Biscotti on a baking rack after the second baking.

This Biscotti Recipe Took 2nd Place at the Oregon State Fair

My biscotti won a 2nd place ribbon at the Oregon State Fair. The reason it did not win first place? They said with a totally straight face: “Your nuts are uneven.”

As for recipes, I have switched back and forth since then, and currently am going with the recipe I have listed below.

I was originally using the biscotti recipe from the excellent Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book, because they have done research on what makes a fine biscotti. But then I stumbled across a recipe from that varied so greatly from the Cook’s Illustrated recipe I couldn’t resist giving it a try. That’s the recipe that got me a 2nd place at the State Fair. Both recipes are excellent, but the people who have tried my latest version, which is mostly Cook’s with way more almonds and a few tweaks, say it totally works and to stay with it.

I highly recommend reading the Cook’s Illustrated or America’s Test Kitchen recipe first, and I definitely recommend using a food processor like they suggest.)


• 2 cups whole raw almonds. Please read my precautions about almonds below.
• ¼ cup almond flour
• 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 4 tablespoons of melted butter (if you use unsalted butter, add ¼ teaspoon salt to the dry ingredients)
• 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of pure almond extract
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 egg for the egg wash that you brush on top of the loaves before the first bake


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spread almonds on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven for about 5 minutes. Do not walk away, or you are liable to burn the darned almonds.
  3. When the almonds are done, chop half of them up coarsely with a knife or put them in a food processor and pulse it a few of times until they are coarsely chopped. Leave the other half whole.
  4. If you don’t have almond flour (which I get at Costco), pulse the crap out of ¼ cup of almonds in a food processor.
  5. In a bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, ¼ cup almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix them together.
  6. Use a food processor or a blow with a hand mixer, and beat the eggs for about three minutes. Seriously, three minutes.
  7. While still running the food processor or hand mixer, slowly add the sugar (Cooks says to take 15 seconds adding it), and then add the melted butter, almond extract, and vanilla with the food processor or hand mixer still running.
  8. Transfer the wet stuff into a large bowl, and add half the flour mixture, folding in the flour mixture slowly with a spatula. Then add the other half of the flour. At this point, you might be thinking “There’s way too much flour mixture, and it will never fully mix.” Do not despair, it will incorporate and within a week or so, your arm will recover as well.
  9. Fold in the toasted chopped and whole almonds after they have cooled down to room temperature.
  10. Use a pencil to mark two 3 x 8 inch rectangles on the back of a sheet of parchment paper. This will give you a target area. Turn the parchment paper over and put it on a baking sheet.
  11. Scoop the dough out and put it in the two rectangles on the parchment paper that you put on your cookie sheet.
  12. Cook’s Illustrated suggests using a spatula coated with vegetable oil to shape the loaves, but I end up coating my fingers with vegetable oil and shaping the loaves by hand. Either way, you’ll save yourself serious grief if you use vegetable or olive oil to coat whatever you shape the loaves with. No matter how patient you are, the best you can hope for is two shapes that mostly look like flat rectangular logs.
  13. Whisk a whole egg in a bowl and add a splash of milk or water. Use this to brush on top of the raw loaves.
  14. Bake the loaves for 25 to 30 minutes in a 325 degrees Fahrenheit oven, or until they are golden brown and starting to crack on the top. Rotate the pan half way through.
  15. Cool the logs for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then transfer them to a cutting board. 
  16. Use a serrated knife if you have one, and slice the loaves into individual biscottis that are about a ½ inch thick.
  17. Lay the biscotti slices on a wire rack that you put on top of a baking tray or on the parchment covered baking tray, and put them back in the oven for about 30 to 35 minutes. You need to turn them over half way, so be sure to set a reminder alarm to go off about 10 minutes after you put them in the oven. (The SheLovesBiscotti says 15 to 20 minutes and Cooks Illustrated says 25 to 35 minutes. I go closer to 30 minutes.) 
  18. When they are done, put them on a wire rack to cool. They should last for about a month, although around here, they are lucky if they survive for a few days.
Uncooked loaves of biscotti batter.
The two loaves before the first baking. This is what the raw batter looks like.
Two cooked and unsliced loaves of biscotti.
Here are the loaves after the first baking. You then cool them for 10 to 20 minutes, slice them in ½ inch biscottis, and bake them again.

Extra Almond Extract

I added more almond extract than either recipe called for, for a total of 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon. I did use natural almond extract; you might not want to add the extra teaspoon if you are using artificial almond extract.

Amaretto? Not So Good

I have tried adding Amaretto to this recipe. It was not a good idea. It did not improve the flavor. If anything, it took away from it.