Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti


Man cannot live on sweets alone. Most of us will have to repeat this mantra to ourselves over and over again over the course of the next couple of months. Between leftover Halloween candy, pumpkin pie galore, and Christmas cookies by the tin, it’s possible that a lot of us will be in a sugar coma come January 1st. In an effort to bring some semblance of balance to the sweet-fest, I give you savory biscotti. I’ve been eating biscotti pretty much since I cut my first tooth and this was my first time trying a savory version, and I think I may be hooked. Discovering a non-sweet version has just opened up an entire new world of opportunity to me, and I can’t wait to try many more varieties!


The flavor of these biscotti remind me very much of the pigu that my family makes every year for Easter. While the pigu are sort of a baked ravioli with a cheese and black pepper filling, the flavors are remarkably similar. So much so that I’m gobbling up these biscotti at just as quick a pace as I gobble up pigu the week of Easter. If you’ve never tried a savory biscotti, I urge you to give this recipe a chance and see what you think.

Note: These really are quite peppery, which I like, but it might be too much for some, so feel free to adjust the black pepper in the recipe to your taste.

More Biscotti:
Basic Biscotti Recipe
Chocolate Biscotti
Anise-Almond Biscotti

Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti

Yield: About 5 dozen

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours


1½ Tablespoons whole black peppercorns
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
4½ ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (2¼ cups)
1½ sticks (¾ cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk


1. Put oven racks and upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Pulse peppercorns in grinder until coarsely ground.

3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, 2 cups of the cheese, and 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper in a large bowl. Blend in butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk 3 eggs with milk and add to flour mixture, stirring with a fork until a soft dough forms.

4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and quarter dough. Using well-floured hands, form each piece into a slightly flattened 12-inch-long log (about 2 inches wide and ¾-inch high). Transfer logs to 2 ungreased large baking sheets, arranging logs about 3 inches apart.

5. Whisk remaining egg and brush some over logs, then sprinkle tops of logs evenly with remaining ¼ cup cheese and ½ Tablespoon ground pepper. Bake, rotating sheets 180 degrees and switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until logs are pale golden and firm, about 30 minutes total. Cool logs to warm on sheets on a rack, about 10 minutes.

6. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

7. Carefully transfer one warm log to a cutting board and cut diagonally into ½-inch-thick slices with a serrated knife. Arrange slices, cut sides down, in 1 layer on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining logs, transferring slices to sheets. Bake, turning over once, until golden and crisp, 35 to 45 minutes total. Cool biscotti on baking sheets on racks, about 15 minutes.

(Gourmet, December 2006)


20 Responses to “Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti”

  1. Steph on November 6, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    I feel like I fall into a sugar coma everytime I bake. Everytime I try to stop myself, I end up making something anyway. It’s like an addiction! I’ve never tried biscotti before, but a savory one sounds like a nice twist because sometimes, there is such a thing as too much sugar!


  2. Lisa @ The Cooking Bride on November 8, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    I have never eaten a savory biscotti, but these look yummy. I’m printing out the recipe as I type!


  3. Skylar on November 9, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Those look really tasty. A savory biscotti is a great idea! I’m making this one soon


  4. a tasteful garden on November 9, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    what a great sounding recipe. sounds like a biscotti version of a really good wine biscuit.


  5. Noelle on November 10, 2009 at 12:33 am

    I have never had non-sweet biscotti. Nice concept and makes sense. I have never thought about it before.


  6. bridget{bake at 350} on November 10, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Love this idea! And, your picture just brought back a lot of memories. My mom used to have a pitcher in that same pattern as your plate. 🙂


  7. Ria on November 10, 2009 at 11:28 am

    I have never tasted a biscotti before, looks like I am missing out on something really nice. Would love to give this one a try sometime soon!


  8. Rachel J on November 10, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    I made my first batch of biscottis this year and I can’t get over how your savory recipe is literally making my mouth water.


  9. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on November 10, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    I have been in the mood to make some savory biscotti lately. I like the parmesan black pepper idea. I had been thinking about using cheese and herbs. Yours look wonderful!


  10. susie on November 11, 2009 at 7:14 am

    can’t wait to make these…i love making biscotti. my now 97-year-old neighbor shared a recipe with me many years ago, and i’ve been churning them out ever since. i will make these and surprise her with a batch. thanks!


  11. Danielle on November 12, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    This would be a really nice substitute for the ubiquitous garlic bread served with Italian food or just nice to dunk in a warm bowl of soup. Great recipe!


  12. Ashley on November 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Oh no! Savoury biscotti sounds dangerous!! Must save the recipe.


  13. Amber on November 16, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Well doesn’t this sound awesome.


  14. caseyw on December 14, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    I tried these a couple of weeks ago, and they were incredible. I had never made a biscotti, and these were wonderful. I took them to work to give to some coworkers and friends because I couldn’t keep them in my house for fear of eating the entire batch all by myself.


  15. on October 21, 2010 at 3:05 am

    it looks sooooo yummy! I’m gonna try it! thanks for the recipe! 😀


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