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

    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

    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

    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