How to Make Perfect Biscotti Every Time

Crunchy, crispy biscotti are addictive in a good way, and you only need to master a few techniques to make perfect biscotti whenever you decide to break out the baking sheets.

| May 2015

From hazelnut and anise to cranberry, citrus, chocolate and even cheese, Domenica Marchetti has compiled a tempting array of biscotti recipes in Ciao Biscotti (Chronicle Books, 2015). Each recipe ends with a drink suggestion to pair with the cookies, and bright illustrations accompany the easy-to-follow directions. The following recipe is from “Classic Flavors.”

Biscotti-Making Techniques

It’s not difficult to master the techniques to make perfect biscotti—mixing and shaping the dough, slicing the baked logs, toasting nuts, melting chocolate, and so on. Read through this section to familiarize yourself with the techniques used to make biscotti. As with any cooking or baking process, the more you do it, the more accomplished you become.

Prepping Nuts

Many recipes call for toasting nuts or removing their skins, or both. Follow these simple instructions to remove the skins from almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios.

Almonds: Place raw, skin-on almonds in a heat-proof bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let sit about 1 minute to loosen the skins. Drain and rinse, and use your fingers to pop the almonds out of their skins.

Hazelnuts: Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the shelled nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the skins have begun to crackle. Wrap the hot hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel and let stand about 1 minute. Roll the nuts back and forth in the towel to loosen and rub off the skins. Not all the skins will come off, which is fine.

Pistachios: Place the nuts in a heat-proof bowl and pour enough boiling water over them to cover. Let sit for 2 minutes and then drain. You can either slip the skins off with your fingers or wrap the nuts in a clean kitchen towel and roll them back and forth to remove the skins. I find the towel method removes some of the skins but not all, so I use my fingers.

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