Pistachio-Fig Biscotti

3 dozen

These crunchy Italian cookies are delicious dipped in strong coffee or dessert wine.


  • ½ teaspoon whole fennel seeds

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon anise extract or Sambuca

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup shelled pistachios

  • 4 ounces dried figs, (about 6 large), stems removed, cut into ¼-inch dice


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small pan over medium-low heat, toast fennel seeds, swirling the pan; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, extracts, and zest, and beat on medium speed until creamy and light, 2 to 3 minutes.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add to butter mixture. Mix on low speed until just incorporated. Remove dough to a clean surface; divide into quarters. Form into 9-by-1-inch logs, place on an ungreased baking sheet 2 inches apart, and bake until lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

  3. Remove from oven, and cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees. Using a serrated knife, cut logs on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange biscotti on their sides on a baking sheet. Return to oven, and bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Turn biscotti over, and bake for 30 minutes more.

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