My Italian Lemon Biscotti with lemon glaze is the recipe you’ve been looking for! These scrumptious Italian biscotti are perfectly crunchy, loaded with nutty pistachios and flavored with zesty lemon.
These Lemon Biscotti are so addictively crunchy - you won’t be able to stop eating them!
Just like my authentic almond Biscotti, these Italian Lemon Biscotti are twice baked cookies that are perfect for dunking. Whether it’s into warm milk, tea, coffee or if you’re a traditionalist, into Italian sweet wine like vin santo for dessert.
The lemon flavor is packed into my crunchy Italian Lemon Biscotti through a combination of lemon zest, lemon juice and a delicious homemade lemon glaze. If you love my Lemon Curd Cookies, Lemon Yogurt Cake, and Lemon Pizzelle Recipe, then you’re going to go nuts for these crunchy lemony cookies!
This recipe for biscotti is ideal for gifting or serving to your guests at the end of a meal with an espresso. But mostly, I love having these Lemon Biscotti in the cookie jar for the perfect little pick me up snack in the afternoon. Let me tell you, they don’t last long!
Table of Contents
Why you’ll love this recipe
- These traditional Italian cookies are packed with fragrant lemon flavor.
- Italian Lemon Biscotti with lemon glaze are beautifully crunchy and crispy.
- They are wonderful for gifting around the holiday season to your friends and family.
- I’ve included all the tips and hints to make these traditional Italian cookies perfectly.
- This cookie makes a delicious snack to dunk in warm milk, tea or coffee.
For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card bottom of the page.
- Pistachio nuts - shelled, raw pistachio nuts are the most convenient option. Look for pistachio nuts that have a bright green color.
- Flour - You will need regular all purpose flour (also known as plain flour) for this recipe.
- Sugar - Superfine granulated sugar also known as caster sugar is used in dough to sweeten these cookies.
- Lemon Zest - The lemon zest adds all the lovely lemon aroma to these biscotti. Just be careful not to grate the bitter white pith as you are zesting.
- Baking powder - Only a small amount of rising agent is required for this Italian biscotti recipe.
- Salt - I love a little salt in baked goods because it brings out the sometimes subtle flavors. In this case, the salt helps to highlight the fragrant lemon zest.
- Eggs - I always recommend large free range eggs.
- Lemon Juice - A little fresh lemon juice adds extra lemony flavor in both the dough and lemon glaze.
- Butter - I recommend unsalted butter rather than no fat at all which is the traditional recipe for biscotti. I find that biscotti made without any fat are far too hard and always need to be dunked in coffee or tea to soften. These Lemon Biscotti made with butter are still very crunchy and also are delicious dunked in a coffee - but are not going to break your teeth!
- Powdered sugar - Also known as icing sugar, is used for making the lemon glaze.
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C, toast pistachios and line a large baking sheet with non-stick parchment paper.
- Whisk flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder and salt together, then make a well in the center. Into the well add eggs, lemon juice, melted butter and mix together with the dry ingredients. As the mixture comes together, add the cooled, toasted pistachios.
- Turn out onto your work surface and knead very lightly to form a ball. Divide the dough into two equal portions and roll each portion into a log. Place logs on the prepared baking sheet and bake.
- Remove from the oven. While still warm, cut each log into 20 slices then arrange cut side up, onto lined baking trays and return to the oven at a lower temperature until crunchy.
- Once the biscotti have cooled completely, mix together powdered sugar and lemon juice to drizzle over the biscotti.
- You could use salted butter instead of unsalted butter as long as you omit the salt.
- Lemon oil or lemon extract can be substituted instead of lemon zest.
- You can also use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemon juice.
- You could add a teaspoon of vanilla extract or almond extract.
- Why not make these orange biscotti by using orange zest and juice instead of lemon?
- Try using different nuts - almonds, hazelnuts or pecans work well!
These Italian Lemon Biscotti will keep well for a week in an airtight container.
You can freeze them after they have been baked for the second time and before they have been glazed. I recommend freezing in an airtight container, with parchment paper in between the layers. When you want to use them, remove from the freezer and pop them in the oven on a baking sheet for a few minutes to refresh and crisp up.
Tips for Success
When making these Lemon Biscotti it’s important to preheat the oven. The first bake sets the dough and allows the rising agent to work fully. After the first bake, the biscotti log should be browned and completely cooked inside with no raw dough.
The second bake needs to be at a lower temperature so that the biscotti don’t brown but dry out and become typically crunchy. If after the first bake the dough is still too moist, the biscotti may take a little longer to achieve this.
Firstly, don’t over knead the Italian Lemon Biscotti dough, you want it to just come together and be fully incorporated. It is also naturally a bit sticky. If the weather is warm, pop the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes so that it’s easier to handle.
I often have people asking, why do biscotti fall apart when you try and cut them? This can happen if you cut them when they have cooled and are too hard. It is very important to cut the Italian Lemon Biscotti into pieces while the dough is still warm. I sometimes use a clean kitchen towel to hold the log if it is getting too hot to handle. You will want a good quality, sharp serrated knife to cut the biscotti.
Traditional biscotti are very hard because they are made without any fat at all. The authentic way to enjoy these hard cookies is dunked in sweet wine, coffee or milk to soften them. However, they can’t really be eaten on their own (without almost breaking a tooth!) That’s why I’ve made this Lemon Biscotti with butter. Whilst not traditional, they are still delicious and have the perfect amount of crunch.
Biscotti originates from the region of Tuscany, in Italy. Traditionally, they were served alongside vin santo which is an Italian sweet wine and the perfect way to end a meal. Now, you’ll also find biscotti are popular served with tea, coffee or warm milk.
These Italian Lemon Biscotti with lemon glaze are perfect to include in your annual Christmas cookie exchange alongside Italian Sesame Cookies, Gingerbread Cookies without Molasses, Italian Wedding Cookies or Cuccidati.
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Lemon Biscotti Recipe
- ½ cup shelled and peeled raw pistachio nuts 65grams
- 2⅓ cup all purpose plain flour (300grams)
- 1 cup superfine granulated sugar castor sugar (200grams)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest from one large lemon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted and cooled to room temperature (115grams )
- 1 cup powdered sugar (120 grams)
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Spread pistachio nuts onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Leave the oven on. Line a large baking sheet or two smaller baking sheets with non-stick parchment paper.
- Place flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
- Break the eggs into the well and add lemon juice and melted, cooled butter
- Whisk together the wet ingredients slowly incorporating part of the dry ingredients.
- Before the dry ingredients are completely mixed in, switch to a wooden spoon or clean hands to finish incorporating the dry ingredients.
- As the mixture starts to come together add the pistachio nuts.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead very lightly to form a ball
- The mixture can be sticky and may be refrigerated for 30 minutes to make the dough easier to handle. Otherwise, you can go right onto the next step.
- Divide the dough into two equal portions.
- Roll each portion into a 12in/ 30cm log. Place logs onto a lined baking sheet and, this is optional, using a wet hand, smooth the surface of the dough.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until browned and firm.
- Removed from the oven and cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the oven to 300°F/150°C.
- While still warm, cut each log into 20 slices. Check my tips below on how to cut biscotti easily.
- Return the biscotti cut side up to the baking sheets and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until beginning to dry. The biscotti will become more crisp as they cool.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Once the biscotti are completely cool, they can be drizzled with the lemon glaze. Arrange the biscotti in a single layer on wire racks and place the racks over baking sheets to catch any extra lemon glaze.
- Using a teaspoon, drizzle the lemon glaze over the biscotti. The best way to do this is to hold the teaspoon high over the biscotti. Move the teaspoon back and forth rather quickly drizzling the lemon glaze in a thin stream on the biscotti.
- Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl.
- Add the lemon juice slowly until to achieve drizzling consistency.
- Trial the glaze on a biscotti. If it’s too thick, add a little more lemon juice. If it’s too thin, a little more powdered sugar.
- Preheat the oven so that the first bake sets the dough.
- After the first bake, the biscotti log should be browned and completely cooked inside with no raw dough.
- Reduce the oven temperature for the second bake to allow the biscotti to dry and become crisp.
- Use a sharp serrated knife to cut biscotti.
- Cut while still warm.
Nutritional Estimate Per Serving
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.