fig and walnut biscotti

Lest you think my running of at the mouth about the evils of dieting meant that I was going to spend this month in the pursuit of only earnest foods, let me set that straight right now: all weekend, I craved a cookie and by Sunday, I’d had enough. No, I wasn’t going to break out the piping bags or the heavy cream ganaches, but when I need something sweet, I have learned that it’s better to have one and move on than to snack on twent-five other odd ends instead, oh, and still crave a cookie.

sad, dried figswalnuts, ready to toastclementine zestground figs and nuts

As far as my cookie demands went, biscotti seemed a perfect compromise. A little less rich, sweet and heavy than most cookies, they go better with tea, coffee or your morning yogurt (guilty as charged) than they do wtih a platter of even more indulgent desserts. I’d had this recipe from Gina DePalma, pastry chef at Babbo, bookmarked for years, and seeing as I am still wading through pounds of nuts and had some sorry-looking figs in the pantry, it seemed like perfect timing.

slicing the biscottihalf-baked biscotti

Biscotti fall into two categories: those that contain butter and those that do not. The former are closer to a cookie, and what we’re used to seeing in this country. I can’t say I’d dip them in anything, but then again, I’m not much of a dipper (I imagine little oily spots at the top of my coffee… ghuh). The latter — the butter free type — are so crunchy that they beg to be dipped in warm wine. Now, people who consider themselves biscotti purists will tell you that biscotti should never contain butter, and if they do, they’re not biscotti. But when I ran that by an Italian cook, he noted that the word biscotti is derived from Latin (biscoctus) which means twice-baked, and that therefore this twice-baking, and not the ingredients, are the definition of biscotti. He also said that Italian cooking is full of people who like to tell you that the other half of people are doing it wrong and I laughed because I think you could apply that to cooking anywhere.

Me, I step aside from authenticity challenges. I just like what I like. And I really like these, and think you will too.

fig and walnut biscotti

Biscotti, previously: Chocolate-Hazelnut Biscotti (butter-free), Almond Biscotti (with butter) and Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti (so delicious for a party)

One year ago: Balthazar’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
Two years ago: Viennese Cucumber Salad

Fig and Walnut Biscotti
Adapted from Gina DePalma, The Babbo Cookbook

I hadn’t realized how fragrant these would turn out; our apartment is a cloud of orange and spice. They’re crazy tasty too, they have a good crunch but have small spots of softness from the figs, and a little crackle from the fig seeds.

This is a half-recipe; the original yielded double but this seemed like plenty.

Makes approximately 24 biscotti

1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup dried Turkish or Calimyrna figs, quartered
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons or 3 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1/2 a large orange (I used a clementine)
1 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (or 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons) unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon. ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 egg white, lightly beaten

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Allow the walnuts to cool completely

2. Place the walnuts and dried figs in a food processor and process until they are finely chopped.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula occasionally. Beat in the vanilla and the orange zest.

4. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Beat the dry ingredients into the butter mixture to form a somewhat firm dough. Add the walnuts and figs and beat until thoroughly combined. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic and chill 35 to 40 minutes or until completely firm.

5. When the dough has chilled, lightly grease a baking sheet. On a floured board, use your palms to roll the piece of dough into a log the length of the baking sheet. Place the log on the baking sheet.

6. In a small bowl, beat the egg white with a fork until frothy. With a pastry brush, glaze the log with some egg white and sprinkle it with granulated sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (this took longer in my oven, but everything seems to these days), or until the log is lightly golden brown, firm to the touch and just beginning to crack slightly.

7. Allow the log to cool on the cookie sheet until cool to the touch, about 40 minutes. With a serrated knife, slice the biscotti, slightly on the bias, into 1/2-inch slices. Lay the slices on the cookie sheet in single layer (I always end up needing a second baking sheet in this step, as they have a lot more surface area); Return the biscotti to the oven and cook for 20 more minutes, or until the biscotti are toasted and crisp.

Store the biscotti in an airtight container. They will keep up to about 2 weeks.

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153 comments on fig and walnut biscotti

  1. Susan

    I’m sitting here reading this while dunking a piece of your almond biscotti that I made last night. I made them at Christmas and everyone snarfed them and have been bugging me for a repeat! I was not a biscotti lover until I that recipe..neither was my family.

    Now this? Sold. I love anything with walnuts and dried figs or dates in them. Thanks, Deb.

    To do list…think about organizing the sweets catagory. Sorry..too pushy?

  2. deb

    Hi Susan — How so with the “Sweets” category? I’m always looking to fix the place up, just hoping you can explain what would help. Thx!

    1. Niki

      butting in the thread, I’d divide categories like Cookies/bars/cakes/sweet breads/candies and sauces/pies/ other not fitting a category… hope this is what Susan meant, if not tell me to mind my own business… ;-)

  3. Janet

    “…when I need something sweet, I have learned that it’s better to have one and move on than to snack on twent-five other odd ends instead, oh, and still crave a cookie.”

    This is exactly why my New Year’s Resolution is to eat more cupcakes.

  4. Lovin’ the new layout for your links. I must set aside a few hours and go through your extra long list of “good reads” as your favorite links have yet to disappoint. And would you believe I have never had a fig in my life! I just may have to come out of my figgy shell and try these out!

  5. I say… if you want a cookie, have a freakin’ cookie! These look lovely Deb. Also- hey!hey!hey! Your site is looking mighty fine these days! I love the new Links and Archive section! I can only imagine how much work that was to put together. Well played.

  6. Britni

    Oh man! I’ve been stalking your blog for almost a month now and I have finally decided to come out in the open…. I have a can of Oregon Kadota figs (I’m living overseas and can’t get them fresh, so sad) and was wondering if I could use them for this recipe? I’ve been hoarding these cans for a few months trying to decide what to make and I think this might be it!

  7. deb

    Hi Britni — I am sure that just about any dried fig would work.

    Everyone — I forgot to add how easy it is to publish your feed list if you use Google Reader. (So simple, kicked myself for not doing this sooner.) Go to your Google Reader > Settings (top right) > Folders and Tags > and then choose the folders you want to publish.

    You can make folders publishable just by pressing on the “Private” button for each. Then “Add a blogroll to your site” will appear to the right and you can pick the design, etc. So easy! And once you drop the code where you want it to show up, it updates automatically, as you subscribe/unsubscribe from blogs in that folder.

  8. I think I know what Susan means, and I agree. In your Recipe Index (which is how I usually search for recipes on your site), you have all desserts in one category. Maybe separate them into Cakes, Pies, etc?

  9. I am addicted to biscotti, and usually make Foodblogga’s almond biscotti dipped in chocolate. (original recipe from a Rhode Island Italian Bakery).

    I LOVE FIGS!!!! Never thought to add them to biscotti.
    I have yet to buy Gina DePalma’s book from Babbo. She is such a terrific baker.
    I will make these. Thanks for posting such a yummy recipe!
    Stacey Snacks

  10. When I’m cold (you know, when its less than 65 degrees F) I always have a cup of tea in my hand. What a lovely idea to dunk these…not too sweet, since I’m watching my girlish figure, but seems like it will still satisfy my enormous sweet tooth.

    Plus, I think I’ll count them as a “fruit” instead of a “cookie”since they have fruit in them. Am I right here?

    Am going to go out on a limb and make them gluten-free….I’ll let you know how they turn out….could be scary.

  11. these look great! about those pesky italians… my great grandmother who taught me how to cook, used to tell me i was doing it wrong all the time… even though it was her own recipes and technique. then she swore up and down she would never teach me that way.

  12. JEP

    Thanks for performing the “housekeeping” duties….I appreciate the ease of finding & reading topics, recipes & links. Mmm..figs.

  13. Susan

    Deb; what Bridget #10 said! cakes & pies, cookies & bars, and dessert & other catagories should do it. I’m just using catagories that are in an old BHG cookbook as an example. It’s a really long catagory right now.

    I do appreciate you for how many there are though! Keep’em coming!

  14. The Teen Chef Anna

    This looks so good, I would love to make these however I am worried about wether it would taste good with my coffee, either way I think I shall make them and eat them both with my coffee and any other time.

  15. Mel

    I love this recipe for biscotti.. I too have a little box of figs starting to look a bit sad in my pantry so I can team them with leftover pistachios I have to make this gorgeous recipe.

  16. I’m impressed by all the organizing (says the girl with a pile of clothes waiting to be taken to the dry cleaner. after, um, weeks. at least.)
    Excited to look through your salad archive. I definitely need a break from all the heavy eating.

  17. What a delightful blend of spices. These certainly must be packed with flavor. Fig and orange is one of my favorite combinations for baking, particularly because it holds up well against heartier ingredients. So my all time favorite recipe for bran muffins is flavored with fig and orange zest.

    I had a little love affair with biscotti all last year. Perhaps with this little recipe I will have to continue it into 2009.

  18. These sound delicious but think I will content myself with browsing your salad archives for now as my jeans are feeling a little too snug! I do agree with your theory about cravings. I try to not buy the snacks I crave until I really want them, if I am bothered enough to go out in the cold to buy chocolate then I figure I really really want it so should go for it. It’s amazing how often I’m just not bothered enough.

  19. Yael

    Not trying to set any principles here, just relating my empirical experience:
    When I was in Italy I found out that ALL cookies are called biscotti. What we/you call ‘biscotti’ (like your lovely recipe) are called cantuccini – well, at least in Toscana, where I was, so I don’t know if it’s safe to assume it’s the same elsewhere.
    Anyway, cantuccini. Great stuff. Often dipped in a sweet wine called vin santo, which made me consume much more alcohol that I usually do (being a non-drinker), just because it’s so darn tasty.

  20. I’m also swimming in nuts and figs from the pantry that need to be eaten. I’m guessing these are on the horizon today. And I’m STOKED about the new archives and everything you’ve obviously been working so hard on. It’s great!!

  21. deb

    Hi Kelly — Whoops, the instructions aren’t fully divided. A few mistakes there, will fix now. The original recipe made two logs (this always seems a TON when I make biscotti, upwards of 55 cookis), I only made one of the logs.

  22. Darien

    Yum Yum!! One question, do you think replacing some (or all) of the flour with whole wheat flour would work? I made a Giada biscotti recipe with WW pastry flour and they turned into mini baseball bats.

  23. Nicole M

    Ooh these sound great! I lugged breakfast across state lines for Christmas including your almond biscotti and they were a big hit (that’s a big deal since the in-laws’ Italian family name is biscotti).

  24. My mom left me with the most wonderful panne forte with walnuts and figs over the holidays so I’m totally obsessed with the combination at the moment. Making these tonight!!

  25. Virginia

    I love that these are made with dried figs. Fresh figs are IMPOSSIBLE to find in central Illinois. I spent all November with insatiable fig cravings; now they’re about to come back. Love the site, as always!

  26. Alexey

    Hello from your long time reader, never a commenter, all the way from cold and snowy Moscow, Motherland.

    I been using your recipes forever, and I’m at the moment baking the biscotti (substituted dried apricots for figs and lime zest instead of orange zest). House is smelling wonderfully! Thanks a lot Deb! :)

  27. Alicia

    Would anyone know how this works with fresh figs? My grandmother gave me a whole tupperware of frozen fresh figs over christmas and my husband put them in the fridge, not the freezer. so I am desperate to find fig recipes for fresh ones. I love just about everything that you have done Deb, any thoughts?

  28. Caroline

    I just wanted to say that, as a college student and an avid cook without a kitchen of her own, your blog keeps me sane during the semester when I don’t have the means to cook for myself.

    BUT, since I’ve been on winter break, I’ve been practically living in the kitchen, and right now, as I type, I’m trying to savor and extend the last bite of a warm biscotti, just out of the oven.

    I found a cup of dried figs left in the pantry and thought this recipe would be the perfect way to use them up. I used almonds instead of walnuts and whole wheat flower instead of all purpose, because it’s what I had on hand. It took a little longer in the oven than the recipe says…but wow. The house smells divine and my tummy is so happy (as is my mom’s, the lucky innocent bystander in the house)

  29. I ‘ve just found your blog and it’s very beautiful- so are these biscotti!
    Here in NY we are likely snowed in tomorrow so I’ll be making these for sure!

  30. Yael

    Alicia – I don’t think it’ll work. Too much moisture, and the flavour is different.

    Never tried freezing figs, and I wonder what it’d do to them (we have two huge fig trees, so around summer we have more figs than we know what to do with, but freezing never came up). But regularly, I’d just suggest eating them as-is.
    Or you can bake them with a little brown sugar and a dash of some nice alcohol. Possibly some warm spices, like vanilla or cloves.
    Or perhaps better, make a tart, with either creme patissier or mascarpone (or maybe almond cream? That could go too, maybe), and then the figs on top.

    But again, no idea what happens to them when frosted and then thawed. Give it a try!

  31. Alej

    I am updating and finding new food blogs and have come across yours! Food and photography are my passions/obsessions. This blog satisfies both. Your pics are really special and add so much to the recipes, etc. The blog addresses the tried and true fact that eating is 50% visual. The pics make me what to try the recipes.
    I saw that you upload some of your pictures to Flickr – What lenses do you use for these food pics? I am a devoted Nikon D90 camera fan and still relatively new to micro/close up photography.

  32. Monica

    Alicia – the yummiest is to halve fresh figs, put a dollop of goat cheese on top, wrap it in prosciutto, and bake it. I wish that I had fresh figs to deal with!

  33. Alicia

    Thanks Yael and Monica! I have had goat cheese stuffed figs and loved them i just wasnt sure that it would work if they had been frozen and then thawed. I will try baking them and see how that goes. i guess worst case senario (which really is great anyway) puree them and then turn them into fig preserves. just thought i would see if there were other options.

  34. Jen

    Hi Deb! Love your site! Can’t wait to try this biscotti recipe!

    Was looking at Susan’s suggestion and thought maybe one idea is perhaps to categorize the Sweets section…perhaps something like Cakes, Cookies, Breads/Muffins, Candies, etc.

    Just my two cents…though I think the site is perfect as-is! :)

  35. Susan

    Made these today, had some figs to be used up so had to go buy some walnuts- they’re fantastic!! Great change from my usual chocolate and almond/hazelnut ones!!

    Love your blog and have a go at most of the recipes. Would there be any chance of having ingredients listed in metric as well as cups for those of us outside the US?? Or would it be too complicated??

  36. OKAY…slight time delay in baking the gluten-free version due to children and their desire to eat and sleep and eat again…finished baking these a few hours ago and they are almost GONE!

    My findings: I agree with the others, first baking time was longer than 20 minutes.
    The gluten-free version was made with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free baking flour mix and it substituted very well. (I added 1/2 tsp xanthum gum to the recipe.) These are delicious and spicy and I wish I would have doubled the recipe!

    Deb, every single recipe I have made from this site has been fantastic! Thank you for your inspiration.

  37. Lorna Rogers

    I am looking for the recipe for scones which were made on your show yesterday, Jan.7, 2009. They were served with a special cream and strawberries…last recipe on the show. I would love to have the recipe, if possible.

  38. Judy

    I made these yesterday and they are wonderful! They have great flavor and texture, not too sweet, and a little bit different from your usual biscotti. I made 2 logs out of this recipe, because I like my biscotti to be smaller. I sprinkled coarse, turbinado sugar over the top for a rustic look. They are great and I will make them again many times! Thanks for this recipe.

  39. lemongrass

    I made these last night – great flavor – but they didn’t get crunchy or hard like I expected them to. I’ve never made biscotti before, did I do something wrong? Are they supposed to be a crunchy or softer? Mine have a sandy texture (in a good way), but aren’t crisp or crunchy at all. The only biscotti I have ever eaten was like pressed sawdust, so I’m hoping that is not what they should be like.

  40. I don’t know about Costco, but Sam’s Club carries walnuts in a big giant bag, too (and almonds and pecans). Walnuts are about $15 a bag, and pecans and almonds are around $11 a bag. It’s a nice big bag :)

  41. stephen

    i made these this weekend and they were DELISH! i used all whole wheat flour and they came out fantastic. i served them at a dinner party last night with coffee and tea.

    when baking them the second time, i baked until they were just firm but NOT crunchy. this made the final cookie still stiff but not crunchy (which was what i was going after).

    i also took some of the unbaked dough and made rounded cookies and baked them on a sheet pan about 20 minutes – they were great!

  42. Stiffler

    i made these 3 days ago. i like the flavor. i think i should have baked them longer the first time they entered the oven. on the second day, they were softer, so they made a third trip to the oven to crisp them a bit more.

  43. Hi Deb! I made these last week and just finished up the last one. Some girls from Croatia had crashed on my floor for five nights and gave me the most enormous bag of dried figs from their island as a thank you!! I’d never cooked with them or made biscotti before but this recipe was so easy and absolutely delicious!! I have taken them as treats to a lot of friends this week who have been hugely appreciative… thank you!

  44. This great recipe rang a bell for me and I pulled my copy of Sherry Yard’s version. For the second baking she says to lower the oven temp to 2oo degrees and bake for 40 minutes. Is your second baking 20 minutes at 325 degrees? Thanks – love your blog and your recipes, cook and bake from them all the time. L

  45. deb

    Actually, the original second baking time was about 200 degrees — and mine never baked. I had them in for an hour, even, and they just wouldn’t bake. So I kept it at the original temp which I have done in earlier biscotti recipes and it worked just fine.

  46. My aunt used to make mandel brodt which is the Jewish version of biscotti. After cutting the log, in the final baking step she would bake 10 minutes on one side, flip each cookie and bake 10 minutes on the other side. Some variation of this might help those who couldn’t get theirs crisp.

  47. michelle

    Dear, Deb,

    I was so excited to make these today– got everything ready, and I forgot the figs! Happened to have some mejool dates in the fridge, so i substituted dates for figs. HEAVEN, esp. with the orange zest. thanks for the fantastic recipes! this one’s a hit with either fruit!

  48. maryr

    Hey, I’m looking to try this recipe because I recently visited Switzerland and fell in LOVE with a walnut-fig-cranberry breakfast log I had there. It was like the love child of a biscotti and a breadstick – dense, but not crunchy. I ate it with tea and, I suppose, could have dunked it, but like you said, why ruin the tea? It’d probably get full of soggy crumbs…

    Anyway, I know you’re awfully busy these days, but when you have a moment, I was wondering if I could get your opinion on following this recipe, but omitting the second bake. What were the slices like before the toasting? Edible? Falling apart? I abhor baking with yeast and I’m hoping I could try this to satisfy my nostalgia.

  49. Jen

    a wonderful blend of flavors! the biscotti’s had just enough sweetness with a slight undertone of the spices. i made mine with light brown sugar instead of dark and it turned out well. first bake was for 20 minutes and second was for 10 as it was browning a bit more than i liked. next time, i would turn down the oven temp for the second bake and bake a little longer.

  50. Erin

    Hi, Deb – I love your blog. Your baby is adorable. You’re funny and you cook good food, and I appreciate what you share of your life with your readers. I made these to send to my husband in Afghanistan becuase they have no chocolate (which melts and makes a mess) and can arrive stale and it is no big deal. And they travel well in vacuum sealed packages. They smell great and I am sure they will be a hit. He shared your Almond Biscotti that I sent to him last month with the Afghan Army leaders he is working with and they loved it. No matter what your political views or where you are in the world, we all seem to share the love of a good cookie.
    Oh – and I made them with half whole-wheat flour and they turned out great.
    Thanks again.

  51. Alexis

    Does it make any difference whether I use a baking v a cookie sheet? You seem to use them interchangeably. Also what temperature did you use the for the first period of baking (15-20 minutes)? Thanks!

  52. Totally random. I just discovered your blog (finally), and I love it. I am dreaming of fresh figs today, and I’d love to see a post with your favorite fresh fig recipe this summer. Of course, I love to eat them plain, right off the tree, if possible, but just in case I’m able to resist…

    (even more random: figs are not technically a fruit, but a flower that has folded in on itself…)

    Thank you!!

  53. Anna Malina

    I just baked two batches of your wonderful biscotti. For the second batch I made a little experiment using almonds + apricots instead of walnuts + figs. To make the almond-version even a bit more different I left out the spices and only used 1/2 tsp ground vanilla pods. Both versions turned out incredibly delicious. Thanks a lot for this recipe and the sweet smell in my apartment!

  54. I know your recipe has been here a while. In fact, I remembered reading it. So, when I came into a few pounds of figs, I knew right where to come. Your recipe inspired me. I had a basic biscotti recipe that has served me well. I just used some help from your recipe and I had another successful biscotti flavor…Fig Walnut.
    Oh my gosh did my house smell good. People who had never tasted figs before fell in love with my biscotti. Thank you for inspiring me.
    Nella, the Gravy Girl

  55. Monica

    Really hoping someone will weigh in here… could I make this dough on sunday and bake it off on tuesday? not sure how it will fare in the fridge…

    1. deb

      It will probably be fine in the fridge for a couple days. These keep great, though, so you could also bake them on Sunday and they’ll still be good on Tuesday. If you’re worried about freshness, you could even keep them in the freezer between layers of waxed paper for a few days, too.

  56. Monica

    Thanks Deb for getting back to me! :) I’m making these for our annual cookie exchange, so I’m trying to maximize their freshness for the sake of the other participants who will be eating them.

  57. Jackie

    These are in the oven (first baking) as I write. I am going to try and send half of them to a son in Atlanta – so thanks for the idea about letting them rest in the freezer a couple of days between layers of waxed paper. Will let you know how they survive the trip!

  58. Deb! These look great but I am noticing your recipe list is light on fig recipes. I am dying over here. I have a fig tree bursting with about 500 fresh figs on it that are due to ripen in a couple weeks and I was relying on you for yummy treat ideas! What am I going to do? If you are inspired to do more fig experimenting I would be so thankful. :)
    P.S. I LOVE your blog and use it all of the time. Thank you for writing it.

    1. deb

      Adrienne — Thanks for the reminder. I was working on a fig breakfast bar for my cookbook that didn’t make it. I will try to dust off the recipe soon and see if I can get it ready for publication. I hope that helps!

  59. Jenna

    I want to make these and send them by mail.

    Has anyone tried mailing biscotti? Does it hold up?

    Any help will make my 21-year-old-turning friends very very happy! :D

    Many thanks :)

  60. Hanna

    Do you think it would be possible to substitute dried dates instead of figs? I don’t seem to have any figs around but for some reason have an abundance of dates

  61. Hi,
    These sound totally yummy, but I’m wondering if you ever make anything with FRESH figs. All three recipes listed under “fig” on your site are made with dried ones. I just bought some fresh at the shop outside my apartment complex, and as usual I checked your site first for inspiration. :S Off I go to search elsewhere. I’d love to see a fresh fig recipe here someday (perhaps while they are still so briefly available here, or perhaps down the road…) because I know if you posted it, it would be worth making.
    Happy cooking!

  62. LuisaCA

    Made these with my dehydrated figs from our tree. I cut them up very small with scissors. I was a bit apprehensive because they are a different product than what you used but they turned out wonderful.

  63. pamela

    Made these yesterday…Today they are gone. OMG so delish-the smell that lingered throughout the house, totally intoxicating…I had to refrain from making another batch today, my family LOVED them.

  64. These cookies were terrible! I followed the recipe and they came out crumbly and overcooked. I was a novice at making biscotti, but should have known better when the recipe called for butter. The butter ruined them! From now on, I will stick to Lidia Bastianich for biscotti recipe – try her almond biscotti recipe, it blows this crap recipe out of the water. Sorry Smitten Kitchen, stick to hipster cookies and leave the real deal Italian cookies to real cooks.

  65. deb

    Marie — I’m sorry they didn’t work out for you. These are indeed from an Italian pastry chef, a well-regarded one. As for the butter, I discuss at length above using fat vs. not using fat in traditional biscotti. If you could tell me more about what happened, I might be able to help you troubleshoot for next time.

  66. Deb — Thanks for responding. I didn’t see the discussion about the fat vs. no fat. I am definitely in the no fat camp. The mixture of the cookie was ok. The problem was with the second baking. When I went to turn the cookies over on the tray, they were so brittle (almost crumbly), they literally broke in half. They were completely cooled before I baked them the second time. I left them in the oven for closer to 25-30 minutes because they wouldn’t crisp up. When I took them out, they tasted overcooked and were crumbly in texture. They tasted bad and were the texture of sandpaper. I made Lidia’s recipe the same night and they were delicious, crisp and not overcooked. I’m not an expert at cookie baking, but this recipe is not for me. I did try your gingerbread cookie recipe and that worked beautifully, in a hipster kind of way. Thanks – and I will continue to follow your blog.

    1. pamela!

      Marie, you must have done something wrong..I have made these biscotti many many times, and they are sooo close to perfect! In fact, mine are slightly chewy mostly likely due to the figs-not the crispy tooth-breakers that one expects with a traditional biscotti…For the love of all things delicious, TRY AGAIN!

  67. Toni Shade

    These are reminiscent of a traditional Sicilian cookie called “cucidati.” Figs, walnuts, spices and citrus, a marvelous combination!

  68. Sooz

    Sounds wonderful! …and it’s a beautiful way to remember Gina di Palma who we lost just about a year ago. I truly believe that when you make someone’s recipe, in some way, you keep their memory warm real and alive! Thanks, Deb!

  69. Karyn

    Have the dough in the fridge now… I substituted some fresh cranberries for the fig. (This, simply bc your recipe was begging me to make it, but cranberries is what I had on hand.) SO…… we’ll see…. verdict is still out, but the dough was tasty!

  70. Wendy

    I made baked this biscotti recipe today after mixing up the dough yesterday and refrigerating the dough overnight. The dough was very easy to handle this morning but it did take much longer to bake than the suggested time. I think having had the dough chilling overnight may have had some influence on the baking time. The dough was easy to slice for the second bake and the baking time for the second bake seemed to be more accurate. The house smells wonderful and the finished product is very good. Nice crunch and a unique flavor – definitely not your average store bought biscotti.

  71. Kathe

    Glad to report that this worked with lemon rind instead of orange, pecans instead of walnuts, vanilla omitted and egg white glaze omitted, black Mission figs, and the full 2 cups of all purpose flour.

  72. Bonnie

    The taste is divine. I cut them too thick. Probably didn’t let them cool long enough but I was racing against the clock. Next time I think I’ll make 2 logs as the pieces are quite wide. I come from mandelbrot stock. Bringing a few to fig-lover tomorrow.

  73. Sarah

    Another great recipe Deb! I wasn’t able to find dried figs at my local grocery store, so I gave this recipe a shot using dates and it worked beautifully. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  74. Cindy

    I just made these – and on a Sunday night – because I simply had to experience the scent of figs and walnuts and spices on this chilly night. They are exquisite. Thank you! ❤

  75. Kristen Kemp

    Made these for the first time yesterday. I did two smaller logs and they turned out beautifully! My house still smells amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  76. Sara

    This recipe is my favorite to make (besides the traditional almond biscotti which is always a win for me and recipients alike). The prep is easy and the results are divine. I love the added moisture and sweetness from the figs.

  77. Lori G

    Love this recipe! They do soften up pretty quickly in a sealed container, so I recrisp them in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes. As they cool they crisp right back up. They do get more caramelized (deeper brown) but don’t at all taste burnt. I made two logs and loved the size.

  78. Kathleen

    I’ve got my Christmas breakfast biscotti in the oven right now—this recipe has become a family tradition.

    I was having the same problem with the first bake taking a lot longer than suggested, and the biscotti was baking up flat or even sunken. I’ve had a lot more luck boosting the temp to 350. It rises beautifully and starts to crack around 18 minutes for me.

  79. Janice Vonada

    Texas Greetings, Deb – My neighbor will be over shortly with 2 pounds of fresh figs. Can I use fresh figs for this recipe (Fig and Walnut Biscotti) OR do you think it would be too wet?

    1. deb

      Not ideally; the moisture would mess up the crisp of the biscotti. (I suppose you could slow-roast or dehydrate them a bit first, but that’s a lot of work…)

  80. Melanie K

    This biscotti recipe is perfection! I’ve baked it many times now, with so many little variations – I don’t think anyone could convince me to try another biscotti recipe. This is it! I’ve now done the recipe just as is, but I’ve also done the same base dough but swapped out the figs and walnuts for cranberries, golden raisins, and pecans. I’ve also done a variation with dried cherries and chocolate chunks (leaving out the warming spices except the cinnamon). And sometimes I like to sub 1/2 cup of the AP flour with whole wheat. It’s too perfect, and the options are limitless! I think next I will try it with apricots and pistachios. :-)

  81. Allie

    I made these and they are magnificent. I followed suggestions in the comments to split it into two smaller logs and bake longer on both bakes. I did not use parchment paper on my baking sheets because I think things get crispier with out it. I also flipped my biscotti halfway through the second bake.

  82. Leslie E.

    I have baked a lot of biscotti and have tried many recipes. This recipe makes a very tasty biscotti with a nice, light and crispy texture. Recipe is good as is, but I needed to bake about twice as long as recommended. When drying on the second bake, I flip them half way through. A keeper.

  83. denise

    mine look just like yours, but they are dry by themselves. Should they be more moist? I used fresh figs and dried them myself.

  84. Den M.

    Any comment from someone who has made these please. Before baking how wide should the log be? Some biscotti spread a lot others stay put more. Should the log be flattened or maintain a more log shape before baking? maybe 12″ long by 2 inch wide 1 inch thick or are you bakers doing much wider thicker more like the finished product? Thank you.

    1. Leslie E.

      The biscotti can be as big or small as you like. I usually make two long rolls per half-sheet pan. Each roll is probably about 2-3” wide(?). Divide the dough into quarters (or halves) and go from there. If you are using a smaller cookie sheet, maybe try just one roll per sheet. No, they don’t have to be flattened.

  85. Cecilia

    Do you think this recipe would work with pistachios and dried cherries instead of walnuts and figs? I tried the original recipe and loved the texture, but now I am craving pistachio. Just curious your thoughts!

  86. Julie

    How do you measure flour? Do dip and level or spoon in the flour? If you could scale your flour, that would be so appreciated.

  87. Dianne Pusch

    I’d love to make this with frozen figs I have in my freezer. Would you pls give me an idea how to convert this? They will bring more moisture to the loaf.

  88. Niki

    “He also said that Italian cooking is full of people who like to tell you that the other half of people are doing it wrong…” It is so true! Especially expats living in a country famous for food,! They are the sternest defenders of -not their – traditional recipes… :-) I however will defend to the last breath correct spelling of my language, especially when used by writers who have means and intelligence to look it up!

  89. Julie

    I made these with mission figs (from Trader Joe’s) and I didn’t bother quartering them first. Also I used 1 c of AP flour and the rest was whole wheat flour. Turned out great! (They took at least 1/2 hour in the oven for the first round.)

  90. Dianne m Pusch

    I made this yesterday and am delighted with the results. Because I have a freezer full of frozen, whole figs I used them (6 oz, frozen solid). I cut them into 8ths, and added them at the very end with the walnuts. They didn’t have time to release much water into the dough as they went right into the refrigerator. The loaf took closer to 30 min to brown in my oven. These have a delightful taste and even with the fresh/frozen figs became delightfully crisp on the 2nd bake. With so many figs in my life, I’m always looking for new ways to use them and this is a keeper!

  91. Nadine

    These are fabulous! I just made and my husband and I are loving them. I have a brown turkey fig tree and it’s producing like crazy right now. I dehydrated the figs, but they weren’t super dry. For the recipe, even though I let the dough chill in the fridge for more than 45 minutes, it was a little sticky and I was concerned. (I was afraid the fig hadn’t been dehydrated enough. I let it cook a little longer than 20 minutes–until browned and firm to the touch. They are now done and absolutely perfect. I want to make another batch since I have so many figs. Do you know if they will freeze well?