Cantucci cookies also known as “Biscotti di Prato” are typical sweets of traditional Tuscan cuisine: they are dry cookies with almonds.
These dry cookies are known for being tasty, crunchy, and great when dipped in sweet wine (Cantucci + Vin Santo).
If you don’t have Vin Santo you can also soak them in citrus-flavored wine such as mulled wine and the recipe for that is posted here.
The traditional recipe of the cantucci cookies is simple and also quite fast but there is a slight complication: the cantucci cookies must in fact be cooked twice and this means that if the oven temperature is exceeded, the result would be extremely hard biscuits instead of crunchy ones, and therefore inedible.
Almonds are a fundamental element for good biscotti di Prato: tradition says only unpeeled almonds should be used because these are the ones that give the most flavor to the biscuits but if you want to naturally sweeten the biscuit you can add in some peeled almonds.
The cookies you see in the picture are not ones that I made but ones that my friend Sarah made. Fret not because she used the same recipe I am giving to you now; these biscotti were so good they were finished all in one day.
These cookies require the use of baking ammonia which allows the dough to stabilize without growing too much; if you don’t have it, you can replace baking ammonia with baking soda as my friend did.
The traditional recipe does not require the use of butter which can still be used to make these cookies more fragrant.
Sarah, as you can see, did not only make these biscotti with almonds but also with other dried fruit such as walnuts, and pistachios and also added a handful of raisins making these biscuits even more appetizing. You can also flavor the mixture not only with vanilla or almond extract but also with orange or/and lemon grated peel.
I hope you guys enjoy these as much as I did!!
Try the recipe here :
- 3/4 cup almonds
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups floor 00
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- a pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 300 F.
- Toast the almonds and let them cool.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract with a whisk.
- In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the egg mixture and mix by hand until combined.
- Cut the almonds in half and mix them into the dough.
- Knead well, divide the dough in half, and with the help of a little flour make 2 loaves approximately 1/2 inch thick, 1 1/2 inch wide, and 12 inches long.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
- Put on a cutting board. using a serrated knife slice each loaf (about 10 cookies per loaf).
- Place the slices on the pan and return to the oven for 10 minutes or until well toasted.
- Let them cool.
If you want to substitute the almonds for any other nut the
measurements will stay the same.
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