Biscottini are adorable Italian cookies, a bite-sized form of biscotti. These beauties are a delightful, healthy treat that packs a flavor punch while being incredibly simple to make. Our recipe combines a rich crunch of nuts with the sweetness of dried fruits, all nestled within a biscuit that’s been baked to perfection – not once, but twice.
You can make these delicious sweeties in less than an hour. In fact, this is probably the easiest cookie recipe out there, perfect for when those cravings to dip something sweet in the coffee hit.
Smell up your kitchen sweet and comforting with homemade biscottini. We assure you these babies are just as enjoyable to make as they are to eat.Jump to Recipe
Biscottini – tasty, simple, healthy and long-lasting
Biscottini originated in ancient Rome and is called “biscoctus,” which means “twice-baked” in medieval Latin. They were made by baking them twice for their signature dry and crunchy texture.
In ancient Rome, biscottini were made with flour, eggs, and sweeteners. They had a long shelf life and were ideal for travelers, especially soldiers and sailors.
It is believed that during the Renaissance, Tuscan bakers in the city of Prato rediscovered and refined the recipe, adding almonds to the mix. Known as “cantucci” or “cantuccini,” they are often dipped in Vin Santo, an Italian dessert wine.
Today these cookies are a sweet sensation! They’re so easy to prepare, that you can make them even if you never baked anything before. Yet, they still manage to be the most delicious and long-lasting treat you’ll ever have. Don’t wait any longer to try them out!
Why you’ll love them
- They taste great. Savor the rich, nutty crunch of almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts, mixed with the sweet, chewy taste of dried figs and cranberries, all with a hint of lemon zest. A perfect blend of flavors in every bite.
- They are healthy and nutritious. Not only are these biscottini a joy to eat, but they’re also brimming with health benefits. Nuts are a fantastic source of healthy fats and protein, while dried fruits offer a natural sweetness and fiber boost. It’s a guilt-free indulgence that you can feel good about!
- They are the easiest cookies to make on earth. No jokes, these cookies are so easy to bake that every beginner can make them, and they will always taste great. No mistakes with these ones.
- They are perfect for that dip in the coffee. Biscottini won’t fall apart when you dip them in your favorite comforting drink; quite the opposite, they get even tastier.
- They will last longer than other cookies. Thanks to their twice-baked nature, these biscottini are not only crunchy and delicious but also have a longer shelf life than regular cookies. Let’s be real here – their delightful taste makes them hard to resist for long!
- They can be wonderfully versatile. There are endless possibilities to experiment with new flavor combinations by swapping out ingredients to suit your dietary needs. You can add just about anything you want, and yes, you can make them gluten-free or sugar-free.
Ingredients you’ll need
FLOUR – We used all-purpose flour, but you can substitute it with any other flour like wholegrain, buckwheat, gluten-free or even corn flour.
SUGAR – Since cranberries and dried figs are naturally sweet, only a small amount of sugar is needed in the recipe.
EGGS – Adding three eggs to the batter will help bind all the ingredients together. Additionally, placing sliced almonds on top of the cookies will add a nice crunch and egg yolk will prevent them from slipping off.
WALNUTS – Dried walnuts, with their mild bitterness, balance the sweetness and bring the tasty crunch. They have many nutritional benefits, making biscottini not only tastier but also healthier.
HAZELNUTS – These add a sweet nuttiness and a pleasant aroma. More crunch is coming!
ALMONDS – We sprinkled sliced almonds on the biscottini, but for extra crunch, you can mix them into the cookie batter.
DRIED CRANBERRIES – Dried cranberries add a slightly tart flavor to biscottini, balancing out the sweetness with their zesty taste. Their chewy texture provides a fun and fruity contrast to the crisp cookie. Moreover, their bright color not only enhances the taste but also makes each biscottini visually appealing!
DRIED FIGS – These will weave a rich, honey-like sweetness into each bite of biscottini. Their soft, chewy texture melds beautifully with the cookie’s crunch.
LEMON ZEST – A gentle flavor of lemon zest will perfectly complement the taste of fruits and nuts in the cookies. Opt for organic lemons for your biscottini to be made as healthy as possible.
BAKING POWDER – A small amount of baking powder will give them a gentle lift, making them more light and airy.
A SLICE OF BUTTER – If you rather make a vegan version of biscottini, replace the butter with coconut oil
MILK – Same as butter, cow milk can be substituted by coconut milk, almond milk or just a tablespoon of water.
How to make biscottini
STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 380 F/175 C with the fan off. For exact temperature, use our Fahrenheit to Celsius conversion chart.
Slice the figs, walnuts, and hazelnuts into smaller pieces using a kitchen knife. Prepare a teaspoon of fresh lemon zest. Dried cranberries are usually small enough and don’t require slicing.
STEP 2: Using a hand mixer, in a bowl large enough, mix together the 2 eggs, a cup of sugar, a slice of butter and baking powder. Make sure that butter is kept at room temperature before mixing it into the batter.
STEP 3: Gradually add the flour into the bowl while continuing to mix the batter.
When done, make sure that all the ingredients are evenly distributed in the batter. If it’s too thick, add another tablespoon of milk. However, under no circumstance should it be runny in order to achieve well-made biscottini.
STEP 4: Add cranberries, figs, hazelnuts, and walnuts into the batter and mix them well. As there is a significant amount of fruit and nuts in the recipe, mixing by hand might be challenging. So, it’s recommended to use a hand mixer again.
Worth noting, if you wish to reduce the number of nuts and fruits in your cookies, you are welcome to do so; it will not affect the baking, just the biscottini will have more taste of the cookie batter rather than of the ingredients.
STEP 5: Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon the batter onto the sheet creating two loaves with enough space between them. Use your fingers to even the surface.
STEP 6: If desired, brush the cookie loaves with beaten egg yolk and top with sliced almonds.
STEP 7: Bake at 380°F/175°C for 30-35 minutes until the crust looks golden and crunchy.
STEP 8: Once the batter is baked, slice it into strips that are approximately 1 cm wide. It’s crucial to remember that you must cut the cookies while they’re still hot. As the batter cools, the crust will harden, making it impossible to cut them.
STEP 9: Place the sliced biscottini on the baking tray with the cut side facing up. Put them back in the oven and bake for 3 more minutes.
STEP 10: Allow the biscottini to cool on the baking tray until they are completely chilled and beautifully crunchy.
Serve with coffee or your favorite tea, and enjoy the dip!
Biscottini are so adaptable that you can basically throw into the batter whatever you yearn for. Or, let’s say whatever you have at hand. These are some of our favorite variants:
- Cranberry pistachio biscottini -dried cranberries paired with nutty pistachios create gorgeous, colorful cookies with a great taste too.
- Lemon almond biscottini – infused with lemon zest and studded with almonds, perfect for a citrusy crunch.
- Orange hazelnut biscottini – a combination of candied orange flavor paired with crunchy hazelnuts. So yummy!
- Cherry almond biscottini – dried cherries combined with almonds offer a delightful mix of tart and nutty flavors.
- White chocolate chips and almond biscottini – a creamy twist with a delightful taste of white chocolate
- Cinnamon, dried apple, and walnuts biscottini – the ideal combination for creating that winter magical smell in your kitchen.
- Dried pears, figs, and almond biscottini – a very sweet and very special fuse of aromas, a little bit softer, but still crunchy and plain delicious.
Tips for perfect biscottini
- Choose high-quality ingredients. Not fancy ones, but organic flour, nuts, and fruits do make a noticeable difference.
- Cut the loaf while it’s still hot. Otherwise, it will be harder to slice nicely. And don’t forget that biscottini needs to be baked twice!
- Not all the fruits and nuts need to be sliced. If your biscotti are loaded with nuts like ours, the mixer will chop up many of the ingredients into smaller pieces as you stir the batter.
- Quickly toast the walnuts before adding them to the loaf. Walnuts can impart a slightly bitter taste when added raw, but toasting them before mixing them into the batter can solve this problem. Toasting the walnuts will make the biscottini crunchier and give them a rich nutty flavor.
- Swap out unhealthy ingredients for more nutritious options. Replace sugar with honey, maple syrup, or erythritol and use whole grain, buckwheat, or gluten-free flour. Adding baking powder ensures proper rising, and eggs will keep the gluten-free ingredients tightly together.
How to store them
Biscottini will last much longer compared to other cookies. You can keep them in a cookie box or any other covered container for at least 30 days.
Before storing the cookies, make sure to cool them completely to prevent condensation inside the cookie box. It’s advisable to place parchment paper or wax paper between the layers.
Keep away from direct sunshine and sources of heat, and do not refrigerate them.
If you want to store biscottini for longer, you can freeze them for up to three months. Simply pack them in an airtight container or a ziplock bag, and use parchment paper between the layers. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
Adding fresh fruits to biscottini isn’t recommendable because of the high moisture content. The cookies can become soggy and less crispy.
Some people make biscottini without baking powder by whipping the egg yolk separately and adding it to the batter to ensure the cookies are still soft. The texture of the cookies will be different though.
Yes, just make sure the batter is sturdy enough to keep things together. Alternatively, you can use ¼ cup of applesauce as an egg substitute or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda.
If your biscottini are too soft, it could be they are not baked enough. Biscottini absolutely need to be baked twice. Also, excess moisture in the dough or improper cooling can leave them more soft than usual. Make sure you store them in an airtight container with parchment paper between the layers.
Biscottini, a smaller version of biscotti, meaning ‘twice-baked biscuit’ in Italian, are originaly referred to as a cookie-like treat from the region of Emilia-Romagna. In contrast, cantuccini come from Tuscany. While cantuccini are traditionally made with almonds, biscottini can include a range of ingredients like nuts, fruits, chocolate, or sometimes none at all.
Biscottini are an ideal choice for dipping in a cup of coffee or tea due to their sturdy texture. They have a much longer shelf life. Unlike other cookies that come in a variety of flavors and textures, ranging from chewy to soft, biscottini are unique in their crunchiness and are made with less sugar than traditional cookies. .
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- 1 baking sheet
- 0,77 lbs flour 350 g
- 0,39 lbs dried cranberries 180 g
- 0,44 lbs dried figs 200 g
- 0,44 lbs dried hazelnuts 200 g
- 0,44 lbs dried walnuts 200 g
- 0,11 lbs butter 50 g
- 1 tbsp milk 15 ml
- 0,22 lbs sugar 100 g
- 1 tbsp baking powder 14 g
- Preheat the oven to 380 F/175 C.
- Slice the nuts, cranberries and figs into smaller pieces.
- In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, sugar and baking powder.
- Add the flour to the bowl while gradually mixing it into the egg mix.
- Mix in the sliced walnuts, figs, hazelnuts and cranberries.
- Using a spoon, reload the batter on a baking sheet, covered with parchment paper. Create two loaves and make sure they look even. They shouldn't be more than 2 cm high.
- Bake at 380 F/175 C for 30 to 35 minutes until the loaves start looking golden.
- While the loaves are still hot, cut them into slices not wider than 1 cm.
- Arrange the slices on the baking sheet with the cut side facing up. Bake again for another three minutes.
- Cool your biscottini on the baking sheet or use a rack. Serve when they are at room temperature, and they become crunchy.
- Serve with your favorite tea or coffee and enjoy every bite 🙂
- Use quality, not necessarily fancy, ingredients like organic flour, nuts, and fruits for more nutrition and a better taste.
- Be mindful that at least your lemon zest comes from an organic lemon.
- Slice the loaf while still warm for easier and more precise cutting. Remember, biscottini always require a second, quick bake.
- No need to pre-chop all fruits and nuts; mixing the batter often breaks them down enough.
- Toast the walnuts before baking to enhance flavor and reduce bitterness, adding crunch and richness to the biscottini.
- Opt for healthier alternatives in your recipe. Swap sugar with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, and consider whole grain or gluten-free flour. Baking powder aids in rising, especially for gluten-free mixes, and eggs help to bind the ingredients.
- Try out other variants, like the cranberry-pistachio combination, orange-hazelnut, white chocolate-almond, dried cherry-almond, and dried pears-figs biscottini.
- Store tin a cookie box for up to a month, or freeze your biscottini for up to 3 months. Make sure you use parchment paper between the layers when storing and freezing.
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