Hazelnut Orange Biscotti

The basic Italian biscotti calls for just 6 ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, anise seeds and lemon zest. This basic recipe is perfectly yummy as is and lends itself to so many adaptations and creative combinations. In this post, you will find the basic recipe as well as some yummy combinations such as Hazelnut Orange Biscotti.

Biscotti are simple to bake and make great gifts. They are such an interesting cookie because of their unique shape and the fact that they are baked twice, which makes them crispy and perfect for dunking. As a matter of fact, in Italian, the word bis- means twice. Literally, twice baked cookies.

Find a quiet porch swing, a comfy kitchen table, or a serene spot of your choosing. Pour a glass of sweet wine or a cup of hot coffee and grab a plate of biscotti. You are now ready to enjoy the perfect Italian treat.

Famous Words about Biscotti:

In his classic Italian cookbook, Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well”>, first published in 1891, Pellegrino Artusi describes biscotti with tongue in cheek, “Cheer up,” he says, “for if you eat these cookies you will never die, or you will live as long as Methuselah.” So if you feel guilty about eating cookies, remember Artusi’s words and enjoy.
Notes to the cook:

The benefits if toasting nuts before using:

I always like to toast the hazelnuts before using. A light toasting really brings out the flavor of the nuts. Heat a dry pan to medium and toast the hazelnuts for a minute or two while shaking the pan to keep the nuts moving. It will happen quickly, so remove the nuts as soon as you begin to smell their aroma. Be careful not to burn them.

Tasty biscotti alternatives:
Baking is science in action. In this recipe, I have experimented with substituting honey for the sugar, but was disappointed with the results. Whatever the chemical reaction, regular granulated sugar reacts with the other ingredients to create the classic biscotti taste and shape. However, if you love to experiment, try keeping the basic recipe the same and try different combinations of dried fruits, nuts and citrus.
Here is my Hazelnut Orange Biscotti making video!

How to Make Easy Biscotti:

Hazelnut Orange Biscotti

  • Servings: 24 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 250 grams all-purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 250 grams granulated sugar (1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 7 ounces / 200 grams hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (1 – 1/2 cups)
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • optional- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Makes about 24 cookies

Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  1. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, and baking powder.
  2. In a separate bowl, crack and beat eggs with a fork until just mixed.
  3. Add eggs to flour mixture and stir until well blended. The dough should be sticky and very moist.
  4. Either chop the toasted hazelnuts in a Cuisinart or by hand on a cutting board. Fold in hazelnuts and orange zest. Mix well until a smooth dough is formed. Feel free to use your hands to help blend the dough.
  5. Spoon dough onto a well floured board. Sprinkle some flour on top of dough.
  6. Press dough lightly to flatten and then fold dough over on itself and flatten again. Roll dough into a log shape. Do not knead the dough or handle too much. Dough should be soft and maleable. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut dough in half right down the middle.
  7. First Bake:
  8. Roll each half into a log shape and place onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Each log should be about 7 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide. Leave at least one inch between logs to allow for spreading. This is what gives biscotti its unique shape. Because it is a soft dough, it will spread out and flatten a bit during the first bake.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes until cookies have a hint of color. The logs should be just cooked through, not hard but no longer doughy.
  10. Remove from oven, slide each log onto a cooking rack and cool for 15 minutes.
  11. Using a sharp serrated knife, slice logs into 3/4 inch slices.
  12. Second Bake:
  13. Place the slices cut side down on baking sheet. Leave a small space between each cookie. Now bake for the second time, same temperature, for 12 minutes. Turn cookies over halfway through. The purpose of the second bake is to give the cookies a nice crunch and to further caramelize the sugars. Lastly, be careful not to overcook because the cookies can get too hard or taste burnt.
  14. Optional:  Wait for the cookies to cook completely for this step. Melt the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler. When the chips are melted, use a spatula to spread chocolate on one end of the biscotti. Let harden on a piece of wax paper.
  15. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Serve with coffee, gelato, fruit preserves or sweet Italian wine. Buon appetito!
  16. Serve right away, or cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to one week. Bring a plate of biscotti to your neighbor’s house and be loved forever.


Classic Biscotti
Classic anise biscotti

Classic Biscotti

  • Servings: 24 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Classic anise-flavored, twice baked Italian cookies.

Ingredients

  • 250 grams all-purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 250 grams granulated sugar (1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons anise extract
  • zest of 1 lemon

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, and baking powder.
  2. In a separate bowl, crack and beat eggs with a fork until just mixed.
  3. Add eggs to flour mixture and stir until well blended. The dough should be sticky and very moist.
  4. Stir in anise extract and lemon zest and mix well.
  5. Spoon dough onto a well floured board. Sprinkle a small amount of flour on top of dough as it might be a bit sticky.
  6. From here, the steps are the same as 6 – 12 above.

Other treats to enjoy with coffee:
Carrot Ring Cake
Chocolate Beet Cake
Cherry Delight

Your comments are always welcome!