Serves a Crowd

Fennel Biscotti

March 26, 2013
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about 40 biscotti
Author Notes

Inspired by an espresso with sambuca and a twist of lemon peel, these super crunchy biscotti are begging to be dunked into an espresso. This recipe is adapted from my Chocolate Chip Biscotti for Grandpa, here in the archives, which was adapted from one of the best biscotti recipes I've ever found: the Orange Scented Biscotti from the Supreme Court Historical Society cookbook, "Chef Supreme, Martin Ginsburg". —mrslarkin

Test Kitchen Notes

The licorice-like aroma of these crunchy biscotti fills the kitchen as they bake and you can’t wait to dip these delectable twice-baked cookies into a steaming hot drink of your choice: be it the first cup of coffee of the day, your favorite afternoon tea, or a post-dinner espresso. While the smell pulls you in, it’s the taste that keeps your hand reaching back for more. The fennel seeds speckled throughout the treats provide a subtle, yet incredibly enticing, flavor that is just the sort of pick-me-up needed any day of the week. —snowcitygirl

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed, plus extra for tops of biscotti
  • 2 large whole eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 large egg white, slightly beaten, reserved for egg wash and for dough, if needed
  1. Set oven rack to middle position. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the dry ingredients, lemon zest, and fennel seed with your fingertips, pressing out any lumps of brown sugar. Attach bowl to mixer, and set up the paddle attachment.
  3. Add in whole eggs and yolk, and mix.
  4. Remove the super-sticky dough from the bowl (a little flour will help) and knead a few times on a lightly floured surface. Cut into two even pieces. If you have a kitchen scale, use it.
  5. Form each piece into a log about 12 inches long by 2 inches wide, and transfer to the parchment-lined pan. It might be easier for you to form the logs right on the parchment paper. Keep the logs a good distance apart, at least 4 inches. The logs spread a lot, so don't put them too close to the sides of the pan, either.
  6. Brush some egg wash on each log. Sprinkle tops with extra fennel seeds and sugar. Bake for 50 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and cool the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. DON'T TURN OFF THE OVEN!
  8. Separate each log from the parchment paper by running a metal spatula underneath.
  9. On a cutting board, using a serrated knife, cut the logs on the diagonal into 1/2-inch slices.
  10. Lay the biscotti cut-side down on a new, unlined sheet pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven, flip biscotti over, and bake for another 15 minutes.
  11. Remove pan and transfer biscotti to a cooling rack to cool completely. While biscotti are cooling, make a pot of espresso.
  12. Store cooled biscotti in an air-tight container.
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21 Reviews

Little P. May 6, 2021
These were very yummy. I used 1 T of ground fennel in addition to the whole. I really like fennel! I also sprinkled coarse sanding sugar, rather than granulated, on top of the eggwash for more texture. Yum!
mallowfondant November 30, 2019
I made these and they came out great! I decreased the sugar by 25% but otherwise followed the recipe. I added about 2/3 of the last egg white and had just enough left over to brush the tops.

I used a stand mixer, which made the dough come together into small clumps, and hand kneaded it into a cohesive mass. Mine did not spread much at all in the oven, and I did not need any extra flour to roll the dough into logs.

Once they cool, I'm going to dip my mini-biscotti (mini because the dough didn't spread) into dark chocolate and serve them with coffee! I love that these are naturally dairy-free for my lactose intolerant friends.
Theresia A. December 20, 2015
They are absolutely delicious. I just finished baking my first batch. The combination of lemon and fennel gives the biscotti a wonderfully subtle flavour. I am looking forward to dipping them in my coffee! The instructions were very clear. I did not have very large eggs. So I added another egg to make the doug hold together. Thanks for the recipe.
ghainskom June 5, 2015
Second time's a charm. No oil added. Hand kneaded. Perfection.
DAVID March 8, 2015
These are perfect. I'm having one now with my coffee I have to try the your chocolate biscotti next. Thanks for sharing
mrslarkin March 16, 2015
So glad you like the biscotti, David!!
ghainskom March 21, 2014
Isn't this recipe missing some kind of fat (oil or butter)?
mrslarkin March 21, 2014
ghainskom March 21, 2014
Then maybe it's because of the eggs must be reaaally large. Because I just made this recipe and couldn't avhieve anythingnthan a crumble. Added 1/4 cup oil in the end. Or it could also be that I did it by hand and not with a mixer....
mrslarkin March 21, 2014
Very sorry. This was missing from step #3: "If dough is very dry, add reserved egg white a spoonful at a time." I'll update the recipe. Mixer could also help make a more cohesive batter. I've never tried them by hand.
EmilyC April 12, 2013
Congrats on the well-deserved CP, mrsl! These look SO GOOD!
mrslarkin April 12, 2013
Thanks so much Emily! Have to share: I just found a few of these that I stashed away in a ziploc 2 1/2 weeks ago, and they're still fresh as a daisy. Score!
Sophia R. April 3, 2013
I am a huge fan of all things fennel, whether savoury or sweet, and I love the look and sound of these!
mrslarkin April 3, 2013
thank you so much, Sophia!
bonbonmarie March 29, 2013
looking forward to trying this!
mrslarkin March 30, 2013
Great! Hope you like them as much as we do!
mrslarkin March 28, 2013
Thanks you guys! Just saw your comments. Let me know if you try them.
cookinginvictoria March 26, 2013
Agree with everyone -- these look amazing! Biscottis are my favorite kind of cookie and I can just imagine how delicious these are with the addition of the fennel seed. These are going on my Easter menu for sure!
drbabs March 26, 2013
I think I'm in love too.
lapadia March 26, 2013
These are wonderful, just like Panfusine says = LOVE! copied the recipe hope to have some for Easter! :)
Panfusine March 26, 2013
Love it Love it LOVE it!