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How to Make Crispy Biscotti (No Mixer Needed)

Sink your teeth into this unique twist on traditional biscotti, featuring a crispy and airy texture that sets it apart from the dense, dry classic version. Still perfect for dunking though!

What’s the secret ingredient that makes this homemade treat unique? Rice krispies! That’s right – the cereal. It sounds a little weird, but I promise it works perfectly. We also add chocolate, nuts and your choice of flavors to round out the deliciousness.

one biscotti held up in two fingers.

Biscotti, an Italian cookie, means ‘twice baked’. The two-step bake dries them out, makes them perfect for dunking (without falling apart), and extends their shelf life. They last for weeks.

This great recipe comes from a pickleball friend, Izzy, who shared it at a recent get-together. I hesitated at first as I am not a fan of biscotti. I find them too dense and dry. Izzy’s biscotti looked a bit different so I gave one a try. Much to my surprise, the biscotti was exceptionally crispy, light, and full of great flavor from the nuts, chocolate, and cinnamon. Definitely blog-worthy I thought πŸ™‚

I did several tests (my husband was happy) – one with a mixer, and one without. And I tried two different toppings – cinnamon sugar and orange zest.

I shared the biscotti with family and friends (two of whom were Italian and knew their way around biscotti) – everyone gave this rendition a thumbs up. So you have to try them.

What to expect

Taste: These Italian biscotti cookies are not overly sweet, although that’s a matter of personal taste of course. You will have to experiment. The chocolate chips and nuts add flavor, texture and a touch of extra sweetness. Check out the flavor variations you can try below.

Texture: Like traditional biscotti, this version is firm enough for dunking without being overly hard or dry. The texture is crispy and crunchy.

Topping: I tried two. The cinnamon sugar topping was more pronounced than the orange zest topping. Very good if you like cinnamon and easier than the orange zest. If you love the orange-chocolate combination (like me), I found you need to incorporate the orange zest into the dough to increase the intensity. I tried a sugar-zest topping (seen in several pictures below) and it simply was not flavorful enough.

Method: I found no need for an electric or stand mixer. Stirring by hand was simple. You might need a bit more elbow grease if you double the batch, but not a big deal. The whole recipe for this twice-baked cookie takes about an hour to make.

Size of the batch: The recipe makes 20-22 biscotti. You can easily double the recipe using two baking sheets.

Staying power: Biscotti last for weeks in a cookie jar or airtight container because they are baked twice. This makes them great for gifting.

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

flour, egg, rice krispies, baking powder, sugar, oil, chocolate chips, pecans, salt, vanilla, orange zest.

Basic cookie dough ingredients: Sugar, oil, flour, egg, baking powder, vanilla.

Special ingredient: Rice krispies cereal which makes the biscotti lighter and crispier.

Add-ins: We add chocolate chips and nuts to the basic recipe. I tried pecans and walnuts (separately). Many other nuts will work too.

Flavor addition: You will find two options in the recipe card – cinnamon sugar and orange zest. Both add great flavor to the biscotti, but there are many other options you can choose to suit your tastes. Check out the variations.

The optional features in biscotti are the add-ins and flavorings. The most classic and popular biscotti is almond biscotti.

You can skip the nuts and/or chocolate, but I strongly suggest adding some kind of flavor or the biscotti will be too bland.

  • Liquid extracts come in many flavors. If you plan to use one, start with 1/2 teaspoon and taste the dough before adding more as the flavors are intense. A few good choices are almond extract (traditional), anise (a licorice-like flavor common in Italian baking), orange, lemon and hazelnut.
  • Nuts: Choose what you like or have around. Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts are all good options.
  • Other add-ins: dried cranberries, lemon zest, orange zest, dried cherries, candied ginger, shredded coconut, spices (cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg)
  • Drizzle: Jazz up the biscotti with a drizzle of melted chocolate.

Step-by-step instructions

eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil mixed in bowl with spatula.
Mix sugar, egg, oil and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
chocolate chips, rice crispies and pecans mixed in wet ingredients in bowl.
Mix in flour and baking powder, then the rice crispies, chocolate chips and nuts.
dough on parchment paper sprinkled with flour.
Place dough onto a floured surface. Cut in two.
two logs of dough on parchment lined pan with egg wash beside.
Shape into two logs. Brush with egg wash (optional)
baked logs on parchment lined pan.
Bake for 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes,
biscotti sliced into thin rectangle cookies after first bake.
Slice with a serrated knife.
baked biscotti cut into cookie sticks on pan.
Put back on cookie sheet, cut side up.
second time baked biscotti with sugar-orange sprinkle.
Sprinke with sugar topping if desired and bake another 15 minutes. Cool.
4 biscotti on plate with one dunked into coffee cup.
The traditional way to eat biscotti is by dunking them in a hot beverage.
one biscotti held up in two fingers.

Tip

The biscotti dough is very sticky. Either wet your hands when shaping the dough or sprinkle a little flour on your cutting board surface and the top of the dough.

Make Ahead

Biscotti are the perfect make-ahead cookie. They last for 2-3 weeks in an airtight container once cooled completely. And they can be frozen for 3 months.

What to serve with biscotti

If you’re a cookie-dunker like me, you will enjoy dunking your biscotti in a cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate or milk. The cookie softens as it absorbs the liquid. Don’t let it sit there too long. Pop the dunked end in your mouth for a lovely melt-in-your-mouth experience. Then go back for more πŸ™‚

Here are a few more ways to serve your homemade biscotti:

  • paired with dessert wine
  • crumbled over ice cream, berries, oatmeal or yogurt (delish!)
  • with a cheese board of cheese, fruit, nuts, and other sweets.
  • as a great gift in little cellophane bags

Recipe FAQ

Is biscotti the same thing as mandelbrot?

Biscotti has Italian roots while mandelbrot has Jewish Eastern European roots. The two cookies are very similar – both are shaped into logs, baked, sliced, and then baked again into crunchy cookies. Almond is the most common and traditional flavor for biscotti. Cinnamon is the most common flavor for mandelbrot. Both can be made with lots of variations.

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one biscotti held up in two fingers.
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How To Make Crispy Biscotti (No Mixer Needed)

Sink your teeth into this unique twist on traditional biscotti, featuring a crispy and airy texture that sets it apart from the dense, dry classic version. Still perfect for dunking though!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Cool time10 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 20 biscotti

Ingredients

If doubling the recipe, use two large baking sheets.

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup rice krispies cereal
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup unsalted nuts, roughly chopped, Note 1
  • optional: egg wash 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water.

Flavor options (choose one)

  • cinnamon topping: 1 teaspoon sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
  • orange: 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest from one medium orange (to be added into dough)

Instructions

  • HEAT OVEN to 325F (163C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • MIX WET INGREDIENTS: In a large bowl, mix egg and sugar with a fork until well combined. Add vanilla and oil. Mix until smooth.
    1 large egg, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • STIR IN DRY INGREDIENTS: First stir in baking powder and salt into sugar egg mixture to combine evenly. If choosing an orange flavor, stir in 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest. Then add flour and mix with spatula until well combined. Then stir in rice krispies, chocolate chips and nuts.
    1 cup all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 cup rice krispies cereal, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup unsalted nuts, roughly chopped, Note 1
  • SHAPE DOUGH: Scoop out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 2 pieces. Dough will be sticky. Wet your hands and shape each piece of dough into a 9 inches (23 cm) long log. Pat to flatten top of logs a little. Place logs on parchment lined baking sheet, leaving enough room between logs as biscotti will spread. Brush on egg wash for a golden finish – this is optional.
  • FIRST BAKE: Bake biscotti logs in center of oven for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool 10 minutes. Transfer to cutting board. Slice logs horizontally into 3/4 inch (2 cm) pieces using a serrated knife (bread knife). You will have a total of 20-22 pieces. Lay pieces back on baking sheet, cut side up Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar if using.
  • SECOND BAKING: Bake again in preheated oven for 15 minutes until golden brown and dry. Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

Recipe Notes

  1. Unsalted nut options: Choose what you like or have around. Pecans, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts are all good options. I like to chop them up a bit, but it’s not necessary. If you are using hazelnuts, make sure to remove the skins as they can be bitter. If you only have salted nuts, leave out the salt.Β 
  2. Variations: Biscotti needs added flavor which can be added directly into the dough or as a topping. Instead of the two options in the recipe (cinnamon and orange, here are a few other options:Β 
    • Liquid extracts come in many flavors. If you plan to use one, start with 1/2 teaspoon and taste the dough before adding more. A few good choices are almond extract (traditional), anise extract (a licorice-like flavor common in Italian baking), orange, lemon and hazelnut.
    • Other optional add-ins:
      • 1/2 cup (65 grams) dried cranberries or dried cherries,
      • 2 tsps. lemon zest,
      • 1/4 cup (40 grams) chopped candied ginger,
      • 1/4 cup (20 grams) shredded coconut,
      • 1/2 teaspoon spice (cardamom, ginger, or nutmeg).Β 
    • Drizzle: Jazz up the biscotti with a drizzle of melted milk or dark chocolate.
  3. Make ahead: Biscotti will keep in an airtight container or ziploc bag for several weeks at room temperature. Or well wrapped in plastic wrap or foil, then placed in a ziploc for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw before serving.Β 
Β 
Nutrition information is estimated using pecans, chocolate chips and one of the toppings in the recipe.Β 

Nutrition

Calories: 93kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 64mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 117IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
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