Biscotti

Biscotti pair well with tea, coffee, or even an evening alcoholic sipper. Get biscotti recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
At some point in my childhood, my mom started making biscotti at Christmas. As a kid, it was low on my priority list—there were so many other, sweeter cookies in the house. But even though my mom was the household’s master baker, my dad, sister, and I ate most of her creations before she had a chance to enjoy them with a cup of tea and a good book. She probably made biscotti because we tended to leave it for her.

Now that I’m older, I’ve come to appreciate these twice-baked cookies. They pair well with tea, coffee, or even an evening alcoholic sipper. When I traveled in Italy, I ate them with straight espresso and once with a dry Italian dessert wine I assumed was a type of sherry but later discovered was called vin santo (holy wine). The Italians are biscotti masters, traditionally flavoring them with almonds. But the technique works with many flavors, from nuts and dried fruit to my mom’s favorite gingerbread biscotti. And because they’re so dry, they can be stored a long time, making them ideal for sending to others.
Learn to make my Biscotti Master Recipe and several flavors

Sending Cookies, With Love

This year, I think it’s more important than ever that we send food, with love. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
There’s no point in sugarcoating it: The winter holidays will look different for almost all of us this year. For most of us, holiday parties, cookie and gift exchanges, and family gatherings will be smaller, virtual, or nonexistent. But there are still plenty of ways to share the holiday cheer—particularly with food.

Despite concerns early in the COVID-19 pandemic about food and packaging contact that had us wiping down milk jugs with bleach and putting store-bought goods in short-term quarantine, we now know that food and its packaging are among the least of our virus-spread concerns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, “Currently, no cases of COVID-19 have been identified where infection was thought to have occurred by touching food, food packaging, or shopping bags.” We also know that food, particularly homemade food, can provide comfort, remembrance, joy, and more. So this year, I think it’s more important than ever that we send food, with love.

Since I’ve been on a pickling rampage most of the year, much to my cookie-loving sister’s disappointment, it’s time to bring some sweets to the Twice as Tasty table. Here are some foods I’ll be shipping to family and friends this holiday season.
Read more about sending holiday treats

Storing Pickles

Several tricks and tools will help you store pickled foods so that they stay fresh and crisp. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Now that you’re eager to or have successfully made pickles from the recipes in my new cookbook, The Complete Guide to Pickling, where and how should you store them? I talk briefly about pickle storage in the book, but several more tricks and tools will help you keep your pickled foods fresh and crisp.

As I mentioned in my post about pickling hacks earlier this month, you need two basic tools to make and store pickles: a container and a way to cover it. To ensure your pickles and their container stay clean and fresh, inside and out, choose nonreactive containers and lids—in other words, ones made of glass, stainless steel, food-grade plastic, or silicone.

Sure, you can cap your pickles with old metal mayonnaise lids or reuse tin-plated canning lids and rings; I did this, and recommended this repurposing, for years. But both will rust and break down over time as the acid in the pickle brine eats away at them, leaving an unattractive sticky mess around the jar threads, on your refrigerator shelves, and even potentially on the underside of the lid, where it can flake down into the food. Instead, I now save those old lids for dry storage and have switched to nonreactive options for high-acid foods.
Read more about storing pickles

Fermenting Tools

If you catch the fermentation bug, it’s worth investing in some tools. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
When I was testing tools for The Complete Guide to Pickling, I had the most fun with tools for fermentation. Until I started writing the book, I had mostly fermented using tools and equipment already in my kitchen, relying on zip-close bags, small glass jars, and airlocks cobbled together with old canning lids. But when I realized I would be including more than 30 fermented recipes in the book, it was time to research and test some fermenting tools.

The surge of interested in fermented foods has opened opportunities for companies and entrepreneurs to present tools designed to make fermentation easy, manageable, and trouble free. Some of those companies were willing to send me their products to test as I created the recipes in the book.

My main takeaway was this: If you catch the fermentation bug, it’s worth investing in some tools. To create a healthy fermentation, you must keep the food submerged in the brine. You’ll get the best results if you can also limit airflow. Here are some of my favorite tools to help with both.
Read more about fermenting tools