“Bridget is famous for her cookie exchange parties during Christmas time in which everyone brings in excess of 8 dozen cookies each to swap! (One year I made 125 Mincemeat Tarts for the party.) Her specialty is biscotti and she makes all sorts of varieties every year and brings them into the lab to share.” – April Ferre


Course: Cookies
Cuisine: Italian


  • 4 Tablespoons Butter Softened
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Almond or Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Optional Ingredients:

  • Lemon or Orange Zest
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Anise, etc
  • Dried Fruit (Cranberries, Raisins, Currants, Mango) Chopped
  • Toasted Nuts (Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios, Hazelnuts) Chopped
  • Chocolate chips
  • Shredded coconut
  • Crystallized ginger
  • Substitute other extracts for Vanilla or Almond.
  • Other creative additions


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • With electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Add in almond extract, stir to combine. (Optional: add lemon or orange zest.)
  • In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. (Optional: add spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg.) Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients; mixing until just combined.
  • Using a wooden spoon, mix in other optional ingredients. Alternatively, knead in other optional ingredients on a lightly floured surface until just evenly distributed throughout the dough. Do not over mix or over knead.
  • Grease or line with parchment paper two cookie sheets. Divide dough in half and form into a rectangle approximately 2-inches wide by ½-inch tall. Bake until golden brown and dough begins to split on the top; 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and drop temperature to 250 degrees.
  • When cool enough to handle, cut into ½-inch slices along the diagonal. Lay each slice on its side on cookie sheets and return to oven. Bake 7 to 10 minutes more, then turn slices over and bake another 7 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
  • If desired, dip one end of the biscotti in chocolate glaze (4 ounces chocolate, melted; 2 Tablespoons butter, vanilla extract.) and place on wax paper until solidified.
  • Makes approximately 24 cookies.

2010 Recipe – Bridget McLaughlin – From How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman, 2008