cornmeal-almond biscotti

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Cornmeal-Almond Biscotti

From the book Classic Home Desserts by


Judy Rodgers, chef-owner of San Francisco’s Zuni Cafe, makes the best biscotti ever. This is her recipe.


cups whole unblanched almonds
½ cup (1 stick) cold lightly salted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp. anisette liqueur (see Note)
Tbsp. anise seeds
cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
½ cup cornmeal, preferably coarse-ground
tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper (or a Silpat mat), or generously butter the baking sheets; set aside. Scatter the almonds over (another) baking sheet and toast until dark-medium brown, usually 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Cool slightly on a wire rack; leave the oven on. Chop enough of the almonds to measure ¼ cup. Set both the chopped and whole almonds aside.
  3. Cream the butter with the sugar using an electric mixer just until combined, no longer. Add the eggs and mix until blended. Add the anisette liqueur, anise seeds, 1¼ cups of the flour, the cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and all of the almonds; mix until combined and the nuts are distributed. Stir in enough of the remaining ¼ cup flour so the dough comes together, but is not sticky (the dough should pull away from the the sides of the bowl).
  4. Working on the prepared baking sheets, shape the dough into 4 or 5 logs, each about 1 inch wide and ¾ inch high.
  5. Bake until the dough is set and beginning to turn pale gold at the edges, about 13 minutes. Remove the baking sheets to a wire rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes; leave the oven on.
  6. Cut the biscotti into even slices (using a sharp knife on a cutting board) about ½ inch wide. Arrange the slices, cut sides up, on the baking sheets. Return to the oven and bake the biscotti again until very lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container. (These biscotti keep well.)


If you don’t have anisette liqueur you can substitute a combination of 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract and 1/2 Tablespoon almond extract. Also, I like to add the zest of 1 lemon to the batter.

classic home desserts

This content is from the book Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax.

There are 27 comments on this item
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11% recommend this recipe
1. by That's nuts! on Dec 10, 2008 at 12:17 PM PST

mmm, these sound good. I remember my mom making biscotti for gifts. Maybe it’s time I tried my hand at them.

2. by healthgal on Dec 10, 2008 at 12:21 PM PST

I have made these and they are Fabulous! I’m going to give takeout boxes filled with these as gifts. Do try them.

3. by rtysons on Dec 10, 2008 at 12:26 PM PST

These sound divine. I shall print the recipe and make them for the holidays!

4. by damons on Dec 10, 2008 at 12:30 PM PST

These sound great. I think we’ve found a new addition to the holiday baking list.

5. by Eric on Dec 10, 2008 at 12:32 PM PST

I love biscotti, perfect compliment to dark coffee. I’ll be making these soon...

6. by cdziuba on Dec 10, 2008 at 12:37 PM PST

This is a nice recipe. I do make my own biscotti, and prefer the almonds chopped coarsely.

7. by AsTheNight on Dec 10, 2008 at 12:40 PM PST

I made biscotti once several years ago - only the brave would risk their jaws on them lol. Perhaps I’ll give this recipe a try and hope for better results.

8. by pscheel on Dec 10, 2008 at 12:45 PM PST

I’ve never attempted biscotti, maybe because I’m not a coffee drinker. But these sound like they would make good gifts along with a nice mug and a bag of locally roasted coffee beans.

9. by shandon on Dec 10, 2008 at 12:47 PM PST

Maybe I’ll try these with walnuts, since I have a surplus of those on hand.

10. by dolls123 on Dec 10, 2008 at 12:56 PM PST

This looks good

11. by Tamar on Dec 10, 2008 at 1:04 PM PST

These look like good biscotti to try.

12. by scavalie on Dec 10, 2008 at 1:12 PM PST

Biscotti also ship incredibly well-- they don’t go stale quickly and they don’t fall apart. I send tins of mixed varieties to friends each year.

13. by dusksunset on Dec 10, 2008 at 1:41 PM PST

I have made biscotti and these sound delicious. Biscotti make great gifts. Be careful to keep them in airtight containers, especially if you live in a humid climate.

14. by faither on Dec 10, 2008 at 2:33 PM PST

For some reason, making biscotti has never worked well for me.

15. by jo_jo_ba on Dec 10, 2008 at 3:01 PM PST

I’ve never had cornmeal in biscotti before - but my family loves them!

16. by nicole309 on Dec 10, 2008 at 3:06 PM PST

I love getting biscotti as a Christmas present.

17. by Sharon Howell on Dec 10, 2008 at 3:45 PM PST

I can’t wait to try this!

18. by ptreskovich on Dec 10, 2008 at 4:40 PM PST

what an unusual recipe, perhaps I’ll try it

19. by Xanthippe on Dec 10, 2008 at 5:55 PM PST

Anything Judi Rodgers sets her hand to will always be terrific, and I’ve no doubt these biscotti will prove no different. Love the addition of anise seed and anisette for a touch of European sophistication. Thanks for posting this recipe!

20. by Diane on Dec 10, 2008 at 7:43 PM PST

Biscotti is another sweet that has always intimidated me, but this recipe sounds fairly easy and straightforward. Thanks for the recipe - I can’t wait to try it. I’ll post my results.

21. by The Lucky Ladybug on Dec 10, 2008 at 8:18 PM PST

Biscotti are one of my favorite cookies :) These sound easy and delicious!

22. by LOVESTOBAKEJUSTLAZY on Dec 11, 2008 at 2:33 AM PST

yummy..thank goodness for bigger clothes during the cold months

23. by intime on Dec 11, 2008 at 2:39 AM PST

this looks great with coffee

24. by Darlene936 on Dec 11, 2008 at 4:20 AM PST

All these recipes will surely get me out of the rut of always making the same kind of Christmas cookie. Thanks!

25. by L321 on Dec 11, 2008 at 7:06 AM PST

This biscotti recipe looks delicous!

26. by nwduffer on Dec 11, 2008 at 7:53 AM PST

Thank you for highlighting this wonderful cookbook for this holiday season! I was a loyal follower of Culinate and was pleasantly surprised when I learned you hail from Portland. Keep up the work-it’s a fabulous site and I’m constantly referring folks!

27. by flip58 on Dec 11, 2008 at 10:25 AM PST

I have not been success with biscotti. I am going to try this recipe.

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