Whisk yourself away to Italy with these delicious and Authentic homemade Italian cookies. Our twice-baked Apricot Almond Biscotti recipe is packed with sweet apricots and crunchy almonds and with the right techniques they are surprisingly easy to make with bakery-grade results!
When hearing the word biscotti, we tend to associate it with a type of golden brown, double-baked Italian cookie. Biscotti are a type of hard, dry, crunchy biscuit that pair particularly well with a coffee at breakfast or a glass of Vin Santo wine after dinner, where you will find the locals in Tuscany, dipping them into the wine to savour the tastes.
In Italy. Biscotti simply means “Twice Baked” and a singular twice-baked biscuit would be called a “Biscotto”. The name can refer to any twice-baked biscuit and, with all the culinary expertise you will find in Italian Bakeries and at home, their biscotti recipes come in infinite varieties and flavours and are not narrowed down to the particular type we have made in this recipe.
Depending on the region in Italy and the ingredients used, these biscuits can be called many different names. One of those types is “Cantucci di Prato” which is a variety that contains predominantly almonds and without any added fruit. In the Lazio regions, you will find other biscotti known as “Tozzetti” which often use other ingredients instead of almonds and may contain some type of dried fruit or chocolate.
Our recipe here for Apricot Almond Biscotti is more similar to a Tozzetti biscuit recipe.
Owing to their long shelf life, these delicious crunchy biscuits, make for great gifts at Christmas and special occasions and are also a good choice for bake sales. You can make a batch ahead of time instead of rushing at the last minute.
Why You’ll Love This Apricot Almond Biscotti Recipe
- Homemade Delight: Making your Apricot Almond Biscotti from scratch brings you Italian Bakery grade biscuits that are better than anything you will find at the supermarket.
- Perfect for Sharing: These authentic Italian biscuits are perfect for sharing with loved ones or gifting. Spread joy during special occasions, bake sales, or simply over a warm cup of coffee.
- Versatile Treat: Enjoy them as a delightful snack or pair them with your favourite coffee, tea, or dessert wine. The sweet apricot and nutty almond flavours make these biscotti a versatile treat for various occasions.
- Digital Kitchen Scale: A kitchen scale is essential for the precise measurement of ingredients.
- Large Mixing Bowl: You’ll need a large bowl for combining the dry and wet ingredients to form the biscotti dough.
- Wooden Spoon: You can use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix the ingredients together.
- Baking Tray: Choose a sturdy baking tray with a non-stick surface or lined with parchment paper to bake your biscotti. A large cookie sheet is a good choice.
- Serrated Knife: A serrated sharp knife makes it easier to slice the biscotti logs without crumbling.
- Chopping Board: To safely cut your biscotti into individual pieces, a cutting board is essential.
- Wire Rack: You’ll use this to cool the freshly baked biscotti to achieve that perfect, crunchy texture.
- Scissors: For snipping dried apricots into small pieces, a pair of scissors works well.
- Oven: Preheat your oven to the specified temperature for baking your biscotti to a golden brown perfection.
- Flour Sifter: A flour sifter comes in handy for combining the dry ingredients evenly and removing any lumps from the flour.
- Ready to Eat Dried Apricots: These dried apricots will provide a natural sweetness and chewy texture to the almond apricot biscotti.
- Whole Almonds, Toasted: Toasted whole almonds add a delightful crunch and nutty flavour to your biscotti.
- Plain Flour: The main dry ingredient that, when combined with other dry ingredients, forms the biscotti dough.
- Baking Powder: Baking powder helps the biscotti dough rise slightly and provides a lighter texture.
- Ground Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon brings a warm and aromatic flavour to the biscotti, enhancing the overall taste.
- Caster Sugar: Caster sugar, or fine sugar, sweetens the dough and provides a pleasant sweetness.
- Eggs: Eggs are a binding agent, helping to hold the dough together. Use Large Eggs in this recipe.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract contributes a subtle but delightful vanilla flavour to the biscotti, enhancing its overall taste.
Additions and Substitutions
- Orange Zest: You can substitute the ground cinnamon with orange zest for a zesty and citrusy twist on the classic biscotti. Use the zest of one orange or adjust to your taste.
- White Chocolate Chips: Add a touch of sweetness and creaminess by incorporating white chocolate chips into the biscotti dough. Around 1/2 cup should suffice, or adjust to your preference.
- Anise Seeds: Incorporate a teaspoon of anise seeds to impart a subtle liquorice-like flavour. This is a traditional addition in many biscotti recipes and can be quite delightful.
- Dark Chocolate Drizzle: After the biscotti have cooled, drizzle some melted dark chocolate over the top for a beautiful and tasty addition.
- Other Dried Fruit: You can experiment with other dried fruits like cranberries, raisins, or figs for added sweetness and variety. Make sure to chop them into small pieces similar to the apricots.
- Nuts Variety: You can substitute or mix different types of nuts like pistachios, walnuts, or pecans for the almonds. This alteration will bring various flavours and textures to your biscotti.
- Nut-Free Version: If allergies are a concern, omit the almonds for a nut-free biscotti.
Step-By-Step How To Make Apricot Almond Biscotti
Step 1: Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Ingredients
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F).
- Measure out the apricots and cut them into small pieces.
- If the Almonds aren’t already toasted, be sure to do this first by placing them on a baking tray and putting them into the oven for a few minutes and then coarsely chop the whole almonds.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon into a bowl.
Step 2: Mix the Dry Ingredients
- Add the apricots, almonds, and sugar to the flour mixture.
- Mix everything together to ensure the pieces of almonds and apricots are spread evenly throughout the mixture.
Step 3: Create the Dough
- Add the vanilla to the eggs and beat together. Then, add to the mixture.
- Mix thoroughly until a dough forms. Avoid overmixing.
Step 4: Shape the Biscotti Logs
- Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
- Divide dough into two portions and roll and shape dough into two cylinder-shaped long logs, about 4cm in diameter.
Step 5: First Bake
- Place the logs on a lined baking tray.
- Bake at 170°C (340°F) for 20-25 minutes until they’re lightly browned.
Step 6: Cool and Slice
- Remove the logs from the oven and let them cool on the tray for 15 minutes.
- Cut the logs into 1cm wide slices using a serrated knife.
Step 7: Second Bake
- Lay the sliced biscuits on a baking sheet, cut side down.
- Bake for another 5 minutes.
Step 8: Complete Baking
- Remove the tray from the oven, turn each biscuit over, and bake for a further 5 minutes.
- Once baked, transfer biscotti to a cooling rack and allow let them to cool completely, before storing in an airtight container.
Toasting the almonds enhances their flavour and crunch. It’s recommended but not compulsory.
Yes, you can experiment with your favourite nuts. Hazelnuts, pistachios, or walnuts are great alternatives.
The second bake dries out the biscotti, giving them their characteristic crispiness.
Pro Tips and Guidance
- Uniform Chopping: Ensure the apricots and almonds are chopped into even, small pieces. This uniformity allows them to distribute evenly in the dough.
- Sift Dry Ingredients: Sifting the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon together is essential. It aerates the dry ingredients, resulting in a lighter biscotti texture.
- Avoid Overmixing: When combining the wet and dry ingredients, mix just enough to form a dough. Overmixing can lead to tough biscotti, which is not the desired texture.
- Kneading the Dough: Kneading the dough for a couple of minutes until it becomes smooth is crucial. This process helps the biscotti hold its shape and texture during baking.
- Cooling Time: After the first bake, allow the biscotti logs to cool for at least 15 minutes. This makes them easier to slice without crumbling.
- Even Slices: Aim for uniformity in the width of the biscotti slices. This ensures even baking during the second bake.
- Second Bake Timing: During the second bake, watch the biscotti closely. You want them to become golden brown but not overly dark. This may take less or more time, so monitor them diligently.
- Storage: To keep your biscotti fresh and crunchy, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They should stay delicious for up to two weeks.
- Freezing: Biscotti are excellent for freezing. Place them in an airtight container or a resealable bag with layers separated by parchment paper. They can be frozen for up to three months. To thaw, simply leave them at room temperature.
Check Out These Biscuit Recipes
Another authentic Italian biscuit that is typically served at Christmas time.
The perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea and great for dunking. We have added a hint of orange zest to make these extra special.
Another type of fruity biscuit but this time filled with a delicious fig jam filling.
Italian Apricot Almond Biscotti Recipe – Tozzetti
- 140 g Ready to Eat Dried Apricots
- 70 g Whole Almonds, Toasted
- 250 g Plain Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 150 g Caster Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Preheat your oven to 170°C (340°F).
- Cut the ready-to-eat dried apricots into small pieces and set them aside.
- Coarsely chop the whole almonds into small chunks and set them aside. If they aren't already toasted you can place them onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for a few minutes until they brown slightly.
- In a large bowl, sift the plain flour, baking powder, and ground cinnamon.
- Add the chopped apricots, almonds, and caster sugar to the flour mixture. Mix everything thoroughly.
- Beat the eggs with the vanilla extract and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until a soft dough forms, being careful not to overmix. If the mixture feels too wet, you can add a little more flour.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it for 2-3 minutes until it becomes smooth.
- Divide the dough into two pieces. Roll them into log shapes with a diameter of about 4cm.
- Place the logs onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper, ensuring there's some space between them to allow them to rise.
- Bake the biscotti logs in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are lightly browned.
- Remove the biscotti from the oven and allow them to cool on the tray for 15 minutes.
- Gently lift the biscotti onto a chopping board. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs into slices about 1cm thick.
- Lay a fresh sheet of parchment paper on the baking tray. Place slices on it with the cut side down, leaving space between each one. Return the tray to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the tray from the oven, turn each biscuit over onto the other side, and bake for a further 5 minutes.
- Finally, remove the tray from the oven and allow the biscuits to cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Uniform Chopping: Chop apricots and almonds evenly for even distribution in dough.
- Sift Dry Ingredients: Combine flour, baking powder, and cinnamon for a lighter biscotti texture.
- Avoid Overmixing: Mix wet and dry ingredients just enough for desired texture.
- Kneading the Dough: Knead for smoothness to maintain shape during baking.
- Cooling Time: Let biscotti logs cool for 15 mins before slicing for easier handling.
- Even Slices: Aim for uniform width to ensure consistent baking.
- Second Bake Timing: Watch closely for golden brown color without over-baking; monitor timing carefully.