attempted making biscotti but always had some unknown longing to have them with my coffee. I haven’t had a fail yet off Jenn’a blog so when her cookbook came, I felt pretty confident. I was not disappointed when I made these. It was so balanced and perfectly crispy. Love how good Jenn makes me look!

    • — Arielle Troiano on June 28, 2018
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on June 29, 2018
      • Reply
  • A perfect biscotti! Deliciously crunchy and not too sweet.

    • — Maura on June 28, 2018
    • Reply
  • I can’t stand Anise and just want a true almond flavored biscotti. Can I eliminate the anise seed and should I substitute with something else? I never could understand why licorice flavorwas put in almond biscotti. It overpowers that beautiful almond flavor.
    Haven’t made this yet so my stars are only indicative of the recipe itself.

    • — Tammy on April 22, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Tammy, you can omit the anise (but just a heads up that I don’t like licorice and I enjoy the anise here). 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 23, 2018
      • Reply
  • I made these and they were a lacking in almond flavour. I used hand chopped whole almonds with skins on (I live in the UK and can’t source slivered almonds) and I replaced the vanilla essence with almond liqueur (Disaronno) and used the almond essence. I couldn’t source anise seeds so left these out. If I try again should I up the amount of almond liquor – it was pretty sticky as it was – and would crushed fennel seeds work? Grateful for any guidance. PS note there are variances between the recipe here and in your book (which I just received and am enjoying) so will follow the book version next time but would still be grateful for any guidance on upping the almondness. Thanks, Helen

    • — Helen on April 12, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Helen, The recipes are the same. 🙂 Question: Are you using almond essence or almond extract? I’m not all that familiar with almond essence but almond extract has a very strong almond flavor (which is why it is used so sparingly).

      • — Jenn on April 12, 2018
      • Reply
      • I used almond extract, which is within date, but it has been opened for a while – does it deteriorate once opened? I’ll try a fresh bottle next time.
        Would the aniseed flavour help with emphasising the almond-ness at all? Hence my wondering about fennel seeds.
        The difference between the online and book recipe in the metric version is the oven temperature (only 5C) – since I have a fan oven I tend to adjust by 20C and I thought the resulting almond biscotti suggested the temperature was too low, they didn’t have the rise I have experienced with your chocolate biscotti when I used a higher oven temperature.
        Many thanks for getting back to me.

        • — Helen on April 13, 2018
        • Reply
        • Hi Helen,

          I don’t think the extract would deteriorate – you could try adding a bit more, just go easy as it’s very strong and too much can be overpowering. And yes the anise seeds definitely complement the almond flavor – it’s a wonderful combination (and I say that as a person who does not like licorice). I do think you could substitute fennel seeds. Hope that helps!

          • — Jenn on April 13, 2018
          • Reply
          • It does so thank you very much (and I am a liquorice lover so will definitely try the crushed fennel seeds). One further question (sorry !!) do you think I could use flaked almonds or would they be too delicate and be in danger of breaking up into unrecognisable pieces? It’s just hand chopping the almonds is a slight chore hence wondering about a short cut. Many thanks again.

            • — Helen on April 13, 2018
          • Sure! I think the flaked almonds will work just fine.

            • — Jenn on April 13, 2018
  • How do I freeze these? Freeze the dough or the cookies?

    • — Nicole Pryor on March 30, 2018
    • Reply
    • HI Nicole, Fully baked biscotti freeze beautifully; you can also freeze the dough. It also works well to prep your biscotti up through the first round of baking and cut them before freezing – this allows you to do more of the work ahead, and because it will already be sliced, it will take less time defrost and bake.

      • — Jenn on March 31, 2018
      • Reply
  • These are my absolute favorite biscotti! Very tasty—great texture and flavors, easy to make and great with a cup of coffee or tea. Thanks for a perfect recipe Jenn!!

    • — Paul Lenhard on March 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • Jenn,
    Where do I buy Fine Cornmeal? Are some brands better than others?
    I want to make this recipe soon.
    Thanks,
    Carol

    • — Carol Nemo on February 20, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Carol, Fine cornmeal is just regular cornmeal – sorry for the confusion (I have updated the recipe).

      • — Jenn on February 22, 2018
      • Reply
  • I have made many different Biscotti recipes over the years This recipe is one that when we are invited to friends for a meal they are asking if “ if you have any of that Biscotti on hand would you bring it please”. THIs is a 5 Star winner according to our friends: Thank you Jen!

    • — Susan Baxter on February 17, 2018
    • Reply
  • Thank you so much for this amazingly good recipe! I am gluten free so used king arther all purpose mix and swapped almond meal for corn meal because it was what I had on hand. They turned out great and even my Italian husband loves them!

    • — DRC on February 11, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen, your blog is now my go-to for so many things!
    I tried these biscotti, cutting out 1/3 of the sugar. The dough was very soft, looking much more moist than your photo. I had to add a bit more flour to work the dough into the disks.
    The final biscotti were very tasty but crumbly. Do you think my cutting some of the sugar contributed to this? Did I cut them too thickly? Your thoughts are appreciated.

    • — Smetha on February 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • Thank you, Smetha! I do think cutting the sugar could cause these issues — I would try them again with the full amount.

      • — Jenn on February 11, 2018
      • Reply
  • I’m a pretty solid Baker but did not have good luck with these. I think it was the addition of cornmeal that made the texture kind of weird. Did not have the flavor I was hoping for. I’m going to try her chocolate biscotti next.

    • — Tami Kaminsen on February 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • This is a perfect recipe! I have been making it for about 7 years. I find almond extract too much so I have switched it out with dark rum instead and I don’t bother crushing the anise it is still perfectly fine. I also like to use almonds with skin and I just chop whole ones. I find that much more flavorful. This has been my hubby’s coffee accompaniment every morning for years. No matter where we are, even when we went to Japan or Hawaii or Europe he takes a bag with enough to last him the whole trip!!!

    • — Jackie on January 3, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made the Almond Biscotti today following directions carefully, and find them quite tasty. I definitely like the “don’t break your teeth” factor. I had a hard time crushing the anise seeds with either a spoon or the flat bottom of a glass (maybe mine weren’t fresh?) and so I pulled out my chef’s knife and quickly minced them into a very fine little pile. Thank you, Jenn!

    • — Judy on December 14, 2017
    • Reply
  • I recently discovered your website and now it’s my go-to for all recipes. Years ago, I made pistachio biscotti that was delicious. Unfortunately, I’ve lost the recipe. Do you think I could modify this recipe for pistachio? I would love to make it for Christmas this year.

    • — Eileen Phelan on November 10, 2017
    • Reply
    • So glad you’re enjoying the recipes! Yes, pistachios should work here, though you may want to coarsely chop them so you’re not necessarily getting such big pieces of pistachio. I’d love to hear how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on November 11, 2017
      • Reply
  • The best! Made these with all flour and were awesome. Will try it with the cornmeal next time.

  • Hi Jenn – should I melt the butter when I am creaming the butter & sugar? Thanks! Love everything I’ve made from your recipes!

    • Hi Mia, No, the butter should NOT be melted. Hope you enjoy the biscotti!

  • Hi, Can I use polenta instead of the corn meal?

    • Yes, Lisa, that should work fine. Enjoy!

      • Thank you Jenn

  • hi! may I know what measurements are in grams? mantis thanks!

    • Hi Mariyah, I just added them. To view them, scroll down to the recipe and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Hope you enjoy the biscotti!

  • Your recipe sounds great and I want to try it. Can you use anisette liquor instead of anise seed, and how of it can be used? Also, can you use whole almonds instead of slivered?

    • Hi Shellhy, you can just omit the anise seeds if you don’t have them and use the anisette liquor in place of the vanilla extract. Hope you enjoy!

  • I had made almond biscotti before. But your recipe definitely is more tasty. Love the added cornmeal texture. You mention the biscotti can be keep for a month. I made them a week ago. They are so good it’s almost all gone. Thank you for another great recipe.

  • I just made the almond biscotti. They were delicious!

  • Can the anise seeds be substituted with anise extract? If so, how much would you use? Thanks!

    • Yes, you could use anise extract instead (1 tsp. of Anise extract is the equivalent of 1 1/2 teaspoon ground anise seed). The recipe would also turn out fine without any anise if you choose to eliminate it.

      • These biscotti have excellent flavor and the perfect crunch. I coated the bottom of the biscotti with Ghirardelli’s Dark Melting Chocolate – a perfect flavor match! Thanks Jen for another great recipe!

  • OMG, these are the best almond biscotti I have ever tasted. Made the whole house smell wonderful while they were baking.

    • — Melanie Humphreys
    • Reply
  • The recipe for almond biscotti is excelent.
    Everybody in my house love it .

  • I made this today ,very easy,simple and delicious, I wil do it again for sure.
    My family love it.
    Ty

  • These are the best biscotti’s I have ever made. They are reminiscent of Enzo’s in PA and my grandmother’s. Instead of the almond extract, I used lemon (I had been thinking of lemon cookies recently). They were sublime! The texture is just right and the taste of the butter is just wonderful. I did need to bake them longer than what the recipe indicated…. perhaps my oven is slow. Thank you, Jenn!

  • I just baked a batch of these almond biscotti and I am very happy with the results! it was the first time I have baked biscotti and I was at first, dismayed as to how much they had flattened during baking. But now I can see the result! They are terrific!
    I’d like to drizzle chocolate over them. any ideas as to how I can do that?
    This is the second recipe that I have used crom your web site with great results.
    thanks so much!

  • I made this last evening and it came together very easily. I used my regular hand mixer. These are the best biscotti I have ever made, and I have made many different biscotti recipes. The combination of flavors and the texture make these nothing short of perfection. My son thought I was baking sugar cookies as that is what these smell like when baking. Trust me, these are outstanding. The ground anise is not detectable, but I am sure the combination of the vanilla, almond and anise flavors are what make this so aromatic and flavorful. This is going to be my new go to biscotti!

  • I don’t like cornmeal.
    Can I just omit the cornmeal in the Almond Biscotti ? I WILL SUBSTITUTE WITH FLOUR. .
    I’m 100% Italian. We never used it.

    • Hi Linda, Yes, that’s fine. You can also substitute finely ground almonds.

  • For a gluten-free version of this recipe, would it be okay to substitute almond flour for the wheat flour? Or, do you think it would be better to substitute all-purpose gluten-free baking powder instead? Or, perhaps you have another suggestion? Thanks, Patricia

    • Hi Patricia, I’d probably use a gluten-free baking mix.

  • I am allergic to corn, should I sub matzo meal or what do u suggest? Love Biscotti and almonds so really want to make it.

    • Hi Linda, I would replace the cornmeal with finely ground almonds or more flour — either will work and the biscotti will still be delicious.

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