Citrus Biscotti with Pistachios

I had fun making these. They came out rock hard and perfect for dunking into coffee or wine. There’s no oil or butter in this recipe, so I suppose that is key to the tooth-threatening texture I happen to like. What I didn’t love was the cornmeal. The brand I bought from the bulk bin was a bit overpowering. I’ll have to try with a different brand cornmeal, because other than that, these were perfect for those who like hard biscotti. Another bonus was how neatly they sliced. Slicing things evenly and uniformly is not a talent of mine, but this dough was easy to work with.

Citrus Biscotti

Citrus Biscotti with Pistachios
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An oil free, crunchy, Italian recipe with lemon, orange and pistachio.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 36
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or white whole wheat
  • 3/4 cup fine yellow cornmeal**
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, roasted unsalted
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a second bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the orange and lemon zests to the flour mixture, then add the flour mixture to the eggs and sugar and stir just until blended (the dough will be soft and sticky). Stir in the pistachios. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment or non-stick foil. Divide in half and form two slabs, each about 11x4 inches. Space slabs 3 inches apart and bake until light brown, about 35 minutes. Cool the slabs for 5 minutes. Cut the slabs crosswise on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange the biscotti cut side down on the same baking sheet. Bake until the biscotti are pale and golden, about 25 minutes. Cool the biscotti on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.
  5. This makes about 36 biscotti
This recipe is adapted from Giada's version. She dips hers in chocolate. Not a bad idea! Also, make sure to use finely ground cornmeal. If you can't find it, you can grind regular cornmeal in a coffee grinder, but make sure it is very, very, fine or the biscotti will have a slightly gritty texture to it.



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  1. Laurel says

    I would like these. I love to use my Microplane zester (it changed my life) and I love pistachios.

    Oh…..the ginger toffee cookies are still in my Top 10.


  2. says

    Laurel, I am glad the microplane changed your life and you are no longer intimitated by zest!

    J, I will tell H.E.B. you said hello.

    Cheryl and Joe,

    Theoretically, they should be yummy. I think I just had some bad cornmeal. I’m not sure exactly.

    Joe, I usually like the flavor of cornmeal, but in this case it tasted off and the cornmeal was kind of overpowering. I also didn’t like how it got stuck in my teeth.

  3. JillyB says

    Do you think the cornmeal could have been rancid? Is that the correct term for it? Maybe just old? I love biscotti and the harder the better….don’t go there!!!! Seriously, not all commercial biscotti you buy is hard like I think it’s supposed to be…defeats the idea of dunking….I love to make biscotti, I liked the 1st recipe I tried (chocolate almond), but this one sounds great….my problem is, I love biscotti and most of the folks at work are ambivalent (to say the least)! Guess it’s all those soft batch folks! Not me I like ’em crunchy and crispy. DAY 3 of my sugar moratorium.

  4. judi0044 says

    Thanks for sharing your biscotti recipe. My all-time favorite locally is a macadamia-lemon that is way over $10/bag for a few now. However, to buy them separately at specialty stores, the price is even more. Does keep you from over-indulging though that way. The lemon almost reminds me of eating lemon pie – they are so rich and yummy. Several months ago the baker/owner was lamenting (on local radio) the price he was now having to pay for flour and hoping he wouldn’t lose his customers.

  5. judi0044 says

    Ooops – I meant to say Pistachio-Lemon Biscotti. Our daughter just got back from HI – must have macadamia nuts on my mind since she brought us some gifts with them!

  6. says

    Judi, it’s good to know that a really good lemon version exists. They must use some kind of lemon oil or good quality lemon flavoring. In this recipe, the lemon flavor was overshadowed by the cornmeal and orange.

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