Classic Italian Biscotti

4.9 from 7 reviews

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This classic almond flavored Italian Biscotti Recipe (Cantucci) is a blank canvas to create a variety of different biscotti flavors. Read all the tips to master this classic and simple Italian biscotti recipe.

Crunchy and sweet biscotti are a lovely treat to dunk into Authentic Thick Italian Hot Chocolate. You will love this Italian family recipe for traditional biscotti!

Almond biscotti recipe
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Simple Ingredients

  • Flour is the main structure of the biscotti.
  • Sugar sweetens the cookie.
  • Baking Powder leavens the biscotti, making it rise.
  • Eggs bind the biscotti and also help with leavening.
  • Butter adds tenderness and richness to the biscotti.
  • Salt, almond, and vanilla extract flavor the biscotti.
  • Add-ins. See suggestions below.
Plain biscotti recipe
Basic Italian Biscotti (Cantucci) Dough dipped in chocolate
Dipped biscotti recipe
Basic Italian Biscotti (Cantucci) Dough
Drizzled biscotti recipe

How To Make Italian Biscotti

Simple: Make the dough, form it into two logs, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (Depending on your oven it could take less time so I suggest you check them at 20 minutes)

Once they’re completely cool—this is an important step!—you slice them with a serrated knife at a slight angle and bake them a second time.

That is why they are “twice baked”. Here is the process.

Start by mixing the wet ingredients in a large bowl and sifting in the dry ingredients. You can use a wooden spoon or spatula.

This yields a sticky dough. Divide the dough into two equal parts.

Divide the dough in two and form it into dough logs. If adding mix-ins add them before forming them into logs. Left- plain. Right- with whole almonds.

After the biscotti cookie loaves bake they are nice and puffy with a golden brown top. It is best to let cool for a bit (at least 15 minutes) but still cut while the cookie loaf is warm or it will be too hard to cut.

Cut the biscotti cookie into slices with a sharp serrated knife and use a sawing motion. I like to cut thick slices. You can cut thinner or to your preference.

Then, they are ready for the final bake. This is the “twice baked” part of the cookie that makes them special and unique.

You will do this process with both loaves.

Bake cookies (cut side up) again until golden brown. If you like the cookies a little more crunchy cook them longer.

baking the biscotti two times

I prefer them still slightly soft in the middle with a crunch on the exterior.

FAQ

What are Italian Biscotti or Cantucci Cookies?

Cantucci or Biscotti di Prato are crunchy almond cookies from Tuscany. Biscotti literally means twice (bis) cooked (cotti), the word “biscotti” is a generic term for cookies in Italian. The word biscotti is derived from the Latin biscoctus, meaning twice baked or cooked. The dough is formed into logs, baked, cooled and baked again.
Whereas Italians use the word “biscotti” to refer to various cookies, Americans use the term to refer to the singular long, crisp, twice-baked Italian cookie.
The twice-baked Italian cookies originate from the city of Prato. They are also called cantucci. Unlike most cookies that form a dough that gets sliced or cut out, biscotti bakes in two oblong-shaped logs. 

Are Italian Biscotti Cookies Supposed to be Hard?

By nature, these Italian biscotti cookies have a crunchy texture. The cookie is hard and crumbly, which makes it perfect for dunking in warm beverages like hot cocoa. Try it with my Homemade Chocolate Syrup (hot or cold)

Pro Tips

These are the most delicious biscotti! They are easy to make with these simple tips.

TIPS, TRICKS, & TECHNIQUES

  • Use room-temperature eggs and butter. This will help with a smooth dough and the cooking process.
  • Beat eggs and sugar until very fluffy and pale yellow. This is a step you don’t want to skip. It will make the biscotti tender, fluffy, and the perfect consistency for baking again.
  • If the dough is too sticky to handle after the wet ingredients have been added, then too much moisture is in the dough (this could be because eggs vary in weight and size, or the brand of butter you use). Mix in a small amount of flour until the dough can be handled.
  • This dough is a blank canvas to flavor with different extracts or to add mix-ins.
  • The key to making biscotti that aren’t so hard you feel like you might chip a tooth is to not bake them too long during the second bake. Pull them out of the oven when the outside feels toasted, but the cookie still has a bit of give when you press down on it.
  • Storing cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 month. The flavor gets better with time!
Basic Italian Biscotti (Cantucci) Dough with chocolate drizzle

Recipe Variations

So many delicious variations to the classic Italian biscotti cookie.

I love it simple with sliced almonds, but pistachios, pine nuts, raisins or dried cranberries, and chocolate chips are all great mix-ins.

Add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom and even Italian fennel seeds are a classic variation. 

This simple butter and sugar dough is a blank canvas to flavor with different extracts or to add mix-ins. Mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or dried fruit can all be added to this dough.

Optional add-ins you can even try mixing a couple:

  • pistachios
  • hazelnuts
  • anise seeds
  • dried cranberries
  • raisins
  • pine nuts
  • white or regular chocolate chips
  • chocolate chunks
  • dip them in melted white or regular chocolate
  • lemon or orange zest

See the recipe for exact amounts to add to the dough.

Gluten- Free Biscotti: One flour I recommend for this recipe is Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour. You can find it at most grocery stores or online. You use it cup for cup as you would the regular flour.

Dipping biscotti in melted chocolate

Biscotti are delicious plain.

You can add a little extra by dipping the bottoms in melted chocolate.

White chocolate also works here, as does sprinkling the chocolate with flaky sea salt, or chopped nuts.

Storage Instructions

These homemade biscotti have a long shelf life! They will last up to one month. This is what makes them so great. Store the cookies in an airtight container or tin box then get them out to have with a cup of coffee!

Basic Italian Biscotti (Cantucci) Dough with chocolate drizzle

From my cucina to your table… Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!)

Made with Amore, Elena

Basic Italian Biscotti (Cantucci) Dough with chocolate drizzle

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Basic Italian Biscotti (Cantucci) Dough with chocolate drizzle

Biscotti or Cantucci make the perfect homemade gift for you friends and family any time of the year!

Print
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Basic Italian Biscotti (Cantucci) Dough with chocolate drizzle

Italian Biscotti Recipe

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4.9 from 7 reviews

Cantucci or Biscotti di Prato are crunchy almond cookies from Tuscany. Biscotti literally means twice (bis) cooked (cotti), the word “biscotti” is a generic term for cookies in Italian.Crunchy and sweet biscotti are a lovely treat to dunk into a warm drink. They are easy to make and keep well when stored in an airtight container. This is a basic biscotti dough that is ideal for adding any mix-ins you desire.

  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • (optional add ins about 1/2 for each add in. If doing 2 flavors 1/4 cup of each) : cranberries, pistachios, raisins, sliced almonds, chocolate chips, white chocolate chunks, 1 teaspoon for the: lemon zest or orange zest)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C). Position rack in the center. Line a large 9X13 inch baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, or bowl of electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment beat the eggs on medium speed until light and frothy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the sugar gradually and whisk for another minute or so.
  4. Add the butter and extracts. Whisk for another minute. Incorporate the flour mixture. If adding mix-ins add them and combine. Mix until combined. 
  5. Divide dough in half. Flour hands and form dough into two slightly flattened logs on prepared baking sheets, each approximately 12 inches long and 2 inches wide.
  6.  For the first bake, bake for 30-35 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch. Cool on a baking sheet for 5 minutes.
  7. After the first bake, transfer to a cutting board and cut diagonally into ¾-inch slices. 
  8. Second bake– Place cut slices flat down on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for about another 5-8 minutes or longer, depending on your preference – the longer they stay in the oven, the crispier they get. Turn the slices over halfway through the second bake to ensure even toasting.
  9. They can be stored at room temperature for a few weeks…if they last that long.
  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Sweet
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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31 Comments

  1. Made these tonight for my Husband to take as an Italian treat for our daughters Young Woman’s group tomorrow night. My husband said they were spot on! Thanks for sharing your family recipes for authentic Italian cookies🥰






    1. Yay! So happy everyone loved them!You must try the lemon variety next! Search “lemon biscotti”. Enjoy!

  2. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I’ve tried other recipes and didn’t love them. I made 2 batches yesterday and had to make 2 more as my family ate so many. I also changed the almond for pistachio and also macadamia and white chocolate. They are all just delicious and light! I had to make 2 batches each as my family ate them and I wanted to add them to my cookie boxes this year! 🩷🩷🩷 This is the most amazing recipe!