Lemon-scented Italian biscotti with pine nuts — perfect for snacks and gifting!
The cookies we call Italian biscotti — crunchy, nutty and twice-baked — are also known as cantuccini. My Italian grandmother didn’t bake much biscotti, but if she did I imagine that they would taste a lot like these — lightly sweet, crumbly and scented with lemon.
They’re perfect for snacking any time of day — with coffee, tea or as they do in Italy, after dinner alongside little glasses of vin santo.
Biscotti are my favorite cookies to make (especially double-chocolate flavored), because they don’t require much fussing: no rolling, resting, cutting or decorating.
And here’s another bonus — biscotti are perfect for holiday gift giving because they keep so well. Bake a batch and stash them away for a week or two.
When you need something for that last minute cookie tray or hostess gift you can take a deep, cleansing breath…one less thing on your holiday to-do list!
Lemon Pine Nut Biscotti
Yield 3 dozen
- 3 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup pine nuts
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk the egg whites in mixing bowl of an electric mixer with 3/4 cup sugar to form soft peaks. Set aside (or transfer to another bowl if you only have one mixing bowl).
- Using the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks with remaining 3/4 cup of the sugar until pale and thickened, about 3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the melted butter, lemon extract and lemon zest.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Add half the flour mixture to mixing bowl and stir; add the beaten egg whites, followed by the remaining flour and pine nuts. Stir on low speed until the dough is firm and slightly sticky.
- Divide the dough in half and form each half into a log approximately 2 inches in diameter 12 inches long. Arrange the logs side by side on the baking sheet and bake 25 minutes, or until the logs are firm and form cracks on top.
- Remove from the oven and cool the logs for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board with a wide spatula and cut into 1/2-inch wide diagonal slices with a sharp knife.
- Arrange the slices cut-side up on the baking sheet and bake 6 minutes on each side or until light golden and crisp.