Grandma Catrino’s Biscotti

I never knew my grandmother (she died when my mom was 14), but my mother’s beautiful nieces (and fellow soulmates-in-cooking), Kay and Maryanne were nice enough to send me a bunch of Grandma Catrino’s recipes a few years back including the biscotti one above. This story alone would have been enough for the recipe to earn a time-honored place in black paint inside my cabinet door — but the biscotti also happens to be incredibly delicious. Click to the jump for instructions.

Biscotti: A recipe from Mary Camino Catrino (1898-1950), slightly adapted

Cream together 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) and 1 cup sugar. Add 3 eggs, one at a time. In a separate bowl, sift (or whisk) together 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 teaspoons baking powder.

Using an electric mixer, add flour mixture to butter/sugar/egg mixture — slowly so you don’t overload the mixer. Stir in: 1 teaspoon almond extract, 1 tablespoon anise seed, 1/2 cup chopped pecans or almonds.

Flour counter and hands. Take mixture out, place on a floured surface and knead; work into 3 loaves and shape. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet and bake in at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes until firm and light brown. Cool and cut into strips.

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Thanks for the idea! This is the perfect Mother’s Day solution for my mom who always buys the overpriced, individually wrapped (delicious) Costco variety… now what to do for his mom? Oh, and I read your newsletter, do I win the Jane Marvel tote?


I’ve been wanting to try making biscotti for awhile now and this seems like the perfect recipe to attempt! I read your newsletter, do I win the Jane Marvel tote?


We enjoyed them for breakfast and gave them to 4 (!) mothers today. I’m pretty sure if you asked my mother which she prefers, almonds or diamonds, she’d say almonds, plus she loves anise, so these were an outrageous hit.
I made just a few changes: 1c minus 2 T turbinado sugar (cause that’s all the sugar I had in the whole house), 1 cup white whole wheat w/ 2 cups AP flour, and 1 full cup of almonds. Delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe with us.
I also baked them a second time, cause that’s what everybody else does… are they snappy enough without the second bake?


I was looking for a nice tradtional recipe to adapt to gluten free, this did the trick perfectly! I made 2/3 of a batch, but kept it at 3 eggs, and added a teaspoon of guar gum to the flour. I made them with pecans, sliced and toasted after 12 minutes baking. They were great. I love your cabinet. Thanks for sharing your grandma’s recipe! (For flour, I used Thai rice flour, which is very finely textured, and comes in sticky and non sticky. 1+ 1/3 cups red label non sticky flour, 2/3 cup green label ‘glutinous’ sticky rice flour. Total 2 cups flour).