Biscotti are double-baked Italian cookies that make a great stand-alone snack and an even greater companion for coffee or tea. Because baking isn’t an everyday task for most people and biscotti needs to be baked at least two times over, the easiest way to enjoy them is to bake the cookies in bulk and store them. How do you store your biscotti in a way that makes them retain that amazing crunch?
To store biscotti to keep them crunchy, cool the cookies, then transfer them to an airtight container. Use a glass jar, metal jar, or a well-sealed plastic container to keep air out. You should also line the jar with parchment paper, paper towels, or food-grade paper to absorb moisture.
In this article, I’ll explain why biscotti can get soft, how to store them properly, and how to keep them crunchy. Keep reading to also find out if you can freeze biscotti after baking them!
How To Store Biscotti
Limp, soft biscotti is no biscotti at all, is it? To keep that good old crisp in your crunchy biscotti, you have to store them the correct way. Here are five steps you should take to store your biscotti properly:
1. Set Them Out on a Wire Rack To Cool
As soon as your biscotti are done baking, you should take them off the baking tray and set them out on a wire rack to cool. I recommend a wire rack because the baking tray is super-hot when it comes out from the oven, so it’ll take much longer to cool the biscotti if you have to wait for the tray to cool down first.
A wire rack is better for cooling because it gets air to circulate your biscotti both at the top and bottom. The air cools the hot biscotti by convention. This means that as the cool air around the cookies circulates, it continues to take the heat away from them until they’re at the same temperature. The more air can get around the hot biscotti, the faster they cool off. Because of this, setting your biscotti on a wire rack will make them cool faster.
It’s crucial that you let the biscotti cool off completely on the rack. If they don’t, the heat will make moisture from the surrounding air condense in the container. This condensation can soak your biscotti and ruin your great baking by making them soft or even soggy.
Allow the biscotti to cool on the wire rack for at least 20 minutes, then feel them to confirm that they’re cool enough. You should also taste one of the cookies to be sure they’re crunchy enough at room temperature. If they’re not, you may need to get them back in the oven for some more baking.
2. Choose the Right Container
The container you store your biscotti in can make all the difference in how they turn out. An essential quality of a good biscotti-storing container is that it must be airtight. If air leaks into the container, it could soften your biscotti and make them taste stale. The best containers for storing biscotti are:
- Glass jars
- Stainless steel tins
- Cambro containers
- Lexan containers
- Acrylic containers
- Plastic jars
Most people prefer glass or stainless steel jars because they’re often less permeable to air even when you open them to pop out a biscotti from time to time. A plastic jar can also work great, especially if it has a tight-sealing technique to keep air out. An acrylic jar is also made from a type of plastic, but it’s a special petroleum-based thermoplastic with more durability than regular plastic jars.
Lexan and Cambro Polycarbonate Food Containers (available from Amazon.com) are specially made for food storage, but they’re most popular among professional bakers. They are polycarbonate containers that offer the airtight features of glass containers without the brittleness that makes them crack and break easily.
3. Wash and Dry the Container
Whether you’re storing your biscotti in a brand new or re-used jar, you should wash it before putting the cookies in.
You have to wash the brand-new jars because you don’t know how they were handled during production and retail. In a re-used jar, there are many tiny particles of food that can start mold growth on your biscotti. It’s best to use water – hot water, if possible – and dishwashing liquid with a sponge to clean the jars and their lids before using them.
Leftover water from cleaning can also soak your biscotti and make them soft. To avoid this, you have to carefully dry the jar after washing it. You can hang the jar up to air-dry it or wipe it with paper towels to soak up the moisture.
4. Line the Container
As a last precaution against any moisture that finds its way into your biscotti container, you should also line its interior. Moisture can form in your container to soften your biscotti if:
- They didn’t stay in the oven for long enough during their second bake.
- The cookies were still warm when you put them into the container.
- The air has high humidity.
If this stray moisture gets into the jar, lining it can help to absorb it. You can line the jar with any food-safe semi-absorbent material. The most common choices for lining biscotti jars are:
- Paper towels
- Parchment paper
- Butcher paper
- Wax paper
5. Put in the Biscotti and Seal the Container
When your jar is clean, dry, and well-lined, you’re all set to put your biscotti in! It’s not always necessary, but you could go the extra mile to wrap each cookie individually to make them extra airtight.
Carefully place the cookies in the jar, and stop when it reaches the top. Don’t try to squeeze in extra biscotti to fit them all in one jar because you could end up crushing them. Screw the lid on the jar, and seal it tightly to keep all air and moisture out.
Why Biscotti Gets Soft
The three reasons your biscotti could be soft are:
- You let air get into them.
- You let moisture get into their container.
- You didn’t bake them for long enough.
Air contains some moisture, but the humidity of your surroundings determines the exact amount. If air gets into your biscotti, it absorbs this moisture and slowly softens.
Moisture could also get into your biscotti from another source. For example, if you put the cookies into their container while hot, the heat will cause condensation to form inside the container and soak up the cookies.
Biscotti stay crispy because they’re baked twice to get as much moisture as possible out of them. If the cookies don’t stay in the oven for long enough during the second baking, they won’t get as dry as they should be. This leftover moisture in them will make them soften over time.
How To Keep Biscotti Crunchy
Biscotti get softened by moisture, so the most important way to keep them crunchy is to keep moisture out. Here are the ways to keep your biscotti dry and crispy:
- Keep your biscotti in the oven long enough to bake well.
- Line the container with paper to absorb any excess moisture.
- Store your biscotti in an airtight container only when they’re cool.
- Keep your biscotti container in a cool, dry place.
- When taking biscotti out, don’t leave the container open for long.
- Freeze biscotti if you’re storing them for more than three months.
- If a couple of cookies are already soft, microwave them for about 10 seconds.
- If the entire batch is soft, put them back in the oven to dry them out.
- For regular ¼-inch (6.35-cm) thick biscotti, reheat the cookies for five to 20 minutes at 250 °F (121.1 °C).
Can You Freeze Biscotti After Baking?
It’s a common practice to freeze biscotti dough or once-baked biscotti. Freezing biscotti that has already been baked twice isn’t very common, though, so you may be doubtful about it. Can you freeze biscotti after you’re done baking them?
You can freeze biscotti after baking. When done right, freezing biscotti after the first or second bake can help to preserve them for at least three months.
Freezing baked biscotti is a simple but delicate process. Let’s get into how to do it!
1. Allow the Cookies To Cool
You wouldn’t put hot food straight into the freezer, and you shouldn’t put hot biscotti in there either. Placing a batch of steaming biscotti directly from the oven into the freezer can affect the rest of the food in there. If the cookies are hot enough, they can heat up the rest of your frozen food and make your freezer work harder until the biscotti cools down.
If you put the hot biscotti into the freezer in a closed container, you could also end up with a very soggy batch. The sharp temperature difference between the container and freezer will make the air condense and form a pool of water inside it. Because the biscotti is fresh, this water will soak up your cookies, making them soft and messy.
Like with unfrozen biscotti, you should set the cookies out on a wire rack to cool properly before freezing them.
2. Lay Out the Biscotti and Freeze Them
When the biscotti has cooled to room temperature, set out a baking sheet on a flat tray. Transfer each cookie to the baking sheet, and be careful that they don’t touch one another. If the available tray doesn’t have enough space, you can use any other flat surface. Alternatively, you could spread the sheet over the first set of arranged biscotti to create a second layer on the same tray.
Put the tray in the freezer, and ensure that the cookies are not touching one another. If you leave the biscotti to freeze while touching, they’ll stick together. When you need to pack them up, you’ll have to make a mess by breaking them up.
Leave the biscotti in the freezer for at least one hour. Thicker types may need more time to completely freeze, though. You have to keep an eye on the biscotti as they freeze. If you forget them in the freezer when they’re frozen but uncovered, they may have freezer burn.
3. Store the Biscotti in an Airtight Container
When the biscotti are well-frozen, you need to store them in an airtight container. The containers you can use to store frozen biscotti are:
- Glass freezer containers. These are super stylish and very durable, and you can microwave the biscotti in them if you need to. On the downside, they’re pretty heavy.
- Plastic freezer containers. These are much lighter than glass, but they’re not as durable. They also scratch easily, and not all plastic containers are microwave safe.
- Plastic freezing bags. These are very convenient but prone to tearing. Some types may not be as airtight as others, so you may need to double-bag.
Though they have their pros and cons, any of these containers can do a great job of storing your frozen biscotti as long as they’re airtight.
How Long Can You Store Biscotti For?
Biscotti can stay fresh and crunchy for up to one month in an airtight container at room temperature. When frozen, biscotti can remain fresh for three months to one year.
Unlike other baked goods, biscotti can stay fresh for longer because the double baking takes most of the moisture from it. Its extra-long shelf-life was the original reason it was popular among European sailors who could easily store the cookies and snack on them during their long sea voyages.
Biscotti can remain fresh for so long because the microorganisms that would make regular cookies go moldy can’t survive for long with the little moisture in regular biscotti. Keeping them in an airtight container will help to also keep out the moisture in the air that could get into the biscotti.
Leaving the container open or letting any moisture get into the biscotti will reduce their shelf life because the microorganisms can start to grow. If you include any added ingredients like fruit to put flavor in the cookies, the additions may also contain some moisture that’ll reduce the shelf-life of your biscotti.
Keeping your biscotti crunchy is that simple! As long as air and moisture stay out, you’ll have crunchy double-baked cookies to snack on all day.