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Italian Lemon Biscotti (Cantucci)

Lemon Biscotti, a classic Italian cookie recipe that is crunchy and nutty with toasted hazelnuts and almonds. Biscotti is easy to make, and the lemon flavor in these cookies is just perfect. A great cookie any time of year!

Lemon biscotti on a black plate.


 

The absolute best cookie for dunking in coffee (or wine, as Italians often do) is biscotti. Biscotti are twice-baked cookies that are crunchy and so delicious.

There are endless biscotti recipes, and I honestly can’t choose a favorite. I’ve shared many recipes over the years and love them all, from my chocolate almond biscotti to cranberry almond biscotti. I’ve even made savory biscotti with olives and Parmesan!

Of course, I love lemon, so I am sharing these easy lemon biscotti. Like my other favorite recipes, they are so crunchy with a great nutty flavor from toasted nuts. The lemon flavor is so bright – they really are a wonderful treat. 

Like many cookie recipes, these are easy to adapt to create a different taste. I’m sharing tips in the post so be sure to read through and try some of the suggestions. 

2 lemon biscotti & a small glass of limoncello.

Ingredients

  • Butter (melted & cooled)
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract or lemon extract
  • Large eggs
  • Lemon juice
  • All-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt (if you use unsalted butter increase the amount by 1/4 teaspoon)
  • Baking powder
  • Lemon zest
  • Toasted hazelnuts
  • Toasted almonds

How to toast nuts

Place nuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking / cookie sheet. Bake in a 350F/180C pre-heated oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until they are lightly golden, remove immediately to a clean bowl, they will continue to bake if left on the hot pan.

Instructions

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl for one to two minutes. Beat in the vanilla and eggs and then add the lemon juice and mix until well combined.

Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, and zest in a separate medium bowl.

Mixing the wet and dry ingredients in a bowl.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix to combine. Stir in the toasted nuts. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the dough for 30 minutes.

Making the dough and adding the nuts.

Pre-heat oven to 300°F (150°C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Transfer the chilled dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide it in half and form each half into two logs about 12 inches (31cm) long. Place the logs on the prepared baking sheet and bake them for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly brown.

The dough before and after the first bake.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and cool the logs at room temperature for five to ten minutes.

Slice the logs on the diagonal into 1/2 inch slices. Lay the pieces cut side up on the cookie sheet. Bake them for approximately eight to ten minutes. Flip the cookies over and bake them again for about five minutes. 

The second bake being cut and on the cookie sheet.

Cool the lemon biscotti on a wire rack before serving, or store them in an airtight container. 

Biscotti Variations

There are a few ways to switch the flavors in these cookies. You can use lemon extract instead of vanilla to give the biscotti an extra punch of flavor. Or, try using almond extract instead. 

You can change the nuts – use all almonds or hazelnuts. Or swap one for a different kind of nuts like walnuts or macadamia nuts. Just don’t skip the toasting. Toasted nuts have a lot more flavor than untoasted.

Instead of lemon juice, add the same amount of limoncello, an Italian lemon liqueur.

I prefer them plain, but you could dip the cooled cookies in melted chocolate or drizzle them with a simple lemon glaze made with powdered sugar and lemon juice.

Biscotti in a black dish with 2 leaning.

Recipe Tips

To make slicing the log easier, use a serrated knife. It will make it easier to cut without squishing the logs.

Biscotti are a great cookie to make for gifts or during the holiday season because they keep really well. Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container and they will keep for up to two weeks.

You can also freeze them in a freezer-safe bag or container. They will keep well in the freezer for up to three months. When you’re ready to serve them, let them thaw at room temperature.

Make a batch of lemon biscotti to share with friends and family, but be sure to keep a few for yourself. It’s such a special treat to go with a cup of coffee. Enjoy!

Lemon biscotti on a black plate.

More Lemon Cookies

Lemon biscotti on a black plate.

Italian Lemon Biscotti (Cantucci)

Rosemary Molloy
Lemon Biscotti, a classic Italian cookie recipe that is crunchy and nutty with toasted hazelnuts and almonds. Easy to make cookie that's great with coffee!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Chilling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 31 cookies
Calories 88 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • ¼ cup butter (melted & cooled)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla ( lemon extract if desired)
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • cups all purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt*
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • zest of 1-2 lemons
  • ½ cup hazelnuts (toasted)**
  • ½ cup almonds (toasted)**

*If using unsalted butter then add ¼ teaspoon of salt.

    **Place the nuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking / cookie sheet. Bake in a 350F/180C pre-heated oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until they are lightly golden, remove immediately to a clean bowl, they will continue to bake if left on the hot pan.

      Instructions
       

      • In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until well combined 1-2 minutes. Add vanilla, then add the eggs beat, then add the lemon juice and beat to combine.
      • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and zest.
      • Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, when almost combined add the the nuts and combine.
      • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
      • Pre-heat oven to 300F (150C). Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
      • Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface, divide in two and form into 2 logs (about 12 inches/31cm long). Place on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly brown.
      • Remove from the oven and let sit 5-10 minutes.
      • Cut the logs on the diagonal into 1/2 inch slices.  Lay the slices cut side up back on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for approximately 8-10 minutes. Then flip the cookies over and bake again for approximately 5 minutes. Move the biscotti to a wire rack to cool and dry completely before serving. Enjoy!

      Notes

      For room temperature remove the eggs from the fridge 1-2 hours before using, depending on the warmth of your house.
      You could also substitute the lemon juice with limoncello.
      Store the completely cooled biscotti in an airtight container in a cool dry room temperature area. They will keep well for up to two weeks if stored properly.
      They can also be frozen in a freezer safe bag or container. They will keep for 3 months in the freezer.

      Nutrition

      Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 64IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
      Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

      8 Comments

      1. 4 stars
        These were very good! Easy recipe, good lemon flavor. The only problem I had the dough was very, very sticky. I use more than a lightly floured surface, but they came out fine. WIll make them again!

      2. 5 stars
        I love the idea of a lemon biscotti however. I’m severely allergic to nuts. Do you think these could hold their own without the addition of the nuts? I was wondering if your mention of the lemony glaze would help make them work.

        1. Hi Dee, I don’t know that they would hold together without the nuts, what about adding some dried fruit? I do have other lemon cookies on the blog, on search write in “lemon cookies” you might find something you prefer. Hope that helps.

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