Helen’s Black Pepper Walnut Biscotti

Helen's Black Pepper Walnut Biscotti
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
55 min
30 servings

Skip the store-bought and make your own biscotti with Valerie’s easy recipe.

Adapted from “One Dish at a Time: Delicious Recipes from My Italian-American Childhood and Beyond” by Valerie Bertinelli (c) Rodale 2012. Provided courtesy of Valerie Bertinelli. All rights reserved.



2 ¾
cups all-purpose flour
tsp baking soda
tsp baking powder
Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch kosher salt
cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
cup sugar
large eggs, at room temperature
tsp grated orange zest
1 ½
tsp vanilla extract
tsp almond extract
1 ½
cups chopped walnuts, lightly toasted (see Cook's Note)


Step 1

Sift together the flour, baking soda and baking powder in a medium bowl. Stir in the pepper and salt. Set aside.

Step 2

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until pale and light. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the orange zest and vanilla and almond extracts.

Step 3

Fold in the flour mixture, then fold in the walnuts. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Step 4

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick silicone liners.

Step 5

Divide the dough in half, place 1 piece on each sheet and shape each piece into a 12-inch log, about 2 inches across and 1 inch tall. Bake until the logs are baked through and lightly browned, about 35 minutes.

Step 6

Let the logs cool for about 10 minutes on the baking sheets (leave the oven on), then transfer them carefully to racks to cool 10 minutes more. Using a serrated knife, slice each log on the diagonal into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices cut-side down on the baking sheets and return to the oven until well toasted, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer the biscotti to cooling racks to cool completely. They will keep, tightly covered, up to 1 week.

Step 7

Cook’s Note: To toast the walnuts on the stove top, put them in a dry skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring, until golden and fragrant. To toast them in the oven, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 350ºF until golden and fragrant.

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