Greek Biscotti (Paximadia)

paximadakia cookies
Photo: Mike Krautter

A crunchy Greek cookie similar to Italian biscotti, this twice-baked treat is made with a flavorful combination of barley flour, sesame seeds, ouzo, and a hint of orange.


  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup barley flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar

  • ½ cup grapeseed oil

  • cup ouzo

  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest, plus ¼ cup fresh orange juice

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, toasted


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup white sesame seeds.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together eggs and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until pale. Beat in oil, ouzo, orange zest and juice, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; gradually beat in flour mixture until well incorporated.

  3. Divide dough in half; transfer one half to center of a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining half and another parchment-lined baking sheet; shape into 12-by-6-inch logs. Mix together black sesame seeds and remaining 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds; distribute evenly over logs. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until lightly golden and firm to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks; let cool 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

  4. Transfer logs, one at a time, to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut on the diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices, cut-side down, on fresh parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets and flipping cookies halfway through, until dry and lightly golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

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