Cornmeal & Pine Nut Biscotti

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Preparation info

  • Makes about


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

By Nick Malgieri

Published 2008

  • About

Lemon zest and vanilla bring out the sweet corn flavor in these biscotti. If you can only find the pine nuts that come in a tiny package and are outrageously expensive, substitute coarsely chopped blanched almonds.


  • cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • 1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons ( sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
  • ¾ cup (about 3 ounces/75 grams) pine nuts
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 cookie sheets or jelly-roll pans lined with parchment or foil


  1. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse several times to mix.
  3. Add the butter and pulse repeatedly until the butter is completely mixed in but the mixture remains cool and powdery. Remove the blade and pour the mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the pine nuts.
  4. Whisk the eggs with the vanilla and lemon zest and use a large rubber spatula to stir this into the cornmeal mixture. Continue mixing until a soft dough forms.
  5. Scrape the dough onto a floured work surface and squeeze it together (the dough will be sticky). Divide it in half and roll each half into a cylinder a little shorter than one of your baking pans. Transfer the logs of dough to the pans, keeping them well apart from one another and from the sides of the pans. Use the palm of your hand to flatten them slightly.
  6. Bake until the dough has puffed, spread, and feels firm when pressed with a fingertip, about 30 minutes.
  7. Slide the baked logs on the paper onto a rack to cool completely. Reset the oven racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  8. Once the logs have cooled, use a sharp serrated knife to slice them ⅓ to ½ inch (8 mm. to 1 cm) thick. Line up the biscotti, side by side and cut side down on the 2 baking sheets.
  9. Bake the biscotti until they are lightly toasted (you can tell when they’re ready because the pine nuts will look toasted), 20 to 25 minutes. About halfway through the baking time, place the pan from the lower rack on the upper one and vice versa, turning the pans back to front at the same time. If you know that your oven gives strong bottom heat, stack the pan on the lower rack on top of a second one for insulation.
  10. Cool the biscotti on the pans on racks.


Keep the biscotti between sheets of wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid at room temperature.


Add ¾ cup golden raisins or currants along with the pine nuts.