Browned-butter, Lemon, and Caper Biscotti

These are straight from the super-fabulous Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook. I bought the book (which was first printed in 1999) since someone recommended it as a good source on how to plate and arrange food, and on general food styling for photography (and they were right), but the recipes are excellent for entertaining nibbles as well – just what you would expect from the doyenne of stylish entertaining.

Browned-butter, Lemon, and Caper Biscotti


  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces (1 stick) = 110 g
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with
  • 1 tablespoon water, and a pinch of salt, for an egg wash


  1. Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook the butter until it is dark brown and has a nutty aroma, 5 to 7 minutes, but do not allow it to burn. Set aside.
  2. Place the flour, pepper, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine on low speed. Slowly add the melted butter and combine until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 1 minute.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk. and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Gradually pour the milk mixture into the dough and mix until just combined.Add the capers, lemon zest, and parsley and mix to combine. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a baking sheet with the remaining olive oil and set aside. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll each piece into a log measuring 1 1/2 inches thick and about 7 inches long. Transfer the logs to the prepared baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
  5. Brush each log with the egg wash. Bake until the logs are light brown and feel firm to the touch, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer the logs to a wire rack cool, about 30 minutes. Reduce the oven to 250°F.
  6. Using a serrated knife, slice the logs crosswise on a long diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick pieces that are 3 to 4 inches long. Arrange the slices cut-side down on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and bake, turning the biscotti halfway through cooking time for even browning, until crisp, about 40 minutes.
  7. Cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

These were terrific. Everybody loved them, even those afraid the capers and lemon might be too overpowering. The browned butter gives an extra flavor kick, but all flavors are subtle and work very well together.

Other variations on the savory biscotti theme in the book are orange & black olives, and fennel seed with raisins – and I will without doubt try these, too 🙂

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