While cleaning my house in September, I came across a forgotten stack of old Food Network magazines. I usually saved them to read on flights to Northern California to visit my family, but because I hadn’t flown anywhere for a year and a half, my monthly subscriptions had really piled up.
I pulled out a few and set them on the end table near my sofa as a visual reminder to skim through them. That evening, I started flipping through the issue on top. Although I rarely read through the full ingredients list of every single one, I still glanced at each recipe’s title. One in particular caught my eye.
Blintzes… With a cardamom-spiced blueberry compote.
“Huh…” I thought. “That actually sounds really good! The sweet berries with the comforting spice flavor… I bet it’s the perfect balance.”
My mind quickly jumped to a memory of baking my family’s favorite cookies. Those contained a similar flavor profile — rich spices and sweet white chocolate, instead of juicy blueberries — and three years later, my family still calls them the best cookie recipe I’ve ever shared here on my blog. (Out of 250+ cookie recipes!)
By the time I woke up the next morning, my brain had smooshed my swirling thoughts together into a brand new recipe idea…
White chocolate cardamom biscotti.
(Do recipe ideas pop into anyone else’s head the moment their eyes open? Or just me?…)
That afternoon, I scribbled down a quick list of ingredients and pulled out my mixing bowls. I didn’t plan on sharing the recipe here. I only intended to play around, have fun, and be creative in the kitchen, but when the cookies had fully cooled and I took my first bite…
I completely changed my mind. These biscotti tasted just as incredible as my family’s favorite cookies — maybe even better!
QUICK OVERVIEW – HEALTHY WHITE CHOCOLATE BISCOTTI
Difficulty: Somewhat easy, even for many beginner bakers.
Taste: Lightly sweetened with a subtle backdrop of rich, cozy, comforting spice flavor and hints of butterscotch from the morsels of caramelized white chocolate.
Texture: Crisp, hard, and crunchy all the way through — just like traditional biscotti.
WHAT ARE BISCOTTI?
Quite simply… Biscotti are cookies! Although “biscotti” is the Italian word for cookies in general, many people think of biscotti as a specific type of cookie: a rectangular strip that’s baked twice to give it a hard and crunchy texture.
Tip: If you’re interested in knowing more about biscotti, I’ve gone into more detail in my ultimate healthy biscotti blog post!
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE HEALTHY WHITE CHOCOLATE BISCOTTI
Let’s cover the ingredients you’ll need to make healthier white chocolate biscotti! Just like with my ultimate healthy biscotti, I mostly stuck with traditional ingredients found in original biscotti recipes from the 14th century. (Crazy to think these cookies have been around that long!)
Flour. To make these bisotti healthier (at least compared to many present-day versions!), you’ll use white whole wheat flour. Yes, such a thing exists — and it’s not just a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and regular whole wheat flour!
Instead, white whole wheat flour is made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat. (Here in the US, “regular” whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of hard red wheat.) White wheat has the same health benefits as regular whole wheat flour, including extra fiber and micronutrients, but it also has a lighter taste and texture, which is closer to that of all-purpose flour. That lets the flavors of your healthier white chocolate biscotti shine!
Hint: It’s similar to the difference between red and green grapes. They have different flavors but the same health benefits!
Tip: I’ve also shared how to make these biscotti gluten free in the Notes section of the recipe!
Baking powder. This isn’t an ingredient that was used in 14th century biscotti, but I found that adding a teensy bit helped improve the biscotti’s texture.
Egg. Just like in other varieties of cookies, the egg binds together the ingredients and creates the correct cookie texture. Here, you’ll need one large egg. Not small, not extra large, not jumbo… Large. Any of those other egg sizes will throw off the ratio of wet and dry ingredients!
Almond extract. Those very first biscotti were made with almonds, so almond extract is regularly included in many biscotti recipes. It’s actually my favorite baking extract! It adds a sweeter flavor compared to vanilla, and I also think it often makes homemade baked goods taste like bakery-style ones.
Sweetener. For these biscotti, both coconut sugar and light brown sugar will work. Coconut sugar has a caramel-like flavor that’s really similar to brown sugar. It doesn’t actually taste like coconuts! You can generally find it on the baking aisle right next to the granulated, brown, and powdered sugars.
Cardamom. I know cardamom isn’t a popular spice… Or even one that most people keep in their pantry. However, it makes a HUGE difference in the flavor of these biscotti — and I 1000% believe that it’s worth purchasing and using!
Cardamom gives your biscotti a magical “je ne sais quois” flavor, one that you may not be able to put your finger on or explicitly name… But one that’s gentle and rich and warm in the background, making your biscotti irresistible and even slightly addictive — in the best sort of way!
Hint: Cardamom is in chai and chai spice, so if you’ve ever drank plain chai or a chai latte, then you’ve had cardamom!
White chocolate. Both bars of white chocolate and white chocolate chips will work for this biscotti recipe. Before folding into the cookie dough, you’ll chop it so the white chocolate pieces are smaller and finer. Do not skip this chopping step! If you do, your biscotti will crumble and break apart when you try to slice the log of cookie dough. By dicing the white chocolate, you’ll get nice, cleaner cuts when slicing into individual biscotti.
And during the baking process, something magical happens to the white chocolate…
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY WHITE CHOCOLATE BISCOTTI
So let’s cover that — along with how to make the best white chocolate biscotti! Here are the key steps of the baking process.
Make and shape the cookie dough. The dough is simple to make. You just need a whisk and a fork — no need for an electric mixer or any special equipment! The dough should be a little sticky, so I recommend using a spatula to shape it. I love these mini spatulas; they’re so handy!
To ensure the best results, shape the dough into a rectangle that matches the exact dimensions given in the recipe instructions. If your rectangle is thinner and wider, your biscotti will bake too quickly. If your rectangle is taller and thicker, the outsides of your biscotti will turn too hard before the insides can finish baking. (I keep a ruler in my kitchen just for recipes like this!)
Bake once. The first bake is the longer of the two. When you remove the biscotti “log” from the oven, the outsides should be golden and feel very firm.
Slice into strips. After letting the “log” cool for 10 minutes (no more and no less!), you’ll cut it into individual biscotti. If you try to cut it too soon, the insides will be a bit too soft. (You could also burn yourself — not good!) If you wait too long, the insides will be too hard and can crumble a lot with each cut.
Tip: A serrated knife works best for this. This is the one I own and love!
Again, precision is key. The biscotti should all be a uniform thickness to ensure they bake evenly during their second trip into the oven. For the best results (in both taste and texture!), I recommend using a ruler for this as well.
Tip: I like to cut mine diagonally, which means they end up longer than the width of the original biscotti “log.”
Bake again. Return the white chocolate cardamom biscotti to your baking sheet, and pop that back in the oven. I like to flip them over halfway through to ensure they bake evenly.
However, you get to choose the amount of time you bake them during this second trip to the oven! If you’d like your biscotti to be firm with just a teensy bit of “give” in the middle, bake them for less time. If you’d like your biscotti to be crisp, hard, and crunchy all the way through, let them bake a little longer.
But… Where’s the white chocolate?? I don’t see it in your photos! This is the magical thing that happens while you bake your biscotti… The white chocolate caramelizes! That means it ends up with a very similar lovely golden color as you see in the cookie part of the biscotti, rather than bright white. It fooled me the first time I baked these; I thought those slightly darker golden spots where wet and underdone bits of dough… Until I touched them and took my first bite. YUM!
When white chocolate caramelizes, like it did during this long biscotti baking process, it loses that almost cloying sweetness of regular white chocolate. Instead, it develops a richer and more sophisticated butterscotch- or caramel-like flavor. I’m not the biggest white chocolate fan, but I absolutely adored the caramelized white chocolate bits and flavor of these fun biscotti!
Tip: My friend Sam wrote an entire guide about how to caramelize white chocolate, complete with step-by-step photos! She’s the person who first introduced me to caramelized white chocolate (or cwc, as she calls it). Now that I’ve done it by accident when making these biscotti, I’m excited to try making an entire batch following her guide!
FAQS ABOUT HEALTHY WHITE CHOCOLATE BISCOTTI
Are these biscotti gluten free? Dairy free?
Yes! I’ve included my recommend gluten free option in the Notes section of the recipe. If you use dairy free or vegan-friendly white chocolate (like this!), then your biscotti will also be dairy free.
What can I substitute for the cardamom? Or can I omit it?
I highly recommend using the cardamom! I promise it’s not a “one time use” ingredient. You’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine too! However, if you’re staunchly against using it, then you can substitute cinnamon or nutmeg, but your biscotti won’t have the same flavor.
Why are my biscotti crumbly?
If your biscotti dough is too dry to hold together, or if crumbles a lot when you try slicing it after the first bake, then there wasn’t enough liquid in your dough. Sometimes that happens because not all “large” eggs are the exact same size. If you notice your dough is dry while trying to shape it, then add ½ teaspoon of water at a time until the dough holds together and is slightly sticky (but not wet!).
Note: They’ll naturally crumble a bit around the edges when you slice the log into strips after the first bake. That’s normal — don’t be alarmed!
How hard are biscotti supposed to be?
Really hard! Traditional biscotti are supposed to be completely dry all the way through. This makes them perfect for dunking in coffee, tea, hot cocoa, or even milk. A brief dip in those beverages immediately softens the biscotti — and it gives you an excuse to eat cookies for breakfast too! 😉
How should I store biscotti? How long do they last?
I recommend storing your white chocolate biscotti in an airtight container. If you’ve fully baked your biscotti until they’re hard and dry, they’ll actually last around one or two weeks when stored at room temperature. You can refrigerate them to make them last even longer, and these white chocolate cardamom biscotti freeze well too!
Do biscotti ship well?
Yes! Because they’re so hard and sturdy, and because they keep for a long time, they ship really well. These white chocolate biscotti are perfect for sending to loved ones, especially during Christmas and the holiday season!
Tip: I have a guide about the best way to mail cookies here!
Ready to start baking? And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your white chocolate cardamom biscotti!
Healthy White Chocolate Biscotti
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cardamom, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, almond extract, and water. Stir in the coconut sugar. Add in the flour mixture, stirring until fully incorporated. Fold in the white chocolate.
- Transfer the cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet, and shape into a long and skinny rectangle that’s 2 ¼” wide and ¾” tall using your hands or a spatula. (I love using these mini spatulas. If the cookie dough sticks to your hands, rub them with a little neutral-tasting oil first!)
- Bake at 350°F for 33-35 minutes. (The outside should be golden brown and very dry and crusty!) Let the rectangle of baked cookie dough cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes (no more and no less!).
- Transfer the rectangle of baked cookie dough to a cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the rectangle into ½”-thick strips (no wider!), working from one short end of the rectangle to the other. (Both diagonal strips and horizontal strips will work!) You should end up with cookies that are ½” thick, ¾” tall, and 2 ¼”+ wide.
- Place the cookies onto the original baking sheet with one cut side facing down and the other cut side facing up. Bake at 350°F, flipping the cookies halfway through, for 6-8 minutes (for centers with just a bit of “give”) or 12-16 minutes (for centers that are completely hard and dry). Cool completely to room temperature on the baking sheet.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Biscotti
♡ Healthy Double Chocolate Biscotti
♡ The Ultimate Healthy White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
♡ Healthy White Chocolate Cardamom Cookies
♡ Healthy White Chocolate Red Velvet Cookies
♡ Healthy Spiced Thumbprint Cookies
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy cookie recipes!