My Mom's Biscotti

January 4, 2008

We are having near-hurricane weather here in the Bay Area so I've decided to stay indoors and break in the beautiful new shiny red Kitchen Aid mixer that Barnaby got me for Christmas. Let's hope the power can stay on long enough.

We're visiting a friend in Napa this weekend so I thought I'd whip up a batch of my mom's famous biscotti to take up. Years ago I lived in Siena, Italy and since then I've, admittedly, become a bit of a biscotti snob. The ones you find here in the States, I feel, are just too soft and cakey. My mom's are the only ones I've found that remind me of the teeth-cracking ones in Italy.

The key to the hardness is the second baking (biscotto, singular, actually means "twice baked"). If you wish them to be less hard, then reduce the second bake time. But, if you like to dip yours in cappuccino, or a nice vin santo as they do in Tuscany, then you want them hard.

Kathy's Biscotti

2 c. flour
1 ¼ c. sugar
2 ½ t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
¾ t. salt
2 whole eggs, plus 1 egg, separated
1 t. almond extract
1 ½ c. whole almonds, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk, almond extract, and almonds. Mix thoroughly until dough holds together. Add half of reserved egg white, if necessary, to make a cohesive dough.
3. With wet hands, shape dough into 4 logs, each 6” long and 1 ¾“ in diameter. Place 3-4” apart on baking sheets. Bake on middle rack of oven until logs are light golden brown and spring back when touched (about 24 minutes). Cool 15 minutes.
4. Lower oven to 275. Slice logs with a serrated knife diagonally into 1/2” slices. Return to oven and bake until completely dry and crisp throughout (about 40 minutes). Cool.

Makes about 5 dozen.
Variations: 1 t. orange extract, zest of 1 orange with 1-½ c. pistachio nuts.
Can also use pine nuts in place of almonds.

I've not tried these recipes yet, but all three look very good:

Saveur's Prato-Style Cookies (Prato di Biscotti) which includes saffron threads

Babbo pastry chef, Gina DePalma's, Polenta and Sesame Biscotti

Sloane Berrent's Pistachio-Orange Biscotti.

Happy Dipping!



Sloane's picture

Thanks for the link to my biscotti recipe on LAist! Happy dipping indeed!

Sorina's picture

wow! that is too tempting am so making this soooooon

Top Ten Homemade Gift Ideas | Foodista Blog's picture

[...] Kathy’s Biscotti - this is about the best darn biscotti recipe ever. I give them every year for Christmas. [...]

Jackie Hultine & Anna's picture

Hi Sherri and Barnaby,

I'm one of the lucky teachers who get to see Anna & James every day (Anna insists I put in Wetherell!). This is a very fun site I'm glad Anna told me about it. I'm going to make the biscotti soon.

Now Anna can tell you about her math 1 minute timings . . . . . .
the math we do is actually fun I better get to work or I will miss my math. Love you,
Anna Wetherell

Take care,


Shane's picture

Thanks soo much, I'm giving these out in little cellophane wraps for xmas. People will love it!!!!!!
Thanks again!!!:D