chocolate hazelnut biscotti

Last week I stumbled into my new favorite coffee shop for The Latest Morning Coffee, Ever because I am still adjusting to this new schedule of having “everything” but also “anything” to do at any given time.

espresso powder

[One of these days I’ll get into all of these changes–the way that I stomp on the grave of business casual attire; the fact that, yes, I still get up early each day and shower and put on mascara; oh, and more relevantly to this site, the breakfasts and lunches I put together (that is, once I get past the yogurt and PB&J sandwich phase, though no promises that will be be happening any time soon)–but for now, suffice it to say that I am still in the Adjustment Phase… Hence the 12:30 p.m. “morning coffee.”]

biscotti batter
so, so so sticky

As it was obviously time for lunch–but still, my internal screams for delicious, bitter, cold coffee demanded to be placated–my stomach was grumbling as I walked in, and I had zero resistance when my hand literally bumped into the jar of chocolate-hazelnut biscotti while going to order a much-more-earnest skim latte. And while that wee biscotti was quite delicious, especially once dunked* in my coffee, it served to remind me that I am so overdue to make a batch of real biscotti.

no good at skinning hazelnutsready for first bake

What do I mean by “real” biscotti? What’s so wrong with the almond and parmesan-black pepper versions I’ve told you about before? Pretty much, while you can still call them biscotti–biscotti meaning “twice baked” which they indeed are–they’re not the type of biscotti you’d get in Italy because they have butter in them–making them more cookie-like–rather than just eggs as a binder–making them snappier and more dunking*-friendly.

They’re also generally less sweet and with have significantly less fat in them, if you’re into those kinds of bathing-suit-season-friendly things.

chocolate hazelnut biscotti
chocolate hazelnut biscotti

* I am lying and Alex has called me on it. I don’t dunk things. I have an issue with crumbs floating in beverages, even Oreo crumbs in a glass of milk. I am obviously dead inside. What I meant to say is that I am sure it would be delicious if you dunked it in coffee, if your name isn’t Deb and you are not brimming with neurosis.

One year ago: Pearl Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti
Adapted from The New York Times, 12/12/93

This New York Times recipe is as old as time. I wish I could tell you how many recipes for biscotti I dug through before finding a couple that didn’t have butter in them, but I’m not sure I can even count that high. Suffice it to say, it took me to an article from 1993, a year that biscotti were all the rage but probably not for me as I was in … high school. (Sob.)

They are mildly sweet and chocolaty–they’re the exact opposite of a molten chocolate cake on the indulgent chocolate obsession sliding scale. They’re also quite easy to put together if you promise to watch out for one thing: this is the stickiest dough I have ever worked with and you cannot have too much flour down on your surface.

Total time: 1 hour
Makes about 60 biscotti

1 cup whole hazelnuts, preferably blanched
2 1/2 cups flour, plus flour for work surface
1/2 cup Dutch-style cocoa powder
1 tablespoon espresso powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread hazelnuts on baking sheet and toast about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. If hazelnuts are not blanched, toast them until the skins begin to crack, then remove them from oven and wrap them in clean linen or cotton towel (not terrycloth). Rub hot nuts to remove most of the skin. Set toasted nuts aside.

2. Sift the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder together and set aside.

3. Beat eggs lightly, just until blended, in mixing bowl with whisk or in electric mixer. Remove two tablespoons of egg mixture to small dish and set aside. Beat sugar into remaining eggs until blended. Stir in flour mixture to form soft dough.

4. Divide the dough in half and place one portion on a well-floured work surface. (She is not kidding about this.) With floured hands, pat it into a six-inch square. Scatter half the hazelnuts on the dough and press them into the surface. Roll the dough into a cylinder about 2 inches in diameter and 12 to 15 inches long. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and place the roll of dough on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Brush the tops of both rolls with the reserved egg.

5. Place in the oven and bake about 15 minutes, until firm to the touch. (This took me until 20 to 25 minutes.) Transfer to a cutting board and cut on an angle into slices one-half-inch thick. (I found that letting them cool for five minutes made this easier, as well as a sharp knife with a tight serrate.) Return the slices to the baking sheet, laying them on their cut sides, and return them to the oven. Bake another 20 minutes, until they are crisp and dry. Allow to cool completely before storing or serving.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

155 comments on chocolate hazelnut biscotti

  1. courtney

    THANK YOU! Everytime I have made biscotti I have been unhappy with the results they seemed too dense? I guess is maybe the word I am looking for. To me biscotti should be crisp but not crunchy and I have never achieved that. Maybe it was the butter. I will definantley have to try this (will probably sup almonds for the hazelnuts as they are difficult to find around here).

  2. ZAKIA

    these have got to be the most scrumptious fudgy looking biscotti i have even seen. in the “to make” list it goes!

  3. deb

    Court — Both Alex and I. Every time I read it. And in the days that followed. You’re in good company.

    Anna — So so very far from retired. I am contracting and working from home, which gives me the flexibility to freelance, and of course, to take on ridiculous things like posting here everyday for a week.

  4. courtney

    Don’t know how I missed the rub nuts. My husband still loves that I get giggles in the pet store everytime I read on the back of the dog food bag “pregnant and lactating bitches”. EVERY. TIME.

  5. I saw these pictures earlier today on flickr and had to go purchase a biscotti and lemonade. Not sure about the combo but in this heat it actually worked. I am guessing yours tasted better than the ones I bought…

  6. RA

    I don’t dunk anything, ever. Once, when my husband dunked a cookie into a glass of milk, I asked ungracefully, “Why do you dunk your cookies? To make them soggy…? Or something?”

    And he wouldn’t tell me because, apparently, I was being mean. I was just curious! Why the dunking?

  7. Allie

    The perfect dessert – these biscotti with the chocolate sorbet you posted last week. Thoughts on what to sub for nuts if making them for allergic eaters?

  8. Susan in CA

    I found more biscotti recipes without butter on the Martha Stewert website. The pecan cranberry ones look good.

  9. I completely empathise with your neurosis. I, too, hate crumbs. Having spent most of my childhood outside of North America, where cookies are crunchy and not soft, where cereal is eaten in a glass of milk and not a bowl of milk, where milk is more often than not in powder form (and only the rich kids get liquid milk), cookie-dunking is completely unheard of and foreign! The first time I tried it (I watched an Oreo commercial and immediately had to make like the Romans, being young and impressionalbe like that), I was so upset with all the crumbs in it, and I kept on trying, convinced that there had to be a way to dunk without getting crumbs that all the Canadian kids were doing that I didn’t know about because I had never done it before… I was so upset!!

  10. wendyr

    I can’t dunk either. I find it disgusting. I have a real aversion to the crumbs in the liquid as well. I think it dates back to being a child when my Depression-era grandfather insisted that we *drink* the milk in our cereal bowls after we had eaten. Made me gag. My husband dunks and I can’t watch him while he does it. I am so weird.

    Also, I totally understand the development of a schedule when you work from home. It will happen – you will make yourself.

    And I am making the biscotti either tomorrow or this weekend. The husband logged on to your site and drooled at the sight of them!

  11. Just finished up the 1st of the Trade Shows of the FALL 2008 garment center season where I handed out my famous DOUBLE CHOCOLATE WALNUT BISCOTTI for the 3rd show in a row. At first the men (we’re in the menswear business) were shy and didn’t want to take a bag of my treats…now –> forgettaboutit! I had MANY phone calls and emails prior to the show asking about my cookies. And then I had customers come by, sit down and look at the line and were RELIEVED when I handed them my biscotti after they placed an order! I’VE SPOILED MY PUBLIC this I know for sure! I HEART DOUBLE CHOCOLATE WALNUT BISCOTTI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Yea, I’m not much of a dunker either, but I only make an exception for biscotti. It has to be the very hard kind, though! These look delish. I’ve tried versions with eggs and versions with butter and I like ’em all!

  13. Jen

    Deb, I am with you on the no dunking. There’s something I find just wrong about having crumbs in your milk/coffee/tea. Unfortunatly my boyfriend loves to dunk, to the point that when I made homemade oreos (which are DELICIOUS btw) he lets them sit in the milk to the point that they are soggy and no longer resemble cookies*shutter*

    ps. I love your site, oh so much. And I pretty much need to make these biscotti right now.

  14. SAS

    I am not a biscotti fan so to speak. However, I am a coffee fan and a chocolate fanatic. You definitely have my attention here! This is going on the list. Often times a good chocolate thing can save me from eating lots of just okay chocolate things.

  15. I had no idea about the butter – I have to try my hand at real biscotti because, dammit, it’s practically HEALTH FOOD since there’s no butter in it!! Plus I love the stuff. I do dunk and then I scoop up the soggy crumbs with a spoon. Sooo yummy!

  16. Lis

    I am confused. (it happens easily) after you cut the biscotti when you say “stand them up” do you mean that you put them on the baking sheet with the cut sides both facing out or with one cut side down and one up? I’m leaning toward the former but I want to be sure before I bake these for my office. (we’re in a baking war, someone made scones this morning that were STILL WARM when he got here… I’m going to loose)

  17. deb

    I should clarify that because I was confused too! I usually don’t “stand them up,” I then lay them on their cut side. When I’m making lighter-colored ones, where I want an even browning, I might even flip them midway through the baking time but I didn’t on these.

    I also took issue with baking the biscotti logs until they were “golden.” Um. Huh?

    I’ll fix that now.

  18. joy

    What is the best way to store Biscotti? How long will it typically last? Also is instant espresso different that instant coffee? Gee, thanks!

  19. dina

    dunking creates crumbs and sogginess. So wrong! ugh. I bet you had no idea how many neurotic non dunkers there are in the world!

  20. Looks delicious! I am so on-board with your not-dunking resolution. Instead, I usually try to get a similar effect by taking a bite then taking a sip and swallowing everything together. Yeah, it doesn’t work real well.

  21. Miranda



    Biscotti is my all time favorite sweet thing in the universe. This is totally going to sabotage my healthful eating efforts. But then again… I LOVE YOU!!!


    Much love.

  22. Picot

    Your disgust at dunking cookies makes me think of the gag reflex that afflicts me every time my husband covers his soup with crackers. Egads! Gloppy oyster or Ritz crackers! Ack.

    However, I do like to dunk a really, really crunchy biscotti in coffee. I don’t dunk soft cookies such as Oreos. I can’t stand the crumbs either. But…a really crunchy biscotti is quite lovely after a very quick visit to hot liquid. I like the kind that are inedible if you don’t dunk them. I think they are called cantuccinii. I have seen them with hazelnuts or almonds. I desperately need to replicate them. Have you come across anything like this in your pursuits? Thanks!

  23. Chris R

    Do you have to SIFT? I don’t own a sifter. Would stirring the dry powdery stuffs together be sufficient?

    I’m dying to try making this.


  24. Chris R

    By the way, I concur. Dunking is inappropriate because one should not DRINK crumbs. It’s not right.

    On the other hand, I’m perfectly fine using a little dipping bowl.

  25. deb

    Chris R — I don’t have a sifter either. I just use a mesh strainer. If you don’t have that either. I suspect that whisking will do in a pinch.

  26. Just the other day I dunked some homemade almond biscotti into thick rich hot chocolate, divine!
    I come from a family of dunkers. We all love to dunk, everyone except my Grandma, who despises it. We are forbidden to dunk at her house, though recently as she has gotten older, I’ve noticed a few elicit incidents slip by at her table (though I am still not game enough to try).

    pee ess: your biscotti look lovely

  27. Donna

    I giggled at the “rub hot nuts” comment too, because I’m apparently a 7th grade boy. This looks absolutely delcious (as all of your cooking does). I’ve never made biscotti before, but these look well worth the hot oven on a summer day! :)

  28. I can understand your dunking aversion, but these look eminently dunk-able! They are crying out to be dipped in a hot coffee (that’s milk, no sugar, please). Yum!!

  29. Stephanie

    QUICK QUESTION! You pat it into a six-inch square then you scatter half the hazelnuts on the dough and press them into the surface then Roll the dough into a cylinder about 2 inches in diameter and 12 to 15 inches long?? This sounds confusing to me? Do you roll it like a pinwheel?? because then thier will be holes in your biscotti? Can you clarify the “rolling part” better.

  30. I can’t dunk either, do not like the crumbs floating in my drink. But this recipe looks awesome! We just had a bridal shower this past Saturday and the mother of the bride made a biscotti for a favor to everyone, and giving the recip out on cards named after the bride. So good! I am adding this recipe too.

  31. Susan

    Put out a dunking bowl with either milk or coffee in it, don’t use your cup or glass.

    I made my first biscotti this past Christmas from a recipe for Lemon Cranberry by Giada DeLaurentis, They were pretty good, but they were too dense and not crisp enough. I want them crisp and airy, like croutons that are made from french bread get, but sweet. Can’t you just make biscotti by baking slices of cake or brownies?

  32. Laura has several very simple and straightforward Biscotti recipes – her chocolate almond biscotti has been my go-to biscotti recipe for a few years now. Most of the recipes have about 5 or 6 ingredients – no butter or oil and very good!

  33. Peky

    LOLx..You got me laughing over the “dunker-confession”. I’m a big dunker..and I love having crumbs in my beverage. And I love biscotti..but I’ve never quite come across something like this (yet). Looks real good! Yummy!

  34. Lauren

    I have long worshiped at the alter of biscotti sans butter(makes the best “crunch”) and have developed a trick for working with the sticky dough that results: lay out a piece of parchment on your work surface that is wider than your baking sheet and flour liberally. Mold biscotti dough into desired rectangular shape. Put baking sheet upside down on parchment. Pull excess parchment tight over the baking sheet and flip! Pull parchment off of dough (there should only be minimal stickage). This trick allows you to work the dough into the proper shape without it sticking to your work surface and making a transfer to the baking sheet impossible. Hope this helps. Thanks for the beautiful pics Deb.

  35. deb

    Stephanie — You roll it up, like a pinwheel or whatnot, and press the dough together so it is one. I stretched it a bit to get it to the right length. Be sure to flour the surface really, really well.

  36. Okay, here’s my neurotic dunking behavior: I love the taste of milk-soaked biscotti, but I hate the food-floating-in-my-drink thing. So I actually pour two cups of milk – one small one for dipping, and another, bigger one for drinking. Yeah. I’m crazy.

  37. Sweet goodness! I was just getting over the potato torte, and then you hit me with this? Slow down!
    Anyway, I am going to try this, but I think with almonds, since that’s what’s in my pantry. I’ve been obsessed with making a good biscotti since this little italian place by me served us some on a tiny silver plate at the end of our meal. It didn’t need coffee – it stood alone (I’m used to stale, nondescript biscotti, the kind that’s been sitting on the shelf for 5 years).

  38. Gigi

    The whole freelance-working-from-home-thing is great, you always get enough sleep, you get to eat when you are hungry, you can go on a run’walk whenever you want, things seem to get done and the days are always different. Mascara still makes its way onto my face every day and I’ve been doing this for about a year now.

    Happily Random.

    Today, for example, I made that pistachio marzipan cake of yours betwixt bouts of writer’s block. Magically words and cake appeared in half the time it would take to do the tasks separately and now I have a cake for my cousin’s birthday!

    That being said, it hasn’t been easy either. I found this site incredibly helpful in terms of figuring out all the unstructuredness of freelanceness:

    Best of luck on your adventures!

  39. Lyra

    I have an issue with crumbs floating in beverages, even Oreo crumbs in a glass of milk.

    I’m not alone! My boy thinks I’m some sort of extraterrestrial alien for not dunking my cookies in milk. (I don’t like milk either, but that’s an argument you’ll have to have with my digestive system).

    This looks delicious, as always. :)

  40. PS When I do my second biscotti bake…I cut the cookies and put a cooling rack on top of my cookie sheet and put the cookies on the rack! No need for turning as the air flows all around!

  41. coco

    Hi Deb – I’m Coco, and I don’t dunk! The bits of solids floating in my beverage? Um, too much for me to tolerate. While I’ve conquered this neurosis when it comes to cereal (still, I leave any leftover milk!) and sometimes with crackers in soup (but not always) I will never ever be a dunker!

    Mmmmmm – these biscotti may find their way into my holiday baskets this year!

  42. Does anyone know what “espresso powder” means? Like, actual espresso grounds? Or some sort of espresso-flavored-cocoa-powder I don’t know about yet? I’ve seen some other questions to this effect, so…anyone have an answer? Thanks! :)

  43. deb

    Pamela — I am glad you asked because 1) I thought I knew and I was wrong, and 2) I realized that I had misread this and used instant espresso instead! (Which I suspect means that they both work!). Espresso powder is apparently an after-product of brewing espresso, the beans are so strong and flavorful, they can be used as a baking addition. I had no idea.

    Jane M. — That’s a great suggestion. I will try it next time. I won’t lie, flipping the cookies midway through baking them keeps me from making biscotti more often!

  44. Ouiser

    Biscotti are my favorite and these look and sound wonderful. Ill be on my way for hazlelnuts shortly. Starbucks gives away their coffee ground (great for the garden). . .wonder if I could a batch of expresso grounds to dry and grind. . . hmmmm. The dunking discussion if hilarious!! My great-grandfather (immigrant from Switzerland) was a dunker. . .my Mom and I always thought it was because he had no teeth (refused to wear his dental platels). My Mom’s all-time favorite quick evening meal was left over crumbled cornbread in a cup/glass of milk. I never could go there.

  45. bajonista

    I am a dunker. I like the consistency and the milkiness that the cookie picks up.

    My boyfriend is not. He gets freaked out when he sees me drinking the crumbs.

  46. Sue D.

    I’ve been making biscotti as my annual holiday gesture for more than 10 years now. (I started when I didn’t have enough money to buy presents and continued because they were so well received.) If you want more non-butter biscotti recipes, look for Maida Heatter’s Brand New Book of Great Cookies. It’s out of print, but there are copies floating around. She is a very strict taskmaster (yes, you must sift!), but her biscotti are wonderful, and there are multiple recipes in the book. On a whim, I added chocolate to her ginger biscotti recipe and received the most rhapsodic compliments I’ve ever gotten for anything I’ve ever baked.

    One tip she has for the stickiness is to spoon the sticky dough onto plastic wrap, form the cylinder or log through the plastic wrap, and then freeze for at least an hour before you bake it the first time.

    I look forward to trying these, next time I’m in the biscotti-baking mood.
    Thanks for a fabulous blog.

  47. ekgfrompdx

    Funny timing! Today is my mom’s birthday and she is the consummate dunker. She even dunks her morning toast in her coffee. Yuk! So, it’s not just crumbs in the liquid, it’s an oily sheen on top. Too gross for me!

    But, she (being a dunker and a chocoholic) will love these biscotti and guess what she is getting for a birthday treat. Thanks, Deb!

  48. prklypr

    I’m with all of you – so NOT a dunker! Yuch!
    Re: sifting, I have been told by prof bakers that whisking works just as well. But do a thorough job of it. I am an avid biscotti baker and these look awesome.PS biscotti travel well (great in care packages to college students)

  49. OK, dumb question here. I’ve run into this problem before. Where do I find espresso powder? Is it in the grocery store? Do I have to get it at the coffee shop? Do I just grind me own beans into a powder? Thanks for any direction here…

  50. lynn

    I am totally with you on the non-dunking. I can’t stand floaties in my drinks! I have a friend that dunks EVERYTHING – including PB&J in her hot chocolate.

  51. annie

    Ah! I’m so glad you have a problem with dunking, too! Beverages are for drinking–I hate bits of things in a beverage. (I don’t even like pulp.)

  52. Courtney

    I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one who giggled about the “rub hot nuts”. I also can’t stand crumbs in my milk and refuse to be a dunker! You’re not alone in your non-dunking world!! : )

  53. Lillian

    So, I thought you were overstating the flouring thing (even with the notes that you weren’t!) and floured half-assedly as usual. Smirked halfway through over my apparent aptitude with handling semi-gooey dough–then tried to pick up the finished (and perfectly proportioned) log, which half-stuck to the counter and promptly almost entirely fell apart. It was a traumatizing experience. (The shape really was perfect…) In any case, I feel I have to warn everyone: she’s not kidding! Flour the surface! Flour flour flour!

    As for my biscotti, they are still midway through the baking process, but if the taste of the batter has any amount of merit as an indicator, they will turn out delicious.

  54. Madison Fan

    Deb- I do so love to read your posts. In lieu of flour on the board, I use Dutch processed cocoa; it keeps the cookies from that dusty white look and adds a bit more chocolate flavor. I, too, prefer undunked biscotti that have no butter. Here is a link to Apricot Ginger Biscotti at It has received RAVE reviews!
    There are also other fabulous, non-butter biscotti recipes on this site as well.
    Congratulations on your transition to free-lancing! Continued success!

  55. CF

    I just made these, substituting almonds for hazelnuts, and using the cooling-rack-on-the-cookie-sheet trick suggested by Jane M. These are delicious and were very easy to make. Thanks for the inspiration!

  56. Eva

    THANK YOU!!!! I don’t dunk. I don’t ever dunk. It ruins both the item that is dunked and the beverage into which it is dunked. You end up with mushy chunks in your drink and a soggy cookie. It’s just bad. Very bad. They are ruined even when I see other people dunking theirs. I have been told I am insane to feel this way. This makes me feel better.

  57. Another Deb

    I made these for brunch this weekend and got rave reviews! How come mine didn’t look as pretty as yours though?

  58. Jennifer

    I’m the exact opposite on the “dunking” spectrum. I’ve been known to put entire cookies into milk and let them turn to a mash before eating them. I’ve also been known to gross people out by doing so…!

  59. Heh. Crumb neurosis? That’s along the same lines as my whole “I-just-touched/pet/handled-[insert object/pet]-must-wash-hands!”

    Yeah, I’m kind of sad. I’m even more sad due to the fact that I have never really liked biscotti, and after a two month stint working in a bakery, under a napoleonic dictator of a boss, will forever hate making biscotti (though it’s dam easy!)

    Thanks for sharing, though. Good to know we all have little quirks… and tasty ideas.

  60. That looks absolutely delicious! I have not had a biscotti in a long time, I believe this may be a must to make in this house hold soon. I have my Parents coming to visit at the end of the month, my father is Italian, so he would more than likely appreciate a true biscotti. Thank you for the recipe! And thank you for making me hungry ;) lol

  61. cutest measuring spoon ever!
    beehive kitchen?

    i’ve never found biscotti to look very appetizing, i think i might need to give it a homebaked go… thanks for sharing!

  62. Can someone help me with how to slice these? Pardon my spacial deficiencies, but if these are rolled into cylinders that are only 2 inches in diameter, I am not getting how slicing them even on an angle could produce anything close to the normal-length biscotti. Also not getting how deb achieved the shape of the tips she did. Wouldn’t they all be square with 4 angles and no rounded part?

    Sorry, I must be daft. Deb, could I trouble you to describe in more detail how you cut these? Or if you have a picture of that step, that would be even better!

  63. deb

    Hi Juli — They do come out regularly sized, even when 2-inches long. Or, well, I suppose that depends on what you have in mind when you say “normal” but trust me, this works. Angled cutting lengthens them, and creates the angled tip you see so that they are not square. Sadly I have no pictures of this process (I was home alone, without my husband/photographer to take the three-handed shots!) but it definitely works. Good luck!

  64. Maytal

    I made these last night and they came out AMAZING! I didn’t realize how hard they would be until this morning, maybe I baked them too long the second time or maybe they are supposed to be that way. I like mine hard so I though they were perfect. I’m a total chocolate lover but these are a nice touch because they aren’t very sweet. Thanks for a great and easy recipe. I’m making the flatbread next ;)

  65. Tara

    I made those yesterday. They came out just fine, but for some reason it took my somewhat longer to get them baked. Anyway, they look, smell and taste just delicious and I just wanted to thank you for that recipe! Greetings from Europe!

  66. Jenny in NYC

    I just made these tonight. They’re really delicious, and despite the unbelievably sticky, library-paste-meets-brick-mortar consistency of the dough, it was fun to put together and easy to do. Thank you for the inspiration!

  67. I loved it! Made it tonight and it’s delicious! I would put a litle more chocolate, maybe my chocolate was very strong, cocoa actually. I had to add some flour when it came to add the nuts and fold it. Very sticky. Made 30, not 60… I posted pics on my blog, if you’d like to see them.
    Perfect pair: coffee and biscotti (no dunking for me either).
    Thanks Deb for the recipe!

  68. Susie

    Calling this a “dough” is the understatement of the year. Mine was more like cake batter. I added another 3/4 c flour and finally got it workable, barely. Then the fun part was moving it to the baking sheet. There is a strange yellow color to the top of it from the egg that was brushed on. Never again!

  69. Susie

    When I sliced the logs there was raw flour “pinwheeled” in it from all the flour on my board. It’s very dry. What a waste of ingredients!

  70. Adrianne

    I made these last night (long after posting), and they were perfect as written. I really enjoyed them. A tip for those irritated with the batter: just pour from the bowl onto the baking sheet (roughly two rectangles of dough). use a spatula to shape the edges. I have done it forever, and the results are great. Plus no big deal about the runny batter.

  71. Randi Lynne

    I used this recipe to make biscotti for the first time over the weekend. I used roasted peanuts instead of hazelnuts. I didn’t get the shape exactly right (after cutting, my pieces were shorter and thicker than I like), but other than that it turned out awesome! I can’t wait to dunk it in coffee this week! :)

  72. I’ve just made them and am chomping on one as I write (it’s not quite cool yet but still tip-top). They worked brilliantly. I added some candied orange to one batch – super-good. I’m thinking crystallised ginger next time. Susie, just dust off the ‘excess’ (horrible word) before you shape the dough, like you would if you were making bread. (Or is that just me?) Anyway, thanks for a great recipe (again).

  73. Sarah

    Mine are in the oven for their second bake now. Definitely one of the stickiest doughs I’ve worked with, BUT it is still pretty easy to work with. I used a mix of flour and cocoa powder on my working board…and lots of it. I munched on an end piece and the flavor is nice. Not too chocolatey…great to have with your coffee. Great holiday gift too!

  74. Annie

    These are well worth your while to make. An easy way to get around the stickiness problem is to use Pam on the counter and your hands, no extra flour needed.

  75. Katie

    These are fantastic, and their relative healthiness makes them go down even easier! ;) I switched in some toasted almonds for the hazelnuts and added some butterscotch chips. Dipped them in melted semi-sweet chocolate for a pinch extra sweetness and presto! Delicious.

  76. Tanya

    Just made this last night, result – okay tasting biscotti.

    After toasting the hazelnuts and then baking them again (These were raw hazelnuts from the start) they tasted burnt. I am not sure if I did something wrong but it seems that the amount of time that they spent in the oven really did them in.

    Just things to keep in mind if you’re attempting this. ALSO do not try to substitute the espresso coffee power for just ground coffee. (Do as is written and use actual espresso coffee powder or I guess instant?)

  77. Kathy in St. Louis

    Got ’em in the oven right now. Using what I have on hand and aiming for the flavor profile of a favorite cookie, I used toasted pecans instead of hazelnuts and cinnamon and cayenne in place of espresso powder. The dough tasted terrific.

  78. Shaunna

    Yummy! The photos are beautiful, and the biscotti looks incredible. I am going to try this recipe tonight. Also, I WILL be dunking when the biscotti is done. I am a proud dunker, and I think it’s just silly to ask why people like to dunk, or to be a taskmaster and list reasons why it’s “wrong”. It’s just one of those simple pleasures in life for many people–sorta like hot towels from the dryer or scented bubble baths. I would never criticize another person’s simple pleasure. To each his own. :)

  79. Bridget

    Hi Deb, I’m making various cookies as Christmas gifts and trying to plan the timing to avoid Christmas Eve mayhem! How long would these keep and how / at what stage would they best be stored? Thanks.

  80. Jess

    These are amazing! Since I wanted biscotti this morning and had everything but the hazelnuts, I decided to put in dried black figs and add some cracked/ground black pepper as an experiment. I also halved the recipe (heaven knows, my hubby and I don’t need 60 of these lying around at the end of January!), but I needed another egg to bring it together. Anyway, thanks again for, yet, another wonderful recipe to make your site even more addicting!

  81. Carlotta

    *sigh* had so much enthusiasm for these biscotti-biscotti alas here in the pacific northwest i think it’s impossible to achieve dry, snappy, crispy, sharp biscotti that i so desire to dunk into my mid morning luke warm cup of coffee. (never do i dunk anything into the fresh and piping hot, pure diesel fuel of the morning) tomorrow i’ll try again, with a chai and vanilla bean combination… who knows maybe it was just the cocoa powder that lent too much moisture… no i think that this fine rainforest climate is more gracious to scrumptious things like banana bread! coffee cake! sauerkraut! err…

  82. Cooking-between-classes

    Made these with toasted slivered almonds (store didn’t have macadamia nuts) and without the espresso powder (didn’t have any), tasted great.

    Great size–sometimes biscotti get so large you can’t hardly wield them.

  83. Alexandra

    I definitely used espresso grounds instead of reading through the comments. Whoops. We’ll have to see how they taste, they smell awfully good..

  84. I see at least half of the posts on here are about dunking…: I am here to say I just made these biscotti (but with almonds, I too had problems finding hazelnuts) – yum! Who knew tasty cookies could be so not-bad for you?! Even though I used instant coffee instead of ‘espresso powder,’ it still tastes good but next time I will add more, mmm.
    (But back to the dunking – I must say, I am partial to the occasional dunk especially Tim Tams in milk. They are choc-coated so there are minimal crumbs. Best of both worlds!)
    Thanks again Deb and SK for inspiring me to cook up a storm.

  85. Anne

    Late to this post…but I was wondering if there is any harm in using cocoa powder that is not Dutch-style. I’ve read that natural cocoa powder (which is all I can seem to find) can react with baking soda. Will this make the biscotti fluff up and lose their crunch?

    I’m making these (along with your fig/walnut and almond biscotti) to send as a thank you to professors who wrote recommendations for me. I want them to be perfect! Thanks Deb for so many fantastic recipes. My whole Thanksgiving table came from your site!

  86. Victoria Solomon

    Just made these. I added two TBSP of vegetable oil into the batter to make it more workable. I also set them upright (instead of laying them on their sides) to crisp both sides equally. They came out excellent!

  87. Jessica

    I am in the process of baking them. I made each half of the batter a different flavour. The first I used brazil nuts, vanilla paste and no cocoa. The second, I used pistachio nuts, cocoa and paprika. We’ll see how it goes.

  88. Megan

    Deb – thank you! these are amazing!! I cut them a little wide to start but corrected midway through. The dough was VERY sticky but I floured like mad and it worked perfectly. I used half whole wheat flour and added some wheat germ to make myself feel a little better about eating them. They are SO good! Thanks

  89. Amy

    SOLVED THE STICKY PROBLEM!!!!! I made this recipe (minus the espresso powder, as I live in a culinary wasteland…) I made one substitution and one addition… for the four eggs, I substituted 3 eggs and two egg yolks. (Per a Martha Stewart biscotti I make), then when mixing in the flour, I added 3/4 cup ground nuts. With these two changes this dough is easily handled and moved. The results are phemominal. Best biscotti I have made.

  90. gubidal092

    Crumbs in drinks are a big no for me too– though I love melting my chocolate squares in my hot tea. Though I don’t think I’ll use these for dunking, they’re great! I heeded the warnings about the stickiness of the dough, and put down plenty of flour (on a glass cutting board with a rough surface that held the dough well, so that might have helped- it certainly made clean up easier). I didn’t find the dough very sticky, just difficult to get out of the bowl initially. I used pain espresso grounds, thinking that was meant by powder, and they taste just fine, though reading the comments I realized that that might not have been what was intended in the recipe. I had to bake them longer, just as you mention in the recipe. Mine needed an additional 16 minutes. I didn’t have any parchment paper to line the pan with, so I just used olive oil pam, which seemed to do the trick. At the moment, I’m waiting for them to harden up in the oven and weighing the merits of dipping them in chocolate… thanks for the awesome recipe!

  91. I tend to measure flour by weight because its density of its packing can vary by so much. Can someone tell me what weight of flour is right for this recipe?

  92. Amanda

    To then non-dunkers: why NOT dunk?!? Did you not have a childhood??? It’s so delightful to dunk biscotti in coffee or an Oreo into milk. Try it once, just once.

  93. Mary

    Followed the recipe to the letter. I appreciate the not-too-sweet flavor, but the texture seems too dense. However, for all I know, I’ve never actually had an authentic (no butter) Italian biscotti before.

  94. Karen

    Thank you for this recipe, it’s amazing! I made these biscotti the other day to give as small gifts to some friends and they were absolutely fantastic. Not too sweet, perfect chocolatey flavor and a satisfying crunchy texture. The dough was definitely sticky, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and nothing a little extra flour for my hands and work surface couldn’t take care of. I am going to make a second batch before Christmas to share with my family over morning coffee…. and we’re all dunkers!

  95. Steph

    Curious to know how many this recipe makes… I am about to get started for a cookie exchange… need to make 4 dozen.
    From the looks of the layout, probably 2 dozen or even a few more?
    Dunk away!!!!! :)

  96. Anne

    hi Deb, hi other bakers, i’m not sure about this recipe – I just made it and now the biscottis are in for their second bake. I halved the recipe, but there is no way this would yield 30 biscottis. I got 12 out of it! I know there are some slight variations, but I can’t imagine how this recipe would yield 30 biscottis when halved. just my two cents. that said, i tasted the little crumbs from the cutting and they did taste delicious.

  97. Allie

    I made this recipe today, but for whatever reason, my dough came out completely differently than yours. I followed the directions exactly, and yet mine came out very dry and dense, and the dough did not expand in the slightest when baked in the oven. Not really sure what went wrong – currently in the oven for the second round of baking. Not used to not using butter when making biscotti, so maybe this is expected?

    Also have to agree with some other commenters – even when slicing small, I maybe yielded 30 biscotti.

    To note, however, the dough tasted great, and perhaps if these turns out half as beautiful as yours, I’ll definitely make again!

    1. Kyle Muffett

      I used to use butter in handling the biscotti batter and it was a no-no. Flour is best because butter will make the biscotti harder and will likely add calories to the recipe. So remove your jewelry and what-not and be ready to get sticky!

  98. riyana

    Hi there, I have been dying to make a great biscotti.
    I tried the egg white recipe, the mix all together recipe, the whisking recipe, and all of them being the same ingredients tasted very differently.
    None of them was that mindblowing. I am just wondering does the extra flour for dusting makes the biscotti harder? and If were to stir in the hazelnuts and place the batter inside a block shaped tray instead will it still work? Lastly, would instant coffee granules be okay for substitute?

  99. Mandy

    These are in my oven now for the 2nd bake. I followed recipe exactly except I didn’t have or sub anything for the espresso powder. They seem fine. I did get exactly 60 pieces. :) The little ends I cut after 1st bake were delicious! Can’t wait to see how they crisp up after cooling down out of 2nd bake. Soooo excited! I will post again for the final review…

  100. Kyle Muffett

    3rd time making this recipe and am enjoying doing so. One thing i will note is if you have little ones who may choke one the whole hazelnuts, simply grinding them into smaller pieces avoids the issue entirely. Best dipped in hot cocoa!

  101. Racheal

    You win some, you lose some ! This one was not so much of a win, I should stick to exact measurements but it was too large a portion. So I made the novice choice to half the ingredients, don’t do it !! They tasted like flour, looked good though. Will give it another go with the exact quantities and better quality of cocoa and espresso !

  102. Long time reader, first time commenting! And first time making biscotti! These were great! I made one methodological change (because I have a small kitchen and don’t own a big cutting board). Instead of rolling the dough onto a floured surface, I mixed the hazelnuts in the bowl with the dough and then with very wet hands kneaded the dough into a ball. Then I could split the dough into two balls, roll into a cylinder shape (still in my wet hands) and form on the tray to bake. The dough was very manageable provided you kept hands wet (and less mess to clean up, yay!).

  103. I just made this. Yummy and easy! I actually mixed the nuts in the bowl, split batter in half then scooped out onto baking sheet. With wet hands I molded into logs. No mess at all, again so easy and yummy! Thank You

  104. Lisa

    I made these this weekend and I have to say, I was quite disappointed. They were flavorless except for the toasted hazelnuts and I ended up tossing them. Deb’s recipes on Smitten Kitchen are usually spot on (I usually cook at least one new SK recipe a week) so I was surprised at the lack of flavor in these. Oh well! Will keep searching!

  105. Camilla

    I made these and was pleased as a first time biscotti maker. I used chocolate extract as a substitute for the espresso powder, and added some chocolate chunks.. I liked the texture. I agree that a fine serrated knife would help with cutting, but I managed with a sharp knife.

  106. I was so excited to try this but, for me, it was (an unexpected) bust. Admittedly, I’m using a new oven and I burned half of the batch, but even before that, I was feeling frustrated. I have a few tips for how to make this easier the next time should someone want to try it for themselves. Shape the dough balls/squares/logs directly onto your silpat or parchment on the tray you will bake it on. It’s nearly impossible to transfer otherwise. The Italian way would be to use wet fingers though well floured fingers could do the trick for some. I also found the recipe somewhat lacking in flavor. Too bad because I LOVE the gingerbread biscotti on this website and have made it several times in the past.

  107. LD

    Just made these for Christmas gifts. I found them bland, would suggest adding some dark chocolate pieces, orange zest, or cranberries. Turned out beautifully, though. Definitely cool for 15min before cutting.

  108. Kirsten

    After so many incredibly good recipes from smitten kitchen across the board, I was shocked that this one was a straight up bust. I made one batch with all purpose flour, and one with gluten-free flour, hoping to package and mail as gifts.

    They burnt easily. I also found both batches bland and incredibly stiff & dry. The spouse found them so bitter he spat out his first bite. :(

    The GF ones went straight to the trash. I’m going to try to gift the regular ones to my friends that enjoy dark, bitter, crunchy cocoa snacks with coffee or hot chocolate.

    I’m going to stick with the almond biscotti recipe for future gifting! Much, much better flavor & texture.

  109. Soumya

    I baked this today. First I baked the log for 20 mins but my top was cracked which made it difficult to cut it. But the middle was a little gooey like. So I’m not sure what I might have done wrong. Any suggestions?

  110. Kate

    Looks fantastic, thank you Deb. If you don’t mind, a quick question: Could I substitute freshly made espresso for the espresso granules?