Apricot and Almond Biscotti are so delicious with sweet apricots and lightly roasted almonds. Crisp and crunchy, they are ready to dip in a hot cup of coffee or tea. These Italian biscotti are really easy to make and are the perfect addition to your holiday cookie tray!
With the holidays just days from us, it was time to share a really simple biscotti recipe to add to your holiday cookie tray. These biscotti would make the most thoughtful and delicious gift to give to friends and neighbor.
Our favorite baking time of year is the holidays. Ever since the kids were really little, they get so excited to help out and bake all the different cookies. I try to add something new every year to my cookie and sweets tray.
There is a list of all our favorite cookies and sweets that is made every December. My cuccidati-Sicilian Fig Cookies are a definite every year! Also, we always make our Italian Lemon Knot Cookies. Another holiday must bake is our Overnight Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake (I’m actually baking another one right now and it smells dreamy!).
Last year, a new addition to the cookie tray was these hazelnut and dried cherry biscotti. Everyone just loved them! I wanted to make a biscotti this year that is just as delicious and that would make a really great cookie gift to give to my dear neighbors. I have to give full credit to nonna (my mom!!) as she came up with this biscotti idea. She is the BISCOTTI QUEEN! She truly makes the best biscotti.
Nonna says you can make the dough completely by hand. She says it gives you a good arm workout and is a little messy, but you can make the whole dough on a clean counter. I do make them in a mixer, but if you happen to have a food processor, the dough will mix together in a few minutes!
Baking biscotti could even seem intimidating. It could be the second part of the baking. And once you bake your first batch, you’ll see it’s really not that hard to do. As long as you have a little bit of flour on you clean work surface, you can roll the dough into perfectly formed logs. Once the logs bake and are completely cooled down, it’s really easy to slice them to prep for the second part of baking.
Apricot Almond Biscotti
I did decide to stay with the same base recipe for my 2019 hazelnut and dried cherry biscotti and changed up the fruit and nuts. Dried apricots and toasted almonds were added in to create a gorgeous holiday biscotti!
Orange juice and orange zest are added in as they add bright flavor and winter is citrus season. That is all these biscotti need to make them totally addictive!
They bake up perfectly. They truly are a no-fuss holiday cookie. The perfect amount of dried fruit and nuts and are a crunchy delight!
What are biscotti?
Biscotti are simply Italian cookies that are bis-cotti (twice cooked!). The classic biscotti are crisp and completely ready to dunk in a nice hot coffee or relaxing cup of tea. Since they are baked twice, they are crunchy and very dry. The classic biscotti flavor would include anise, almond and even vanilla.
There are so many different recipes for making biscotti and also different ways to top them (white or dark chocolate drizzles are nice…even icing with sprinkles!).
How do you make apricot almond biscotti?
Here are the ingredients you need:
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- vanilla extract
- whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
- dried apricots, chopped
- orange zest
- freshly squeezed orange juice
Steps to make apricot almond biscotti
First step is to gather all your ingredients. Next, you start making the biscotti dough. The dough gets divided into two logs that are about 3.5 inches wide.
Next step is to carefully lay the logs on a parchment-lined baking sheet with a 2 inch separation (they will expand a little while baking). Bake the logs for about 20-25 minutes (depending on your oven). Mom likes to score the dough before the first bake. Sometimes I forget to do it. But it does make it easier to cut for the second bake.
Remove the baking tray from oven and let the logs cool completely (should take 30 full minutes).
When the logs have completely cooled down, slice them by pressing a very sharp knife straight down into the dough. Place the cookies back on the baking sheet, cut sides up. Keep in mind that the when you slice on a bigger angle, you will get much longer cookies. If you slice short angles, you’ll get small biscotti.
Place the biscotti on the baking sheet for the second baking. Halfway through baking, flip them over to bake and crunch up the other side. Bake until they are nicely golden.
How to make mini biscotti?
It’s really simple to make smaller biscotti. All you have to do is cut the dough logs into 4 sections instead of 2. The smaller logs will bake a bit faster than the full sized logs, so check on them at about 15 minutes of baking. To make small biscotti, shape the dough into 4 logs instead of two. It takes less time to bake the smaller logs, so check on them at about 15 minutes and see if they’re ready.
Tips for baking the best biscotti cookies
- If you don’t have a mixer or a food processor, you could make the dough by hand.
- The dough is sticky, so it is best to use a spatula to scrape out the dough.
- It’s easiest to shape the logs by spraying your hands with baking spray. Also, a little flour on your hands will work. I prefer the baking spray method, but whatever works for you.
- Most important tip is to make sure you cool the logs completely before slicing (a full 30 minutes is ideal). Rushing will result in a crumbly mess (I’ve rushed before and it’s not pretty!).
- Baking the biscotti on the second bake for less time will give you a less crunchy biscotti (if you like them softer).
- As the biscotti cool down, they do get crispier.
- Drizzle with chocolate (white or dark melted chocolate), icing. You could add sprinkles onto the melted chocolate or icing. Even a simple sprinkle of sparkly sugar (turbinado sugar) is very pretty.
- This recipe makes about 20 medium sized biscotti. You can double the recipe to make more biscotti.
- Keep in mind the middle of the biscotti will crisp up even more as they cool. So depending on how crispy you would like them, adjust the last few minutes of baking time.
- A sprinkle of sparkly turbinado sugar is very festive.
How long will these apricot almond biscotti stay fresh?
As soon as the biscotti cool completely, simply store the biscotti in a zipped lock storage bag or a plastic container (or your favorite glass cookie container). Since there is egg in the batter, safest way to store after 3 days is in the fridge.
Can I freeze these apricot almond biscotti?
Yes! As soon as they have completely cooled down, transfer the biscotti to a zipped lock freezer bag. Another option is to wrap them in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe storage container. Freeze for up to three months. Defrost on the counter night before you’re ready to enjoy them.
Some more of my favorite Italian biscotti recipes you may enjoy:
- Hazelnut and Dried Cherry Biscotti
- Banana Bread Biscotti
- Cranberry Almond Biscotti
- Fig and Walnut Biscotti
Apricot and Almond Biscotti
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 Tablespoons butter room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 teaspoon freshly squeezed orange juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole almonds toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup dried apricots chopped
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove enough zest from one large orange to make 1 tsp. set aside.
- Squeeze the orange to obtain 2 teaspoons of orange juice.
- Combine the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and mix together thoroughly.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, eggs, salt, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla for 2 to 3 minutes, until thick and pale.
- Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl a little bit at a time. Add in the chopped apricots and almonds and mix on medium-low speed until all the ingredients are moistened.
- Let the dough rest a couple of minutes in the mixer bowl.
- Scrape out the dough with a rubber spatula onto a lined cookie sheet (I used a sheet for each log) and divide the dough in half.
- Spray hands with cooking spray. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, then shape each into a flattened log, about 3 inches wide and 12 inches long. If you are using one baking tray, place logs a few inches apart on the baking sheet so they won’t stick together as they bake. If you have two sheets, place one log on each lined baking sheet.
- Bake until dough is firm but gives slightly when pressed, about 20-25 minutes.
- Transfer sheet to a wire rack and let logs cool completely (could take a full 30 minutes). Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
- Transfer the first loaf carefully to a cutting board. When the logs have completely cooled down, begin slicing the first log by pressing a very sharp knife straight down into the dough. Place the cookies back on the baking sheet, cut sides up. Keep in mind that the when you slice on a bigger angle, you will get much longer cookies. If you slice short angles, you’ll get small biscotti. Place the second log on the cutting board and repeat process cutting out the cookie pieces and placing on the baking sheet.
- Bake 7 minutes, flip biscotti, and bake 7 minutes more.
- Set the sheet on a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days. After 3 days, safest to store in the refrigerator.
- Nonna says the entire dough could be made by hand on a clean counter or work surface.
- Nonna does want you to know the dough is a little sticky. It is a little tricky to form into the logs, so best to spray your hands with baking spray or lightly flour your hands to work with the dough.
- Nonna says you could sub the dried apricots for even dried cranberries (nice combo with orange flavor and almonds).
- Nonna does like to score the dough before the first bake. Just be careful not to slice it all the way through (sometimes I forget to score the dough, so if you do or don't score it, either way, biscotti will turn out fine).