This Italian almond biscotti recipe is similar to amaretti biscuits but instead, it is made with wheat flour instead of ground almond. Biscotti originated in the Tuscan city of Prato in Italy during the 18th century. There are so many variations of biscotti such as hazelnut biscotti, double chocolate biscotti, lemon biscotti, gingerbread biscotti, Anise biscotti, chocolate orange biscotti, cinnamon biscotti, coconut biscotti, cranberry biscotti, and more. The purpose of biscotti was typically to be eaten by travellers. As ‘Biscotti’ means twice-cooked, it refers to how the biscuit was baked to cook it, and then it was cooled, cut, and cooked a second time to make the biscuit less perishable whilst traveling.
That's what makes this biscuit a fantastic food to eat on the go. Biscotti is typically an oblong-shaped biscuit that has a dry and crunchy texture with a sweet nutty flavor. It is also known as Catucci. It’s said that the original biscotti was more of a bread than a cookie. One of the best benefits to biscotti is that because they are so dry from a long cooking time, they can stay fresh for longer-lasting about 2 weeks in an air-tight container. If you are making the dough in advance, you should only keep it in the fridge for a maximum of 2 days. If you want to make a big batch you can place cooked cookies into the freezer and they will keep for up to 3 months.
If you want to make the recipe suitable for vegans simply swap out the egg for an egg replacer like tapioca flour, mashed banana, apple sauce, etc. As they contain olive oil instead of butter they are typically a lot healthier than other biscuits. Some people love to dunk their biscotti into a cappuccino whereas other people throughout Italy like to dunk it into wine. In fact, biscotti is considered to be one of the best dunking cookies, and has also been used to make a cheesecake with biscotti as the base for a delicious Italian twist. Look no further, this is the best homemade biscotti you will find. Before starting make sure all of these ingredients are out of the fridge and at room temperature.
Whole almonds (150g)
All purpose flour (313g)
Soft brown sugar (155g)
Demerara sugar (125g)
Large eggs (3)
Almond extract (1 tbsp)
Vanilla extract (1 tbsp)
Lemon zest (1 tsp)
Baking powder (1 1/2 tsp)
Olive oil (65g)
Salt (1/2 tsp)
- Line a large flat oven dish with baking paper and preheat your oven to gas mark 3
- Once the oven has preheated spread out whole almonds on the baking paper and place them in the oven to toast for 12 minutes.
- Whilst the almonds toast mix together all of your dry ingredients (flour, sugars, baking powder, salt.) in another large bowl whisk the eggs, add in the oil, extracts, and zest and lightly mix but do not over mix.
- Add your dry ingredients to the wet mixture and combine well, once combined. Take out the toasted almonds, allow to cool, and coarsely shop then fold them into the batter.
- Line a flat baking tray with baking parchment/paper and pour the mixture in Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- You will have what looks like a flat rectangular cake, allow it to cool, cut into your preferred biscotti shape, I chose small rectangles but it is your choice. Allow them to cool on a wire rack and place back onto the oven tray for a further 15 minutes on gas mark 4 until brown and crisp.
Hazelnut biscotti biscuit
These Italian hazelnut biscotti biscuits are so delicious and this recipe serves 4 - Whilst they are good just as they are with a coffee or ice cream, you can always add or adjust the ingredients to your preference. For example, If you love the flavour of Nutella, feel free to add cocoa powder to this recipe along with a tablespoon of Frangelico Italian hazelnut liqueur to make the hazelnuts and chocolate submerge together to make a wonderful Italian style biscuit. These taste similar to another Italian biscuit called amaretti only this variation contains hazelnuts instead of almonds and plain flour instead of ground almond.
The word ‘Biscotti’ simply translates to cooked twice, this is because the biscotti mixture is traditionally baked in the oven and after it has cooked to a cake-texture it is left to cool, then is sliced and cooked again to crisp it up as a biscuit by removing the excess moisture. This way of making Biscotti is not the traditional way but it does in fact give a delicious taste and texture whilst simplifying the original processes.
- Whole medium eggs (2)
- Medium egg yolks (3)
- 150g caster sugar (150g)
- Plain flour (300g)
- Chopped hazelnuts (100g)
- Start by preheating the oven to 160 C (gas mark 3) then line an oven tray with baking paper.
- Mix the eggs and egg yolks together in a mixing bowl then use a wooden spoon mix the sugar and flour into the eggs.
- Add the chopped hazelnuts and use your hands to fold everything in gently until it becomes a dough consistency.
- Pour the dough onto a floured surface and roll it out into an oblong shape then slice it into 2cm strips.
- Put the biscotti biscuits onto the oven tray and bake for about 17 minutes in the centre of the oven until they are golden brown. After cooking remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool and then serve with a fresh coffee or your choice of gelato ice cream.
Frequently asked questions
How long will biscotti last?
These will keep for around 3 weeks in an airtight container for 3 weeks or will freeze well for 3 months! Enjoy with a coffee or a cheeky scoop of Italian vanilla gelato.
Up next: Italian Apple Tart Recipe