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favorite biscotti recipes?

  • p

just what it says -- can anyone share? i'd like to include some biscotti in my homemade gift baskets this year, but have never made them before. i've had an almond-orange or some such which was delicious, and would especially love recipes along this vein.

also, how long do biscotti last?

thanks!
pineapple

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  1. The key in how long biscotti last is whether they have butter in the recipe. The very traditional hard ones do not and last a very long time. Some newer recipes include butter to make them richer and more tender and shorten there life to maybe 2 weeks in my experience. Most Italian baking books have a basic recipe that you can easily experiment with adding different types of nuts and flavorings.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rjka

      for years I have made biscotti from recipes in Cooks Illustrated, January/February 1994: lemon-anise, honey-lavendar and orange almond. I like them all but must say I don't understand and don't like biscuity (higher fat content) 'biscotti'. I always look for a hard break and less sugary-sweetness than biscotti in shops seem to have adopted now as a standard. Is this just my idiosyncracy or were biscotti once less cake-like than they are now? Sometimes I buy biscotti at a local Italian bakery and they are positively soft but I give them a second bake in the oven and then they are crispy. Not dense and hard as I prefer, but better than the softer kind (save me from chocolate chips!) Starbucks promulgates.

      1. re: Dbird

        I agree that jawbreaker style biscotti are so much more satisfying. The cakey kind is just another cookie.

        I am sure that this trend is just a reflection of marketing to Americans' tastes. They want a chocolate chip cookie, but want to be sophisticated, too. Voila! The chocolate chip biscotti.

        1. re: ironmom
          c
          Caitlin McGrath

          You definitely must stick with classic recipes that have eggs only, no butter, to get good, crunchy-hard biscotti. Creamed butter=cake=soft cookies, even twice-baked.

    2. b
      Bride of the Juggler

      I've used the epicurious recipe as my base biscotti recipe for years, varying the add-ins from ginger and apricot to chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, walnuts, dried cranberries, etc. They last a week or two in a sealed ziplock bag, longer if frozen.

      Link: http://www.epicurious.com/run/recipe/...

      1. There's a recipe for pistachio and cranberry biscotti in December 2001 Gourmet magazine. It looks great. I have all the ingredients purchased, but don't know if I will get around to making them before Xmas. This recipe has no butter in it, so I guess it is a more traditional version. Looks festive, too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ann Vuletich

          I have made the cranberry pistachio biscotti and it is very good. It looks festive too. Also on the Epicurious.com forum-Gail's Swap I found a gingerbread biscotti with almonds. I substituted craisins for the almonds and it is yummy. The other one I love (from a little biscotti cookbook I have) I posted on Gail's Swap was a candied orange rind and pecan biscotti which I use with my leftover candied rinds.

        2. Last night I made three batches of the Pecan Cranberry Biscotti from marthastewart.com, and they are excellent!

          1. I have made really tasty biscotti the last two years by altering the biscotti recipe in Chez Panisse Cooking (the Paul Bertolli one). That recipe is a walnut one, using butter. I add 1 Tbsp orange zest, some almond extract, and substitute almonds for the walnuts. It's very easy, and really good.
            I read in this thread that not using butter makes them last longer, and I have to admit that these seem a little more tender than traditional biscotti, but mine have never been around long enough to go stale. I'd say you have at least 2 weeks.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dumpling

              I second the vote for Paul Bertolli's biscotti. They've been a favorite of mine for years. Double the recipe, because you can never have enough. I make them with walnuts, and currants soaked in brandy.