Foolproof, easy biscotti recipe. Perfectly dense, crunchy biscotti flavored with pistachios and a hint of cardamom. This recipe makes 24 pieces, and they will keep well for a while! Be sure to read through for important tips and watch the video below!

Biscotti with pistachios

Biscotti

You may think of them as hip, individually wrapped cookies, found normally at local coffee shop.

You are not wrong. But let's try this...

Biscotti: centuries-old Italian cookies which derive their name from the Latin "biscoctus," meaning "twice cooked or twice baked." The dough is first formed into logs, baked, cooled, and baked again.

It's important to know the meaning behind these cookies because, if you're lucky, your store-bought biscotti would exhibit some resemblance to the medieval-Italy originals.

What qualifies for the best biscotti?

Let's just agree that the best biscotti out there meet three criteria:

  • Dense
  • Perfectly crunchy, but never too hard to bite on
  • Flavorful

My mom makes a mean Italian anise biscotti, and she also makes an equally tasty version flavored with orange zest. And I must confess, she kinda ruined my enjoyment of all the neatly packaged stuff at the coffee shop.

So, I've set out to make my own version of mom's perfectly crunchy biscotti, except with a different flavor combo: pistachios and a hint of fragrant cardamom. (You can also add some dried fruit like dried cranberries if you want to add a festive touch). Enjoy biscotti with a drink like Carajillo (spiked coffee) or some Arabic mint tea.

Is biscotti better with oil or butter?

Should biscotti have butter? Some purists will tell you that they should only be made with oil. But, step aside from tradition for a second and you might find it helpful to use a little bit of butter, which may be the difference between perfectly crunchy biscotti and ones that may be too hard to bite on.

Italian biscotti served with a side of coffee and milk

How do you make biscotti from scratch?

The process is pretty straight forward. Make a batter, chill it, then bake it twice in two different forms. Here is how:

  • Make the batter
    Here you'll mix the dry ingredients of all-purpose flour and baking powder using a whisk. Then, with the help of a hand mixer, you'll mix the butter and sugar in a large bowl until nice and fluffy. Add in one egg at a time, beating on a lower speed until combined.
    You guessed it, add the dry ingredients to the large bowl with the wet ingredients.
    Fold in the pistachios, cardamom, and vanilla extract.
  • Chill the batter
    Because the dough can be sticky and hard to form, it's important to chill the batter for a good 30 minutes before baking the first time.
    Prepare a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper then dust it with a little flour. Transfer the batter to the baking sheet and chill in the fridge.
  • Form the batter into a log
    It helps to dust your hands with a bit of flour. Begin to form the chilled dough into a 12-inch long log. It does not need to be perfect, the dough will spread a bit when it bakes.
  • Bake
    The first round, you will bake the log of batter for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees F. The dough will still be soft when you take it out.
  • Slice the once baked log
    Let it cool for 10 to 20 minutes, then using a serrated knife slice up the log into ½-inch slices
  • Bake a second time
    Now, reduce the oven heat to 275 degrees F. Arrange the slices flat on your large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, making sure to turn the biscotti over part-way through so that both sides crisp up.
  • Cool completely
    It helps to arrange the baked biscotti on a wire rack to allow them to crisp completely

How do you cut biscotti without crumbling?

Two things help with this:

First, when you begin to cut the dough after the first bake, it is important that you allow the dough to cool for 10 to 20 minutes (set a timer for this). If you leave it too long, the dough will be too hard to cut into. But if you begin to slice while the dough is quite hot, they will crumble.

And, always use a serrated knife and cut the biscotti cookies in a sawing motion. This will help reduce crumbling.

Biscotti on a tray

How thick should they be?

Ideally, you should cut the biscotti to be about ½ inch in thickness. But you can go slightly thicker if you like.

How long will homemade biscotti last?

Since this recipe makes 24 pieces, it's the perfect batch to make for when you have company or to simply store for later use.

If stored properly, homemade biscotti will last anywhere for 10 days to 2 weeks. And if you're really after the best way to store them so that the biscotti will remain crunchy, here are a few tips:

  • First, be sure the biscotti are completely cooled before storing (use a wire rack to cool them so that the cookies will crisp well on both sides)
  • Store biscotti in a loosely covered glass jar or tin (metal) container (what the container is made of makes a difference)
  • Line the jar or container with paper towel, this is optional but it does help

Like chewy pieces of Turkish delight, or decadent chocolate covered dates, biscotti makes a perfect addition to holiday dessert trays.

How do I keep them crunchy?

Let's say that after you followed instructions for storage your biscotti still lost a bit of their crunch, there is a way to help that!

Stick them in the oven for a few minutes at a lower temperature.

Heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Stand up the biscotti on your baking sheet so the cut sides are fully exposed to the hot air. The hot air circulating on both sides of the biscotti will help dry them as they bake again briefly.

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4.81 from 73 votes

Easy Biscotti Recipe

The Mediterranean Dish
Biscotti with pistachios
Foolproof, easy biscotti recipe with pistachios and cardamom. Just as they should be, these are perfectly dense, crunchy Italian biscotti!
Prep – 15 mins
Cook – 1 hr
Cuisine:
Italian
Serves – 24 biscotti cookies
Course:
Dessert

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup salted shelled, chopped pistachios
  • ¾ teaspoon ground green cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • In a small bowl whisk flour and baking powder.
  • Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer like this one, beat the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add one egg at a time, beating gently until combined.
  • Add the pistachios, cardamom, and vanilla extract. Mix with a spoon until combined.
  • Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.
  • Dust the lined baking sheet with flour. Spoon the dough on top. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Heat your oven to 350 degrees F, adjusting a rack in the middle.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge. Using floured hands, form a log that's about 12 inches long (it doesn't need to be perfect. The dough will spread during baking).
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until the dough is slightly golden, rotating the baking sheet halfway through.
  • At this point, the dough should still be quite soft. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 to 20 minutes. Take a serrated knife and cut the log into ½-inch slices. Arrange the biscotti slices flat in one layer on the baking sheet, keep them about ½ inch apart.
  • Reduce the oven heat to 275 degrees F. Bake for another 30-35 minutes, turning the biscotti cookies over halfway through until crisp. Remove from the heat and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Once cooled completely, you can store the biscotti in a loosley covered glass jar or container.

Video

Notes

  • Pro-Tip: the addition of a small amount of butter, although not traditional, produces a richer, more cookie-like texture.
  • Pro-Tip: Don't skip refrigerating the biscotti dough for 30 minutes before baking the first time. This helps a lot as the dough can be sticky and hard to form
  • Pro-Tips for Storing: Be sure biscotti are completely cooled before storing. Store in loosely covered glass jar or tin container (what the container is made of makes a difference). This is optional, but it does help, line bottom of jar or container with paper towel
  • Pro-Tip: If you don't like cardamom, you can use a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon. You can also replace the pistachios with blanched almonds.

Nutrition

Calories: 136kcalCarbohydrates: 14.3gProtein: 1.6gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 76.7mgPotassium: 17.9mgFiber: 0.3gVitamin A: 256.2IUCalcium: 17.1mgIron: 0.6mg
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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

    1. Hi, Rahat. I've not used either whole wheat flour or brown sugar with this recipe. Either might be possible, but I'm afraid I can't advise you with confidence.

      1. 5 stars
        I used whole wheat flour only with butter and brown sugar. It came out absolutely delicious and crunchy, but not hard.

  1. 5 stars
    Hi, I have made this x3 and the dough is always so dry. I have added an extra egg, 2 tbsp of melted coconut oil and water to moisten it. I have spooned and scooped the flour and also weighed it. Please advise. Thank you

    1. Hi, Deborah. I've not had this issue before, so I'm not sure I can really advise you here. It sounds like you are trying the right things.

  2. For some reason following this recipe exactly makes the dough too sticky. I added flower. Also the time it takes for it to be baked is not sufficient. It requires at least 45 mins for first round. Is this normal? Because when I had it in the oven for 30 min and took it out, let it cool and then cut, it started to fall a part in some areas.

    1. Hi, Jonathan. For us, typically 25-30 minutes for that first bake works for us, but ovens to vary, so keep that in mind.

  3. 5 stars
    i’ve never made biscotti before and this was great! took a bit longer than i expected but they taste amazing and impressed my guests 🙂

  4. I made my 1st batch with chocolate chips and my 2nd batch with almonds and cranberries . So delicious and easy. I love them.

    1. Hi, Connie! If stored properly, they should last from 10-14 days. There are some storage tips at the end of the post you may find helpful.

    2. Hi Suzy, Thanks for the recipe.
      After baking the 1st time for 25 mins at 350 deg, the outer portion was golden yellow in colour. I removed to cool it for 10-20mins, and then proceeded to cut into 0.5 inch slices. The outer crust was quite crisp and crumbly. However the center portion within was still wet. What do you recommend here, should I increase the initial baking time? Or just continue cutting and proceed with the second baking process?

      1. It will not fully cook after the first few minutes, that's why we have the slices go back in the oven. When you proceed with the second baking, it should work out.

      1. If I add cranberries, will I need to adjust the amount of pistachios so everything comes to 3/4 of a cup?? Or can I have 3/4 cup pistachios PLUS cranberries??

      2. Hi, Janice. Either way would work, but I prefer to still do 3/4 nuts and then some dried fruit.