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Chestnut flour and chocolate drops biscotti

I succeeded to post the recipe at the second attempt. I baked this biscotti for the first time early this summer for a special Tuscan dinner with friends, writing the ingredients on a small piece of paper and losing it as expected at the end of the evening. It’s always the same: you put the notes scribbled down with codes and abbreviations that only you can understand in that book because you are sure you will easily remember that it is there, except then forgetting about it after 5 minutes, giving the recipe for missing for the months to come.

The same happened with the small duvet buttons, put into the box on the shelf because it was clear that I would have searched for them there the next year… and of course I secured the duvet to the sheets with pegs for months! And it happened again with the new necklace I bought in Germany, put in the most obvious and easy place to remember and found at the end of the season during the wardrobe change, just by chance.

But here I admit it, Your Honor, I’m a persistent offender with recipe notes. I even bought a black Moleskine just for my recipes, but most of the times I forget to write there ingredients, temperature and steps on the glossy pages of my diary.

As in the best fairy tales, when you least expect it the slip of paper comes out, and the only thing you need to do is to decrypt with archaeologist attention my infamous abbreviations, so obvious when you note them down for the first time, so obscure when you find out the recipe months later.

After having sent a good bunch of darns to the past me, who insists on writing half in Italian and half in English, hopping from language to language and from units of measurement to units of measurement, I eventually managed to reconstruct the basic recipe of the cantuccini made with chestnut flour.

Since in this period I’m playing with alternative flour and sweeteners, influenced Heidi Swanson‘s useful and mind-opening books, I slightly changed the original cantuccini recipe, trying to make them mirror the amazing colours and flavours of autumn.

I chose the chestnut flour, so sweet, and a whole oat flour, enchanted by how Heidi describes it: in her opinion it gives a moist and creamy sweetness to cookies and cakes. Just to bring these biscotti a step further in the scale of indulgence, I stirred in a generous handful of 70% dark chocolate drops, strong and slightly bitter. Now pull out the vinsanto, the cantuccini are ready!

Chestnut flour and chocolate drops biscotti

These are real bis-cotti, cookies that are baked twice to give them a perfect crunch.
4.50 from 8 votes
Print Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 3 free range eggs
  • 180 g of row cane sugar
  • 150 g of whole oat flour
  • 200 g of chestnut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons of whole milk
  • 100 g of 70% dark chocolate drops
  • 100 g of almonds
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  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk them with the raw cane sugar.
  • When the sugar has melted, add the chestnut flour and the oat flour sifted with the baking powder, then stir in three tablespoons of whole milk, the whole almonds and the chocolate drops.
  • Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and spoon the dough over the tray to form two flat loaves, about 5 cm large and 2 cm thick. Keep them well separated so that they do not stick while baking.
  • Bake them for about 25 minutes, then remove them from the oven, cut them slantwise into 2 cm thick slices, then arrange them a cut side down on the tray and bake them for 5 more minutes, until slightly golden brown.
  • Let them cool down on a wire rack, then store them in a tin box.


If you want to give a more predominant citrus flavour to the biscuits, add the grated peel of a non treated orange or a generous handful of candied orange peel.
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You can store the chestnut flour in a tightly closed plastic box or bag in the freezer: since it is obtained from dried chestnuts, it will keep the floury texture, without turning into a frozen brick.

For an improvised snack with the dear flavour of the ancient times just stir the sweet flour with water until you get a smooth and liquid batter, similar to the pancake mixture. Brush with extra-virgin olive a small non-stick pan, heat it on the stove and pour a spoonful of batter into the pan, spreading it evenly. Cook for a very few minutes on both sides and enjoy necci, chestnut pancakes typical of the Garfagnana area, simply good with just a dusting of icing sugar or a spoonful of fresh ricotta.

If you love chestnut flour just like I do – after all when you taste the best quality chestnut flour it will be like having a chestnut melting on your tongue, such a real taste -, do not miss castagnaccio, the most typical and rustic chestnut cake, made just with olive oil, rosemary, raisins and pine nuts.

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This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. A month ago, while I was in Florence, I tried biscotti with vin santo-it’s possibly the best combination ever!
    I have never used chestnut flour, it’s not that common here on Croatian market, I don’t know if we have it here. But these sure look and sound lovely.

  2. I love that use of chestnut flour! Both the biscotti and crepes look extremely delicious.



  3. I’m having fun using all the new flours that I’m seeing on the shelves these days. I’ve been baking a lot with oat and almond flour, but I haven’t tried chestnut yet. It sounds so rich, I’m excited to see what it’s like. Your biscotti look tempting, and the dark chocolate puts it over the top for me.

  4. I still have some chestnut flour, so this recipe is perfect. It has been awhile since I have made biscotti, but the flavor combo here is very inspiring. This delicious recipe has been saved and also it has been buzzed! Well done.

  5. Haha… I’m the same like you. Moleskine diary for my recipes but I usually I forget to write the whole recipe in it! 🙂 I will definitely make this biscotti!

  6. I bought the most delicious cantucci in Firenze from San Lorenzo. So sad there’re gone now, so I think I’ll have to try making these lovely cookies!

  7. Wow, these look simply amazing! I haven’t ever worked with chestnut flour, but the flavor must be just about perfect for a nutty biscotti recipe 🙂

  8. is real innovation. Chestnut flour is a common ingredient in my place (Rajasthan,India) and making a biscotti out of it is something awesome.

  9. I recently bought chestnut flour for the first time–want to make “castagniacca” (not sure I got the name right there) as it sounds so intriguing to me. (When I was travelling in Europe over Christmas one year I loved buying the blackened hot chestnuts on the street, peeling them open, steaming hot, and enjoying). I love that now I have another thing to make with this flour! I of course made sure to try cantucci while in Florence too, dipped in (I think it was?) vin santo?

    I love Heidi’s recipes too–especially baking with all these alternative flours!

  10. I’ve been playing around with flours lately too, but I haven’t tried chesnut yet. I’m still in love with hazelnut flour, but there’s only one store near me that carries it and it’s ridiculously expensive! But I am SUCH a sucker for a good biscotti!

  11. Sumptuous post; the lovely story tempts me to linger over your photos and recipe. Pondering the purchase of chestnut flour and a better system for recording my recipe experiments!

  12. 5 stars
    Necci! I loved them when I was in Florence, and am excited to find the recipe. I didn’t know it would be so simple. Chestnut flour is expensive in the states but I have been craving some chestnut flour baked goods, so now that I saw your biscotti recipe and the necci, I will definitely have to pick some up. Thanks!

  13. Wow the biscotti looks amazing, beautiful pictures too. I’ve never had biscotti with chestnut flour but it sounds brilliant!

  14. 5 stars
    This looks amazing! I LOVE biscotti – and I’ve never heard of chestnut flour – thank you for the introduction to a new ingredient!

    I used to do that, too. My friend brought me a small notebook that I carry with me everywhere. It’s my food book. Every recipe that I’ve made is in there…recipes, menus, shopping lists. I’d be lost without it!

  15. 5 stars
    I also write down recipes on envelopes, kitchen paper, little notepads anything I can find but I have also a nice moleskine which is still very empty 😉
    Love this recipe! as I luckely bought chestnut flour in Tuscany, I can cook it!

  16. Fascinating ways to use chestnut flour – I saw some in Whole Foods a few weeks ago and wondered how I could use it. Both ideas look amazing.

    I keep my blog recipe notes in the coloured moleskines – nearly filled two now 🙂

  17. This recipe is perfectly timed for me because I have been wanting to make chocolate biscotti. Also I recently saw chestnut flour in a store and was thinking how I would use it. This recipe kills two birds with one stone 🙂 I am not a fan of candied fruits so I will leave that out. Going to make it for my guests for Thanksgiving. Thanks!

  18. What an incredible smell! I’m baking these right now but due to an oat allergy I substituted 75grams of sorghum flour and 75 grams of brown rice flour. Also, no dairy so one TBS of coconut oil and 2 TBS almond milk instead of whole milk….thanks for this recipe it smells amazing!

  19. 3 stars
    Thank you for a lovely site. I made this exactly according to the directions. After 5 minutes of baking after being sliced, the cookies were nowhere near being slightly brown. They needed about 30 minutes plus of additional baking to look like the photo. I’m not sure how you managed to get them so brown in 5 minutes. I made them with fresh, imported from Italy, chestnut flour. The flavor was interesting. I suspect it’s more of an acquired taste. A couple of comments on the recipe itself – where it says to bake for about 25 minutes, it would be helpful to say what the criteria are for deciding. Usually recipes say something like “about 25 minutes or until firm” for example. Also the dough is extremely sticky. I found that I had to wet my hands to form it. It would have been helpful to address that in the recipe. Finally, right after the recipe there are photos of pancakes and descriptions from the chestnut pancake recipe, which is confusing.

    1. Thank you for all your feedback Lisa. This is a very, very old recipe, it dates back to 2011! Now I assure you I am a better recipe writer! 🙂

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