Anise-Almond Biscotti


Biscotti are as familiar to me as chocolate chip cookies are to most children. Growing up in an Italian family and spending a lot of time at my grandma’s house, there was never a shortage of biscotti. Cookie jars at her house weren’t full of store-bought cookies or any type of homemade “American” varieties; no sir, in her house cookie jars (and random tins, for that matter) were full of biscotti. Dinners on Sunday most often featured some sort of dessert, but without fail everyone always ended up in the cookie jar, digging for biscotti to dunk in their coffee. I can recall gazing into my grandma’s small kitchen and seeing the counters and table crowded with sheets pans with sliced biscotti either cooling from the oven or waiting their turn.

It seems, however, that as popular as the anise flavor is in Italian baked goods, someone in my family must not be a fan (and the culprit is currently unbeknownst to me) because nary a biscotti or pizzelle that was ever a product of my grandma’s kitchen was flavored with anise. Don’t get me wrong, everything she has ever made tastes extraordinary (after asking I found out that she uses a butter nut flavoring), but I love anise and so I have started to use it more in my own baking, first with the pizzelles I made and now these biscotti.


I wanted to make biscotti and I wanted them to be anise-flavored. Simple enough. I went scouring through my cookbooks to see what I could find and this recipe from Martha Stewart jumped out at me. The combination of almonds and anise sounded like a perfect marriage and I liked that it included whole anise seed for additional flavor, instead of solely using anise extract. This is the first time I’ve used cornmeal in a biscotti recipe, and was curious as to what it would offer. You can’t taste it at all, but I believe it lends a hand to the resulting texture of these cookies, making them slightly crunchier than normal. Perfect for dipping into your favorite cup of coffee or tea! I also love the specks of anise seed that you can see throughout the biscotti; it gives me the same little thrill I get at seeing flecks of vanilla bean dancing through my favorite vanilla ice cream.


More biscotti recipes:
Chocolate Biscotti
Classic Biscotti

One year ago: American Sandwich Bread
Two years ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

Anise-Almond Biscotti

Yield: About 4 dozen biscotti

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes


1½ cups (7½ ounces) unblanched almonds
2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
½ cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure anise extract
3 large eggs, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon anise seeds
Sanding sugar (or granulated sugar), for sprinkling (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

2. Spread the almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven until fragrant and just beginning to turn light golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer nuts to a clean surface; spread evenly, and let cool completely.

3. Sift together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

5. Beat in the anise extract. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

6. Add the flour mixture, and beat on low speed until combined. Mix in anise seeds and toasted almonds.

7. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead to evenly distribute the nuts and seeds. Divide in half. Shape each piece into an 18-inch log, and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, about 3 inches apart. Brush beaten egg over the surface of the logs, and sprinkly generously with sanding sugar, if using.

8. Baking, rotating pan halfway through, until logs are lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Transfer parchment and logs to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

9. Place logs on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs crosswise on the diagonal into ½-inch-thick slices. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange slices cut side down on the rack. Bake until firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven; let biscotti cool completely on the rack.

Storing: Biscotti can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.


32 Responses to “Anise-Almond Biscotti”

  1. sherri on July 21, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Simply wonderful recipe!


  2. Betsy on July 21, 2009 at 9:54 am

    I have that cookbook and that recipe’s been earmarked for a while… it’s on my fall to-bake queue. 🙂


  3. Mathilde's Cuisine on July 21, 2009 at 10:39 am

    I really like these biscuits and it goes so well with tea or coffee


  4. Cameron on July 21, 2009 at 11:08 am

    This is a fantastic recipe, love it for breakfast with coffee! You might like our beautiful tasty strawberry & blueberry tart recipe for breakfast too! Check it out on our site. Thanks for sharing the yummy recipes! (works well next night for dessert too!)


  5. ang on July 21, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Try dunking the anise biscotti in red wine. When my grandmother made them, people in my house always dunked them in their wine. There’s something about the anise and the wine together that really works.


  6. Cookin' Canuck on July 21, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Beautiful photos (as usual) and fantastic biscotti recipe! I agree – the flecks of anise really add something to the appearance (and I’m sure to the taste, too).


  7. Heidi Diedrick on July 21, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I have made MS’s recipe for years, but I have the one with chopped dates and orange zest and extract with the anise. Amazing flavor combination. The cornmeal really lends a nice crunch. While I enjoy these with tea, my favorite way is to eat them while sipping a nice dessert wine, preferably white, such as River Gold by Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. Check Martha’s website for the dates, etc. version too. You’ll be glad you did. Makes fantastic gift also when given with a bottle of the wine.


  8. stephchows on July 21, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I never liked biscotti until I made my own. Now I love it!


  9. Diana on July 21, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Anise and Almonds, My FAVORITE!! Will definitely be trying this, thanks for sharing!



  10. Michelle on July 21, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Heidi – Thanks so much for the tip on the orange date biscotti. I just found them on Martha’s site and have them saved to try. I love dates, so I’m positive I’ll love these!


  11. Michelle on July 21, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Ang – Thanks for the tip on dunking the biscotti into red wine – I am going to try that tonight!


  12. Lisa on July 21, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    They look delicious! Being a first generation Italian I can relate to the no anise baking. My mom uses vanilla sugar from Italy in her biscotti and her pizzelles instead. I will try this recipe and hopefully convert her!


  13. Kerstin on July 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    This flavor combo sounds delicious! The cornmeal also sounds so intersting in them, I’ve never seen that before.


  14. CheapAppetite on July 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    I love biscotti. Yours look amazing. Great job.:)


  15. Annie on July 21, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    How funny! I just made Dorie’s almond biscotti last week, and am posting them next week 🙂 Yum yum.


  16. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on July 22, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    I’ve been wanting to bake biscotti since soo long! Yours looks soo good! Now I want one even more!! 🙁


  17. Delezzia on July 22, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    These look delicious and I love the flavor combination. I love anise and coffee, they pair so wonderfully. I am going to try out this recipe for my Christmas baking. I think I will try it with pistachios too.


  18. Elizabeth on November 10, 2009 at 10:22 am

    I didn’t have any anise extract so I substituted it with ouzo, and they turned out delicious! This has now become one of my top biscotti recipes!


  19. James on December 15, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Instead of almonds, I used pecans and pinon (pignoli) and also added some candied fruit. OMG! SO good!


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  23. Mel on February 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I made this recipe twice and we love these cookies however my oven is too strong @ 375 so I baked them initially at 350 and then @ 275 for the second baking – I also added 2 1/2 cups instead 1 1/2 for the almonds as well as 1 tablespoon of Sambuca liquor – they were really really good.


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  27. genevive on December 14, 2012 at 6:14 am

    Hi there! Am planning to bake this for my father – he’s a true lover of biscotti! I’m in the middle of nowhere so that means that the closest shop only sells vanilla extract, do you think this will be a fine substitute or would you recommend something else?

    Thanks for the recipe!


    • Michelle on December 14th, 2012 at 9:49 am

      Hi Genevivie, You could definitely use vanilla, you’ll just that punch of anise flavor.


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  30. Pat Yanikoski on June 26, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Hi Michelle:

    I just baked a batch of these biscotti; they are delicious but the bottoms were almost overdone at about 23 minutes and when I sliced them, the top half of each log was underdone. After the second bake, they are fine but this bothers me…..
    I baked them at 370, middle rack, on parchment, two logs. I’ve baked thousands of biscotti and rarely does this happen.

    Should I lower the oven temp.?? Thanks in advance.


    • Michelle on June 26th, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      Hi Pat, What you described are typically how my biscotti always bake – the bottoms are nice and crusty, while the middles are a bit underdone after the first bake. Once the second bake is complete, they are perfect.


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