During the holiday season, I feel especially lucky to be Italian-American for two reasons, and both involve food. Reason #1: The Italian Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes, where you can expect to spend a minimum of five hours at the dinner table. Reason #2: These biscotti.

Biscotti — the twice-baked Italian cookies with an audible crunch — are a little different than your average Christmas cookie, but just as delicious. This recipe is a favorite of mine because it has you make one dough, split it in half, then add flavorings to create two distinct types of biscotti.

With a little effort, you’ve got two festive biscotti flavors that look great on a holiday cookie platter and are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot chocolate.

 

Basic Biscotti Dough

  • Prep Time:20
  • Cook Time:45
  • Total Time:1 hour 5 minutes
  • Servings:36 servings
  • Advanced Course

    Ingredients

  • 3 cup flour, plus some for sprinkling
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar, plus some for sprinkling
  • 4 eggs (3 for the biscotti, plus 1 for brushing on top)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Step 2

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 3

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl. It should resemble wet sand, but it’s OK if it’s a little clumpy.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 4

Crack in 3 of the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 5

Add vanilla and beat until incorporated.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 6

Add half of the flour mixture and mix it in on low speed.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 7

Add the rest of the flour and mix until a sticky dough forms.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 8

Remove half of the dough and place it in another bowl.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 9

Add in flavorings as directed in the recipes below.

Step 10

Shape biscotti dough into a 14-by-2 inch log on a floured surface. Flatten slightly and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 11

Beat the remaining egg and brush on top of dough logs.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 12

Sprinkle with approximately 2 teaspoons sugar.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 13

Bake for 25 minutes, rotating halfway through.

Step 14

Remove from oven and let biscotti cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 15

Slice biscotti into 1-inch slices with a serrated knife.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 16

Arrange biscotti on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 17

Let cool.

Step 18

Store biscotti in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti

  • Prep Time:20 minutes
  • Cook Time:45 minutes
  • Total Time:1 hour 5 minutes
  • Servings:18 servings
  • Advanced Course

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 2 oz white chocolate
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 1

Pour hot water over dried cranberries. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain excess water.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 2

Add cranberries and pistachios to biscotti dough. Mix.

#SpoonTip: “Chop” pistachios by placing them in a Ziploc bag and crushing with a rolling pin or other heavy object.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 3

See basic biscotti dough step 10 for instructions on shaping and baking.

Step 4

Microwave white chocolate for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for another 10 seconds and stir until smooth.

Step 5

Spoon white chocolate into Ziploc bag. Snip a corner with scissors to create a makeshift pastry bag.

#SpoonTip: Place the bag in a tall cup to make adding the chocolate easier.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 6

Squeeze bag to drizzle white chocolate on biscotti.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Almond Biscotti

  • Prep Time:20 minutes
  • Cook Time:45 minutes
  • Total Time:1 hour 5 minutes
  • Servings:18 servings
  • Advanced Course

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoon amaretto liqueur (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 oz dark chocolate
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 1

Add almonds, almond extract, amaretto liqueur (if using), and flour to biscotti dough. Mix.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

Step 2

See basic biscotti dough step 10 for instructions on shaping and baking.

Step 3

Decorate with melted dark chocolate. See Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti recipe step 4 for details.

Photo by Angela Pizzimenti
Photo by Angela Pizzimenti