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Cookies with Nuts
Almond Biscotti Molisani
Almond Biscotti Molisana (using sugar, eggs, flour, vegetable oil, roasted almonds and vanilla extract)
Originated from: Molise, Italy
Occasion: Any time & special times
Contributed by: Toni Ferrara

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2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/8 cups roasted almonds with skin, halved
Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon, OR finely grated zest of 1 small orange (Optional)

For topping
1 egg white, beaten
2 teaspoons sugar

Equipment needed
Electric beater
1 cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

YIELD: about 18 biscotti (about 6 inches long X 1 inch high X 1/2 wide)


Mix flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together.

Mix in the finely grated lemon OR orange zest to the flour and sugar mixture (Optional).

In a separate bowl, using an electric blender, mix eggs, vanilla extract and vegetable oil together.

Add flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat till a smooth soft dough is formed (about 2 minutes).

Using a wooden spatula fold in the halved almonds.

Divide the dough into two parts.

Place the first part of the dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and shape it into a biscotti-style log about 4 1/2 inches wide and 3/4 inch high, the length does not matter; if the dough is too sticky one can either flour one's hands or wet them with a touch of water as this will make it easier to shape the dough.

Do the same with the second portion of dough, placing it as far apart from the first log as possible (The biscotti logs will increase in volume while baking).

Using a pastry brush the top and sides of the logs lightly with the beaten egg white. Sprinkle a touch of sugar on the top of the logs.

Bake on the top half of the oven at 375 F. degrees for about 12 minutes then reduce heat to 350 F. degrees and bake until dry inside, and golden outside -- another 14 to 18 minutes.

Cool for a few minutes.

Cut into 1/2-inch slices.

Place the biscotti slices flat side down on the cookie sheet lined with fresh parchment paper.

Bake at 350 F. degrees until golden on both sides -- about 8 to 12 minutes.


Store in a tin container lined with parchment paper and keep in the fridge until needed.

Serve at room temperature.


P.S. Even though this is the recipe Toni Ferrara's mother (who was born in Molise) uses, the contributor admits that because the biscotti are neither hard (like the Tuscan variety) nor soft (like the Molisani variety) they might actually be a fusion of the two styles of biscotti. Photo: Mary Melfi.

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