Almond Biscotti

Tested & Perfected Recipes Cookbook Recipe

These almond biscotti are everything you want biscotti to be: buttery, lightly sweet, 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, 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 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 cookies are completely cooled, double-wrap them securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving.

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 Jen, can I substitute cake flour? I only have cake flour today.

    • — Lisa on August 27, 2021
    • Reply
    • For the best results, I’d stick with all-purpose. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on August 27, 2021
      • Reply
  • YUM! I’ve made these 3 times in less than 4 weeks!! Today I had one log a little wider than the rest and those biscotti were longer and more chewy than the others. Lesson learned to follow Jenny’s instructions on the height and width of the logs 🙂
    My adjustments: I included orange zest since I had an orange in the fridge and doubled the anise seeds since I love that flavour. Also, I had to cook some of them longer due to the one bigger log (see above).
    Overall, I’m thrilled at how simple, easy, delicious and professional-looking these turn out. The only issue? Totally hard to stop eating!

    • — Smetha on August 8, 2021
    • Reply
    • Forgot to add that I used semolina instead of the cornmeal (the only alternative in the shops was cornstarch and I wasn’t sure what would be better texture wise). The semolina worked well but I was wondering if cornstarch would result in a different texture?

      • — Smetha on August 8, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi Smetha, Yes, I think the cornmeal would add a slightly different texture.

        • — Jenn on August 10, 2021
        • Reply
  • Delicious! Easy to follow recipe and the biscotti look and taste very professional.

    • — Jo Khan on April 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, can you confirm if the anise seeds is aniseed or star of anise seeds. Many thanks, Claire.

    • — claire on April 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • You’ll need anise seeds for these. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 28, 2021
      • Reply
  • I am obsessed with this recipe! It was my first time making biscotti and I am so glad I did. I love the texture and flavour. I can’t wait until restrictions are lifted so I can make these again for a coffee date with my friends.

    • — Nicole on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • Just made these and they are delicious! Also loved Double Chocolate Biscotti recipe! The photos are so helpful too. Please let me know if you use kosher salt or table salt for your recipes. Thanks!

    • — Judith on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed, Judith. I used table salt unless otherwise specified. 🙂

      • — Jenn on January 30, 2021
      • Reply
  • These are a family favorite and my work colleagues devour them. They are a little softer than store bought and have a nice chew. (And they taste great!). I double the recipe so I have plenty but I do leave out the anise.

    • — Wendy on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’ve made several others and love this biscotti recipe. Used King Arthur flour. I followed the recipe, except I added 1 cup of roasted unsalted almonds (that’s all I had on hand) and 3/4 cup chopped dried montgomery cherries. I did not add anise seeds because I didn’t have any in stock–plan to add next time because I do like anise flavor. Baked an extra 10 minutes at the end because I enjoy a crisper biscotti. They are delicious!

    • — Noelle Daugherty on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • My husband and I made biscotti for holidays gifts that we mailed to family and friends. Everyone loved the almond biscotti! This biscotti makes a perfect gift to send via mail, and it also freezes well. (I did save some for us 🙂 I made the dough ahead, which worked out well as I needed to “chunk” the steps during the busy holiday time. Jenn’s suggestions to use vanilla and almond extracts and add just a sprinkling of anise seeds give the biscotti a balanced flavor and texture.

    • — Megan Marie on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Very easy especially for a first-time biscotti-maker! Tasty too! I used chopped almonds which worked out fine. I also didn’t use a mixer, and had no problems.

    • — Amy on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious! So easy to make, I will never buy these again in a store. Loved the anise flavor!❤️

    • — Lisap on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Perfect!! Entire family loved them so much there weren’t any left after I set them out on the table. I didn’t have any anise or corn flour, so I substituted equal parts of fennel (ground up with mortar and pestle) and almond flour, respectively, and they still came out great. I also pushed in the sliced almonds on top on one of the logs and crushed pistachios on the other log, and the taste and visual effect was really beautiful. Thanks Jenn!

    • — Hannah on January 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious. I do not like anise, so left that out…added orange zest instead! Gave these out in Christmas gift baskets. Will certainly make again.

    • — Stephanie on January 3, 2021
    • Reply
  • These sound wonderful! Could I use sliced almonds instead of slivered?

    • — Micki on November 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure – enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 23, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thank you Jenn. I love your recipes and your site … so helpful!

        • — Micki on November 23, 2020
        • Reply
  • Great cookies. The pepper is an unexpected star ingredient which I have already incorporated into another recipe. I have never baked with pepper before makings these cookies, but I will be experimenting with pepper in other baking recipes. Do you have any other baking recipes using pepper? What a clever ingredient to use in baking. Thanks for sharing your wonderful pepper tip. 😊

    • — Hope on November 16, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked these! The one other baked good with pepper that comes to mind is my pumpkin pie. Hope you enjoy if you make it! 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 16, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thanks Jenn!

        • — Hope on November 17, 2020
        • Reply
        • Jenn:

          My cookie comments should have been for the Cinnamon/Walnut Biscotti – I guess a clicked on the wrong cookie to comment on – sorry.

          • — Hope on November 17, 2020
          • Reply
  • The flavor of these biscotti is wonderful, but mine do not slice well. They crumble and break apart and so do not look beautiful. What can I do to make more even slices?

    • — Rosemary Heller on October 21, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Rosemary, Sorry you had a problem with these! Did you let the biscotti cool for 20 minutes before slicing them? That timing is really the sweet spot to slice them without crumbling them. And did you use a serrated knife to slice them?

      • — Jenn on October 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • Nice recipe. I reduced the butter to one stick (8Tb) and reduced sugar a bit. Substituted almond flour for some of the flour. Increased anise seeds to 1 Tb. Nice.

    • — Crista on July 12, 2020
    • Reply
  • These biscotti were great to make for Canada day and it was my 1st attempt at making them and it sure won’t be my last! I replaced the corn meal with ground almonds, omitted the anise and used 2 tsp Amaretto liquor instead of the vanilla plus 2 tsp Almond extract. My boyfriend likes biscotti too but not if they are too dry so I baked 1 loaf only once, sliced them and gave 1 to him to try. It passed! I twiced-baked the other 3 loaves and those are for me with my coffee 🙂 This recipe is a winner Jenn and I am definitely going to try your other biscotti recipes!!

    • — Janet on July 1, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    I can’t wait to try these! One quick question first, should the butter be cold or room temperature? Thanks and I love ALL of your recipes!

    • — Annie on June 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Annie, it can be cold. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 10, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen!
    How much whole wheat flour can I swap in for the white flour?

    Thanks!

    • — Ruthie on May 31, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Ruthie, I’d suggest starting by using half whole wheat and half all-purpose to make sure you like the texture. If you do like it, the next time you make these, you can up the ratio of whole wheat to white a bit more. Also, you may want to consider white whole wheat as it’s lighter and milder tasting than regular whole wheat flour (yet just as nutritious). Please LMK how they turn out if you make any tweaks!

      • — Jenn on June 1, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen – I’m excited to make these! Question – I do not like anise flavor. If I omit the anise, would you recommend replacing it with some other flavor profile?

    Many thanks and I love your recipes!

    • — Heidi on April 25, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad you like the recipes! You can just omit the anise seeds (but I think they really enhance the flavor of the biscotti, and I don’t even like licorice). Hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 27, 2020
      • Reply
  • Jen,
    Can hazelnuts be substituted for almonds? If so, would you still keep the almond extract and anise seeds?

    • — Denise on April 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes and yes (make sure the hazelnuts are chopped). Hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 23, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hello, I am hoping to make the recipe later this week, will it work to replace some or all of the flour with spelt flour? I know the biscotti will be a 5, but I’ll also review afterwards!
    Thanks, Lena

    • — Lena Wessel on April 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Lena, I don’t have any experience with spelt flour so it’s hard for me to say whether or not it would work here — sorry!

      • — Jenn on April 14, 2020
      • Reply

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