Do you love a good biscotti cookie, one that is crispy outside and a little bit tender inside that is full of luscious flavor? These Christmas Biscotti are filled with candied fruits and nuts and are so festive for holiday baking, or anytime you want a crunchy cookie. Biscotti are the perfect cookie for gift giving too!
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I know you are thinking crunchy cookies, I don't know about that, because we most always want a soft and chewy cookie. Biscotti are anything but soft and they are defiantly not chewy, but that is the wonderful thing about these cookies. They are delightfully different and honestly very addicting with their taste and texture.
What are biscotti
- These twice baked Italian cookies stay crunchy and firm and are perfect for dipping into a drink like coffee, hot chocolate, tea, or even wine.
- Biscotti have been around since the 14th century and were created in Tuscany from almonds. The reason for baking these cookies twice is that technique draws moisture out of the cookie making it hard and sturdy and it doesn’t mold. This was important back then because these cookies could be stored and kept for a long time.
- Biscotti have that familiar log shape and can be baked in so many different flavors and you can add many types of ingredients like fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, and more. The add-ins are endless.
Making these candied fruit cookies is super easy. The dough is simple to make, you simply shape the dough into a log and bake, then cut it into slices, and bake again. That’s it!
These cookies are also called Jeweled Biscotti
Why? It’s because of all the candied fruit with the beautiful colors. What I have found that works the best is prechopped candied fruit. I know you have been wondering what to make with these little plastic tubs of fruit; well this is perfect for recipes with dried fruit. The fruit is just the right size to add to the biscotti so you don’t have to buy a bunch of different dried fruit and chop them.
You can usually find the candied fruit in the produce sections of your store.
- Slivered almonds
- Candied fruit mix - I used Paradise Fruit Cake Mix
- Granulated Sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Corn syrup
- Baking powder
Let's bake cookies
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Step 2. On a cutting board, chop both the pistachios and almonds into smaller pieces about the size of a chocolate chip.
Nut tips ~
You can roast the nuts in a 350 degree F. oven for 8 minutes which adds more depth of flavor.
I prefer to use slivered almonds because they are so much easier to chop. You can also use whole raw almonds or even sliced almonds. Again make sure to chop smaller.
Step 3. In a small bowl mix the chopped nuts with the candied fruit. This makes it easier to blend into the dough.
Options – if you can’t find the container of candied fruit mix you can chop dried fruit such as pineapple, papaya, raisins, cranberries, cherries, or apricots.
Step 4. In a large mixing bowl beat the softened butter and sugar together at medium-high speed until combined. You can use a stand mixer or a handheld mixer.
Step 5. Beat in the three eggs and the egg white, one at a time, then add the vanilla extract. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Step 6. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl, and then mix into the batter in 1-cup increments. Scrape the bowl to make sure all the flour is mixed in.
Step 7. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the fruit and nut mixture. I usually keep out about a ¼ cup to press into the top of the dough which adds some color and texture, but you don’t have to do that.
Step 8. Divide the dough into thirds which will be about 1 ½ cups or 14 ounces, then shape the dough into logs about 10” x 2” x ¾” and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure to space the dough out because the dough will bake wider.
Dough tip ~ You can place the dough directly on the baking sheet then form it into logs, or use a bench scraper to help move the dough logs from the work surface to the baking sheet.
Step 9. Bake for 25 minutes, the dough will be light golden brown but will not be fully cooked. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes. This is the first bake.
Step 10. When the biscotti logs are cooled move them to a cutting board and cut each log diagonally into ¾" to 1” wide strips using a serrated knife.
Step 11. Now you are going to rebake the cookies, this is the second bake. You may need to put new parchment paper on the baking sheet. Place the cookie slices on the baking sheet, this recipe usually yields about 40-45 cookies so you will be using two baking sheets.
Step 12. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, then remove them from the oven, switch the baking sheets to different shelves, then bake for another 8 minutes.
Step 13. That’s it! Remove the cookies from the baking sheets to a cooling rack. The cookies will get crispier as they cool. Store the cookies in an airtight container for two to three weeks.
Tips for making candied fruit biscotti
- The dough can be quite stiff so a stand-mixer works the best, but I have used my handheld mixer too, just don't overdo it.
- After the first baking, let the biscotti cool for at least 10 minutes on a wire rack before cutting them into log shapes, otherwise, the cookies will crumble.
- It is best to cut the biscotti logs on a cutting board with a serrated bread knife since you are most likely cutting through nuts or fruit, and with a serrated knife, you use a sawing motion.
- You can freeze biscotti dough, just make it into large rolls, wrap it in freezer wrap and freeze. When ready to bake just let the dough thaw on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
How long can biscotti keep
- Since these cookies are crisp and hard (that’s what makes them delicious) they will not go stale quickly. Keep the cookies in an airtight container for a couple of weeks. Yes, they do last that long.
- You can completely bake the biscotti and freeze in a freezer container for several months.
- Because biscotti keeps for a long time, that makes it perfect for gift giving. They will stay crisp and fresh.
Cute mugs perfect for dunking biscotti
Everyone loves to dunk their biscotti into their hot drinks so make sure to have some festive mugs. Since I am a plaid lover you might enjoy these winter plaid mugs or these colorful plaid initial mugs.
More cookies to bake and eat
Cutout cookies for the holiday are easy to make with this recipe for Cutout Christmas Tree Cookies that have the easiest icing decor.
Christmas Sprinkle Cookies are always a hit at a cookie exchange, and kids love making these cookies too! Plus there is a hidden middle filling inside the cookies.
Chai Cookies are simple and delicious. Made with warming spices, these shortbread cookies are perfect with coffee and tea.
For the lemon lover here are two favorites - Iced Lemon Cookies are perfectly chewy and Lemon Shortbread Cookies are perfectly crispy and tender.
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More tasty recipes
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Christmas Biscotti with Fruit and Nuts
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Mixing the biscotti dough
- Preheat the oven to 350° F, and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper
- Chop the slivered almonds on a cutting board or a food chopped to make smaller pieces. Next, chop the pistachios and place both nuts in a medium-sized bowl.
- Add the chopped fruit to the nut and mix to combine, and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, or a stand mixing bowl add the butter and sugar and beat on medium-high until the mixture is light and fluffy
- Add three eggs one at a time, beating well between each, for the fourth egg, just beat in the egg white, then mix in the vanilla and the corn syrup.
- In a small bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture in one cup measurements, beating on medium speed to combine. At this point, the dough will be stiff. If using a hand-held mixer you may have to stir in some of the flour by hand.
- Stir in all the fruit and nut mixture with a wooden spoon. You can hold out ¼ cup to press into the top of the dough.
Shaping and baking the biscotti
- Divide the dough into thirds. This is about 1 ½ cups or 14 ounces each, or just eyeball each. On a lightly floured surface place the dough thirds and form into a log that is 10" x 2" x ¾". Place each dough log on the baking sheet with space between each log.
- If you kept out the ¼ cup of fruit and nuts sprinkle them on top of each log and press them into the dough. This is optional but adds nice color to the top of the biscotti.
- Bake at 350° F for 25 - 30 minutes until the dough is firm. This is the first baking.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the logs cool for at least 10 minutes. The dough is still soft at this point. When the logs are cool enough to touch, move them to a cutting board, and using a serrated knife cut each log into ½" - ¾" diagonal slices.
- Using two parchment-lined baking sheets, place the cookie slices on the pans. You can place them pretty close since they will not spread. You can bake both cookie sheets at the same time, and adjust the oven racks to be at the bottom and then the next rack above it.
- Return the cookies to the oven and bake for 8 minutes, then remove the baking pans and switch the pans to the other rack so the biscotti bake evenly. Bake for 8 minutes. This is the second baking.
- Remove cookies from the oven and place on a cooling rack. The cookies will get crispier as they cool.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to three weeks.
- Instead of using the candied fruit, you can use any chopped dried fruit you like.
- You can substitute other nuts or leave them out.
- The biscotti dough can be made into logs and wrapped and frozen for later. Just let the dough thaw on a baking sheet and bake as directed.
- Baked biscotti can be frozen in an airtight container.
First published: Nov 8, 2020, Last updated: Oct. 29, 2022, for better readability.
Make sure to look for the Holiday Fruit Blend Old English Fruit and Peel mix of candied fruit in the produce aisle.
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From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing both sweet and savory recipes with all my baking friends.