Italian Biscotti: Traditional Recipe

Italian Biscotti


Makes 26-28


  • 150 g/5 oz. / 2/3 cup (1 ¼ sticks) butter
  • 200 g/7 oz. /1 cup caster/superfine sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 small/medium egg, beaten
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 1/3 tbsps. ground almonds
  • 150 g/5 oz. /1 heaping cup plain/all-purpose flour
  • 150 g/5 oz. dark/bittersweet chocolate


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Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5, 10 minutes before baking. Lightly oil three or four baking sheets and reserve. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl and mix in the vanilla extract. When it is light and fluffy, beat in the egg with the cinnamon, lemon zest and the ground almonds. Stir in the flour to make a firm dough.

Knead lightly until smooth and free from cracks. Shape the dough into rectangular blocks about 4 cm/1 ½ inches in diameter, wrap in greaseproof/wax paper and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Cut the chilled dough into 5 mm/ ¼ inch slices, place on the baking sheets and cook in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until firm. Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and then transfer to wire racks to cool.

When completely cold, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Alternatively, melt the chocolate in the microwave according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon into a decorating bag and pipe over the biscuits. Leave to dry on a sheet of nonstick baking parchment before serving.


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