Lemon Pistachio Biscotti – with extra lemon, twice!

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti – with extra lemon, twice!

Lemon biscotti are delicious, add pistachios and even better! But, since I love lemon so much, I decided to up the game and add even more lemon, and then I did it twice. These lemon pistachio biscotti have grated lemon rind and diced candied lemon peel with a tangy lemon icing! Wow, that’s a lot of lemon, but oh my, they taste good!

Biscotti are twice-baked cookies. First baked as a very soft dough into a long log shape, then after a brief rest, sliced and baked again. After slicing, lay the cookies down on the cut edge and put back in the oven. I bake these on a low temperature (325F) for twenty minutes, took them out of the oven to let them rest for ten minutes, slice and back in for another twenty.

The cookie logs need to rest so that they slice well. If they’re underdone they slices will fall apart as you cut and will crumble after the second bake. I’ve done this particular recipe a couple of times now and this is the best timing. Other biscotti recipes I’ve done take a bit longer on both bakes, it very much depends what ingredients you are using.

Pistachios are fairly delicate nuts, much more so than whole almonds, so that is a contributing factor. I use whole salted nuts in this recipe. Don’t let the salted factor put you off. It’s a nice contrast to the sweetness of the cookie and the icing.

Zest the rind – or peel the peel!

I like to have a lot of the grated rind on these lemon pistachio biscotti. There are two ways to do this. Either use a rasp type zester or use a vegetable peeler and then dice very finely with a large knife. I describe the peeler and knife method in my post on making lemon mousse tartlets. For this recipe, I use this zester as it give the texture I want for the biscotti.

In addition to lemon zest, I included candied lemon peel. You can leave this out, if you really hate peel, but this is the same peel I used in the Hot Cross Buns recipe and is really nice. It’s not dry and has a lovely sweet lemon taste. I bought it pre-chopped (it’s just so easy!). If you choose to not include the peel, just add more of the pistachios.

Biscotti are made using the ‘creaming method’. Basically creaming the butter and sugar together, then adding the eggs one at a time. This is best done with a mixer. It can definitely be done by hand in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Just more of a workout for you!

lemon pistachio biscotti dough
Biscotti dough

The dough is shaped into logs (I forgot to take a photo of the pre-baked dough). Make sure to leave enough space between them – you will get two on a cookie sheet. The dough does spread a bit, so better to mound it up a little.

Back in the oven for another twenty minutes then let them cool. Drizzle them liberally with the lemon icing and let that set.

Lemony and crunchy – good cookies, not too sweet

These lemon pistachio biscotti will keep for a week or so … assuming you don’t eat them in a couple of days. I store mine in a glass swing-top jar. They stay fresh, look pretty and you can see how many are left 😁.

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Lemon pistachio biscotti

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti

Yield: 36
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Lemons and pistachios, crunchy and sweet cookies.


  • 113g (1/2 cup) soft butter
  • 200g (1 cup) white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 375g (2 and 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 125g (1 cup) shelled, whole, salted pistachios
  • 80g (1/2 cup) diced, candied lemon peel 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (for icing)
  • 120g (1 cup) icing sugar (for icing)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and completely combined.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time and beat until fully incorporated.
  4. Add vanilla and grated/zested lemon rind.
  5. Mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Add gradually to the wet mixture.
  6. Stir in pistachios and peel.
  7. Scrape the bottom on the bowl with a silicon spatula to ensure all ingredients are fully mixed.
  8. On a prepared baking sheet (recommend parchment paper), form two logs of dough. This will be quite sticky - make each log approximately 2.5 inches wide by 2 inches high and as long as it needs to be. The dough will spread as it bakes so leave around four inches between each log.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes, the cookie logs should be golden brown and slightly soft.
  10. Remove from the oven and let sit for at least ten minutes. The dough needs to firm up a little. You should be able to pick up the entire log and carry it to a cutting board.
  11. Slice each log crosswise into half inch slices. Carefully lay each piece on the cookie sheet. You can snug them up against each other as they will not spread at this point.
  12. Bake for another 20 minutes.
  13. Make the icing - mix the lemon juice and icing sugar, making sure they are well blended with no lumps.
  14. Let the cookies cool and drizzle them with the lemon icing.


My recipes are all created using metric weight measurements. Conversion to spoons and cups are approximate.


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