These lemon-chocolate chip soft biscotti are an old recipe from my grandma; they are part cookie, part biscotti, sponge-like soft, lemon-scented, and loaded with chocolate chips. Full of traditional flavor and with a recipe that feeds a small army, this is a perfect holiday gifting cookie!
The story behind how I came to unearth this recipe is a long one, so I’ll give you the short and sweet version… I first had something that tasted like these at a friend’s house over the holidays. Someone in her family made them, but that was the first and last time I had them, and then tried for months to recreate them myself, to no avail.
Then I mentioned it to my grandma and tried to explain what they tasted like and what the texture was like, and lo and behold, she said she had a recipe just like that! Apparently she hadn’t made them in years and years because not many people in the family cared for them, which is why I had never tasted them at her house before.
I tried the recipe, and… boom! It was just like what I tasted at my friend’s house and for someone who really, REALLY does not care for lemon-flavored food (neither sweet or savory, just in my ice water, please), the fact that I absolutely love these little soft biscotti says a lot (also, chocolate chips don’t hurt, either).
Once you read the recipe you may have a few questions, so let’s get those out of the way…
This recipe makes A TON. Eight loaves, to be exact. It’s great for the holidays because you can gift them and add them to your cookie trays with wild abandon, but if you don’t have the need for that much, you can definitely scale the recipe down (I recommend keeping the additional egg yolk to retain the tender consistency).
This recipe calls for margarine. I know, it’s so 1950’s, but let’s just roll with it here. I have, more than once, unsuccessfully swapped butter for margarine in old recipes, so now I just embrace the margarine. If that’s what my grandma used, that’s what I use.
I think you could swap orange peel and juice for the lemon, if you’d like a different flavor profile. Orange and chocolate is delicious, right?!
I call these soft biscotti because the mixing method is nearly identical, they are shaped as such, but they don’t go through the slicing and second bake that traditional biscotti do; the consistency is a little sponge-like, maybe like a tea cake, and they just TASTE old-fashioned, which I love.
They come together fairly quickly and easily, so you get a lot of bang for your buck given how much the recipe makes. And these freeze really well, too… just wrap them up really tightly in plastic wrap and foil, tuck in a freezer bag, and you’ll be all set for last-minute company.
I hope you enjoy this a-little-bit-different-but-totally-delicious recipe that’s just begging to be enjoyed!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
In a large bowl, whisk together 9 cups of the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar; set aside.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, blend the eggs and sugar until thoroughly combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the margarine and blend well. Add the lemon zest and juice and mix until smooth and combined.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture alternatively with the milk until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the chocolate chips.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 pieces. Dust the dough lightly with flour if it's too sticky to handle. Gently shape the dough into logs that are approximately 10 inches by 2 inches, then transfer to the prepared baking sheets (depending on the size of your sheets, you should be able to bake two or three loaves per sheet).
Brush the tops with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and tester comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before slicing. The soft biscotti can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can also add a layer of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 months.
While you may be tempted to substitute butter for the margarine, I would caution against it, as it may change the taste and texture of the dough.