Perfectly crunchy and ever so flavorful, these Meyer lemon biscotti cookies are drizzled with a lemony white chocolate glaze for a gorgeous finish.
Biscotti, or Italian twice-baked cookies, keep beautifully for days (even weeks!) and are sturdy enough for shipping, making them the perfect recipe for cookie swaps and holiday care packages (if you plan to gift these, be sure to check out the end of the post to download the free printable gift tags!)
While I’m normally team chewy when it comes to cookies, biscotti may be the one exception.
Or, more specifically, good biscotti (because let’s face it, most of what’s out there are dry, crumbly, rock-hard cookies that probably cause more dental disasters than anything).
These biscotti are quite the opposite, with an almost delicate crunch and a smooth Meyer lemon flavor throughout with hints of almond and vanilla, and a drizzle of white chocolate lemon glaze for an added burst of tart lemon flavor.
While the word biscotto (singular) or biscotti (plural)—don’t you dare refer to multiple cookies as biscottis—is sometimes used today to refer to crunchy Italian cookies of all kinds, the word actually originates from the medieval Latin word biscoctus, meaning “twice-cooked”, in reference to oven-baked goods that were baked a second time to dry them out for long term storage.
Historically, biscotti are crispy, oblong, almond biscuits that originate from the Tuscany region in Italy; they’re also sometimes referred to as cantucci.
It’s that second bake that gives biscotti their signature crunch; the exact length of the second bake determines just how hard or crunchy they are. Bake the cookies slightly longer if you plan to ship them across the country, or if you love dipping your biscotti in your coffee or tea, both situations when harder, longer-lasting cookies are desired.
I originally set out to make a copycat version of Trader Joe’s Mini Meyer Lemon Biscotti (which I actually haven’t seen in stores recently, hence the need to recreate it), although TJ’s version is a little bit smaller and doesn’t contain almond flour (which I like to include for a bit of textural interest and hint of almond flavor that goes beautifully with the lemon). Otherwise I think they are pretty true to the original.
The lemon-infused biscotti are glazed with a bright and lemony white chocolate glaze (a bit of white chocolate mixed in to help cut the cloying sweetness of the powdered sugar). TJ’s version uses lemon-flavored candy coating, which is a product you can actually buy (either lemon flavored candy melts or something like Valrhona’s Yuzu Inspiration—with either of these products you’d just need to melt them and drizzle on top of your biscotti), but I came up with a version that uses plain white chocolate mixed into a lemon and powdered sugar-based glaze.
The base biscotto recipe is very similar to my pecan praline biscotti, which itself is a hybrid of my original chocolate orange biscotti and an America’s Test Kitchen recipe from their book, The Perfect Cookie. It’s a very versatile recipe, and while I’ve gone with lemon as the prominent flavor profile here, you can certainly adapt the same base recipe into myriad different flavor variations!
This recipe calls for whipping the whole eggs with the sugar first—I find this technique produces a crispy cookie that’s surprisingly delicate, not so hard and dense that you have to worry about breaking a tooth on it (which is likely the reason biscotti is often relegated to the undesirables category of cookies, which is a shame because a good biscotti can be transcendent).
After whipping the eggs with the sugar, then drizzle in the lukewarm melted butter, a little at a time, until fully incorporated.
Finally, mix in the dry ingredients. I like to do this step by hand, mixing and folding while scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure everything is evenly incorporated but not overmixed.
Tip: Before chilling the dough, press it up the sides of the mixing bowl a bit rather than leaving it in a big ball in the bottom. This will allow the dough to chill more quickly and evenly.
Chilling the dough for about 30 minutes makes it easier to work with, just lightly dust your hands with flour and you should be able to shape them into nice even logs.
I find it helpful to draw two 2-by-12-inch rectangles onto the bottom of the parchment paper before I do this (use a dark pencil or sharpie so the lines show through on the other side; you can barely see mine in the photo below).
I also use a cookie scoop to help me evenly portion out the dough into two even logs (each log is about 6 or 7 medium scoops worth of dough).
After shaping the dough into, logs and bake it for the first time until tops are puffed and crackly and bottoms are golden brown.
Let the baked logs cool for about 30 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board and use a serrated knife to cut the biscuit log on the bias into 1/2-inch wide pieces. I use a ruler to help me mark exactly 1/2-inch, to ensure the cookies are all exactly the same width.
Lay the cookies on their sides, then bake for the second time, flipping the cookies half-way through to ensure even browning.
This second bake is customizable, you can bake as little as 15 to 20 minutes for crunchy but not too hard cookies, or up to 30 minutes for extra crunchy cookies perfect for dipping in your morning coffee or tea.
Once cooled, stand the cookies on their sides (I like to cluster them in groups or 5 or 6 together) and drizzle with glaze.
I used a plastic squeeze bottle with a small round tip for my glaze; I find the squeeze bottle gives me more control over my drizzle pattern; a piping bag or plastic bag with the very corner cut off would work similarly. Or you can use a fork or whisk for a more freeform, random drizzle.
You can also skip the glaze entirely if you prefer; while I love the extra hit of tart lemon from the glaze, the biscotti is plenty delicious on its own too!
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
Meyer lemons: While I prefer the sweeter, more fragrant flavor of Meyer lemons, you can use regular lemons here too, or a mix of lemon and orange to more closely replicate the unique Meyer lemon flavor.
Lemon extract: Totally optional, but a little lemon extract helps amp up the lemon flavor in both the cookie and the glaze.
Almond flour: This adds a bit of extra texture and hint of almond flavor to the cookies. You can also use finely ground almonds, or replace with an equal weight of AP or whole wheat flour.
White chocolate: a mere 14g of white chocolate in the glaze helps balance the often overly-cloying sweetness of powdered sugar. That said, you can leave it out for a more traditional sugar and lemon juice glaze (add more or less sugar as needed).
Powdered sugar: use organic powdered sugar for a less cloying sweetness, although the color will be more off-white and not as bright because of how the sugar is processed. Either way, be sure to sift it to avoid clumps in the glaze!
Meyer Lemon Biscotti
- 1 ¾ cup / 220 g all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup / 32 g almond flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup / 200 g granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon zest, very finely grated
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¼ cup / 56 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
- 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon lemon extract, optional
- ½ ounce / 14 g white chocolate, finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons / 45 g powdered sugar, sifted
- pinch fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice, plus more as needed
- ⅛ teaspoon lemon extract, optional
- Combine flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and whisk until evenly combined. Set aside.
- In a bowl, rub lemon zest with sugar until evenly distributed (this will help release the flavorful oils).
- Place eggs in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium high speed until frothy, then add lemon-sugar mixture and continue beating until pale and thick, 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high speed.
- Reduce mixer to low and drizzle in melted butter, followed by lemon juice, vanilla and lemon extract (if using).
- Sprinkle flour mixture over top and mix on low speed until almost completely incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you'd like, you can trace two 2-by-12-inch rectangles side by side on the back of the parchment paper as a guide. Leave about 4 inches of space between the two rectangles to allow for spreading.
- Divide chilled dough in half and dollop bits of dough in two rows along rectangle guides; lightly flour your hands and pat dough into two 2-by-12-inch rectangles, sprinkling with flour as needed so the dough doesn't stick to your hands.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating sheet half way through baking, until top is just beginning to crack and bottom is light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes.
- Transfer biscotti to a cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut on a bias into 1/2-inch wide pieces. Lay pieces, cut side down, on baking sheet. The cookies shouldn't be touching, but can be arranged very closely together as they will not spread any further.
- Return to oven and bake for a 10 minutes, then flip, and bake for another 10 minutes more, until crisp and light golden brown. If you want harder biscotti you can bake bake them a little bit longer. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Melt white chocolate in a small bowl in short bursts in the microwave at 50% power, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth.
- In another bowl, whisk together sifted powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle in white chocolate and whisk to combine. Add salt and lemon extract (if using). If necessary, add additional lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until a glaze reaches a nice drizzle-able consistency.
- Drizzle glaze over top of cooled cookies; you can use a whisk or fork, or transfer to a small bottle or piping bag fitted with a small round tip for more precise drizzles.
- Let glaze set up completely before packaging. Biscotti will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Free Printable Gift Tags
Biscotti are one of my favorite cookies for the holidays because they are so sturdy and keep well for weeks (unlike soft, chewy cookies which tend to dry out in a matter of days.) This makes biscotti a perfect cookie to ship in sweet holiday care packages and give out as gifts.
Biscotti make a perfect homemade holiday gift packaged in clear cello treat bags and tied with adorable lemon-shaped gift tags for perfect finishing touch, letting your recipients know what they’re getting (you can write a personalized note on the backs).
The free PDF includes two pages, one with a guide for a hole punch (for hang tags) and a second without the guide if you want to print on sticker paper and use as a label instead.
Or you can buy the customizable version and change the text, colors, and more! I’ve made additional format options for this label for the first time ever, you can choose Canva (works with the Free account!) or Photoshop or Illustrator if you have and use those programs. I hope to convert some of my other label templates into these other formats as well, feel free to email me if you have a specific request I’ll bump it to the top of my list. ;)
Free PDF Download
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Want to customize these labels to suit your exact needs? Buy the editable template (choose from Canva, Photoshop, or Illustrator formats) and you can do just that!