Biscottini di Prato

This recipe is adapted from one published in the left-leaning newspaper in Florence during our 1992-1993 stay there.  The original almond version is absolutely like what we saw and bought in every Florentine bakery.  You could also buy them with chocolate chips, but those I saw only in the supermarket, never in the local bakeries.  They are easier to make if you have a stand mixer, just putting the eggs to beat in the small bowl while you measure and sift the dry ingredients.  If not, have all the ingredients ready and waiting, then beat the eggs.

Flour, all purpose:  400 grams,  about 3 ¼ cups, unsifted.
Baking powder:  4 ½ teaspoons.  If you use self-rising flour, omit the baking powder.
Sugar:  250 grams, about 1 ¼ cup
Eggs:  2 whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks.  Use large eggs, medium ones are too small.
Almonds: 150 grams, or 1 cup, unblanched
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon orange extract

Preheat the oven to 350.  Toast the almonds while preheating.  Check them often, they burn easily.  When toasted, remove to cool.  You may leave them whole or chop them, as you prefer.  Chopping makes it easier to slice the biscotti later, but whole is more authentic.

Grease a cookie sheet – 15 by 18 inches is about right.

Beat eggs, yolks, sugar, salt and extract in a small deep bowl until very thick and lemon colored.  Sift flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the beaten eggs and the almonds until the whole is well mixed.  You should have a dough you can pat into an oblong log, working with floured hands on a floured surface..  Depending on the size of biscotti you desire, divide this log into 2 or 4 equal logs, about 1 inch high and 2 broad. Space evenly on the greased sheet. They will spread somewhat as they cook.

Brush the logs with either a beaten egg yolk or a little milk with sugar, to help them brown.  Bake at 350 degrees until golden – about 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool slightly (when they first come out, they are a little too soft to slice easily).  While still warm, slice crosswise into biscottini of about ½ inch in thickness.  Don’t wait for them to cool entirely, because then they will be too hard and brittle to slice! (Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward!) Return the biscottini to the same cookie sheet – they will fill it almost entirely, but since they will no longer spread or stick to each other, you can crowd them as much as is necessary.  Return to 350 oven and toast until golden and dry, about 10 minutes.  Cool on racks – they keep forever.


Use 1 cup mini chocolate chips instead of almonds

Use a combination of candied orange rind and dried cranberries instead of almonds

Use anise extract instead of orange and add ½ cup slivered blanched almonds and 2 Tablespoons crushed anise-seed to the dough.  

If you are using a stand mixer and have several cookie sheets, it is fairly easy to make two or three batches quite quickly.  Freeze the extra egg whites and use them for cakes later.

This information was placed on the web by Thomas J. Sienkewicz. If you have any questions about this document, you may contact him at