* Very lightly dampen your hands with cool water when shaping sticky biscotti dough.
* Make all the cookies the same size so that they will bake evenly. For drop cookies, use a small spring-operated scoop to measure out even amounts.
* Bring eggs, flour, butter, and other chilled ingredients to room temperature before using so that they will blend better.
* Remember that every oven is a little different, so check to see how quickly the cookies are baking several minutes before the recipe recommends. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.
* If baking more than one pan of cookies at a time, reverse the positions of the pans halfway through the baking time.
* Always use the best ingredients, such as fresh butter, high-quality bittersweet chocolate, freshly squeezed lemon juice, high-quality flavoring extracts, and fresh nuts.
* Store nuts and seeds in tightly closed containers in the refrigerator or freezer. Because they have a lot of fat in them, they can easily pick up unwanted flavors from other foods in the refrigerator. At room temperature, they will quickly go rancid, so use them as soon as possible.
From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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