CANTUCCI

Cantucci

For today’s Regional Italian recipe, I want to take you back to Tuscany.  After sharing two savoury dishes (Pollo alla Cacciatora and Tuscan Cabbage Soup) from this beautiful region, today I want to show you how to make Cantucci, also known as Biscotti di Prato (cookies from the town of Prato).  The term biscotto (biscotti is the plural), literally means “twice cooked/baked” and it refers to the fact that these cookies are baked twice, as you will see in the recipe below.  However, nowadays biscotto means “cookie” in Italian, any cookie even the ones that are not cooked twice are biscotti!  The only real biscotti as in “cooked twice cookies” are what we call Cantucci!  Easy right?? ;-)  Anyhow, whatever their name is these cookies are delicious.  They are among my all time favourite, as I am a big fan of crunchy cookies.  They are full of almonds and they are usually eaten with a sweet wine called Vin Santo, in the sense that you are supposed to actually dip them in the wine!  They soak up the sweet wine and become softer… mmmm delicious!  If you cannot find Vin Santo, a Muscat will work fine too.  Try them after dinner and let me know!!  Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:
500 gms – 2 cups flour
300 gms – 10.5 oz. sugar
150 gms – 5.25 oz. butter, melted
300 gms – 10.5 oz. almonds, with the skin on
3 eggs + 1 egg for brushing
1 sachet vanillina or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder

Start by toasting the almonds.  Put them on a baking sheet and bake them in a pre heated oven at 190°C – 375°F for 3 or 4 minutes.  Remove them from the oven and let them cool down.

Put the 3 eggs and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (1).  Whisk well until pale and fluffy (2).  Add the melted butter and stir (3-4).  Mix the baking powder in the flour and sift it into the egg mixture (5).  Whisk well until incorporated (6).  Now add the vanillina/vanilla extract and toasted almonds (7).  Transfer the dough on a floured surface and knead for a minute to make it into a ball (8).

Now divide the dough in 2 balls (or 3 for smaller Cantucci) and roll them into two 30 cm – 12 inch long strips.  They have to be thin (approximately 3 cm – 1.2 inches) as they will expand while cooking.  Put them on a baking tray covered with baking paper and brush them with the remaining beaten egg (you may do this with milk or with a mix of egg and milk).

Bake them in a pre heated oven at 190°C – 375°F for about 20 minutes.  Now remove them from the oven and let them cool down for a few minutes.  Slice them diagonally with a sharp knife.  You need to obtain cookies that are 1 to 1.5 cm (0.4 to 0.6 inches) thick.

Put the cookies back onto a baking sheet covered with baking paper and bake them in a pre heated oven at 170°C – 340°F for about 10 to 15 minutes.

When ready, let the Cantucci cool down completely.

Cantucci

Serve them with some sweet wine like Vin Santo or Muscat.

Cantucci

Cantucci

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26 Responses to CANTUCCI

  1. The meaning of biscoti realy got confused over time. I hadnt known that. I am a biscotti fan, by the way. ;)

    Fantastic shots! realy looks great.

    thx for sharing and I wish u a nice weekend. =)

  2. Mary Ellen @ Pâte à Chew says:

    Lovely! Biscotti (really, cantucci, as you point out) are one of my favorite desserts ever. I’ve only been blogging for a little over a year and I’ve already posted three types of biscotti :) The simple but delicious almond variety are one of my favorites!

  3. Joan Nova says:

    ah…cantucci dunked in vin santo is my favorite way to end a meal in Tuscany.

  4. mjskit says:

    Now you are definitely a woman after my heart! I love dipping biscotti’s in sweet wine!!!! AND almond biscottis are my favorite! So do you thing I’m sitting here drooling right now? :) Bookmarked!

  5. Hotly Spiced says:

    I love biscoti. Yours looks great. It’s such a lovely treat to have after an Italian dinner.

  6. Rachael says:

    Yet another of your recipes bookmarked! Thanks so much for sharing this one – I have been looking for a cantucci recipe for ages and now I have the perfect excuse to send hubby to the Italian specialty store for Vin Santo! :)

    Your blog is simply wonderful – great pictures, clear instructions, inspiring recipes.

  7. Tessa says:

    Beautiful biscotti. You make it look so easy!

  8. I love it that you paired it with Vin Santo instead of an espresso. What a wonderful little cookie. Our neighbour gives us two kinds of Cantucci every year for Christmas. I just love it.

  9. Joshua says:

    I had lost my Abruzzo version of cantuccini and am stuck with at kilo of almonds in search of a recipe and then foodblogs pointed this out. Looks like about what I had been told by an expert. Thanks. Beautiful photos.
    j

  10. PolaM says:

    Cantucci e vin santo sono uno dei mie dessert preferiti! I have to learn how to make these!

  11. Liz says:

    Beautifully done! What a wonderful way to end a meal…a wine soaked biscotto!

  12. Kiri W. says:

    Looks yummy! I didn’t know of these, thanks for the introduction :)

  13. Asiya says:

    My husband love biscotti.I know he would love this. I had one questions…what is the difference between Vanillina and Vanilla Extract? I have seen Vanillina in the grocery store but everything on the packet is written in Italian :)

    • Manu says:

      Hi Asiya! Vanillina is a powder that tastes like vanilla (so I guess the fact that it is a powder that looks like icing sugar is the main difference)… but you don’t really have to buy it to make these… vanilla extract works just as well!! :-)

  14. These are such a joy to make and I keep coming back to almond biscotti even though I’ve tried making other variations. With such simple ingredients you always get such a lovely crunchy biscotti perfect with coffee. Thanks for the reminder…I will need to make a batch again soon.

  15. Gorgeous little cookies, Manu. I love how stuffed full of almonds they are – and wonderful photos! Now I know my biscotti from my cantucci :)

  16. Purabi Naha says:

    You did it again! Congratulations on being at Top 9 today. Scrumptious recipe with gorgeous picture…. Bookmarked!

  17. I love biscotti with coffee hehe or am I weird I like it with Ice-cream too hehe :) but then i guess I like everything with ice-cream ~ I didn’t know there was another name for biscotti :D Thanks for sharing and congrats for making Top 9 on Foodbuzz!

  18. Allen says:

    Thank you for this Cantucci recipe. I can’t wait to make it.
    Allen.

  19. Thank you for clarifying, it drives me nuts when I hear biscotti (and panini) used in the singular… I know it is not a fault, God only knows what I pronounces wrong in a foreign language, but it just annoys me. So let’s spread the word. I just got back from Tuscany, so it is nice to see these as a reminder. Great job.

  20. Interesting! :) I love biscotti and I love this recipe with the chunky almonds and I am sure it will be a hit in my house! Thanks for sharing this recipe, Manu! :) I have a giveaway going on… Hope you’ll enter! :)

  21. Daily Deal says:

    I really enjoyed these cookies. This was my second attempt at biscotti and they turned out so good even my son liked them.

  22. This may be one of my favorites, I like biscotti so much…and if it has almonds…better than ever…!!!

  23. Lee Fry says:

    Made these today – delicious. One thing, it wasn’t obvious after the first cook what consistency they should have, mine were a little soggy in the middle but then crispened up on the second bake. I think maybe they needed an extra 5 minutes. Also the recipe forgets to explain when to add the vanilla so I added it when I added the almonds.

    Delicious biscuits though!

    • Manu says:

      Hi Lee! You are right!!! Had not noticed that! I added the vanilla bit… it goes in with the almonds, so you guessed right! :-))) THANKS for letting me know! :-)))
      It is ok if they were a bit soggy after the first cook. They are meant to be like that… it makes it easier to cut them. If they were more cooked, they may crumble. I have seen yours and they look spot on! I am very happy you liked them! :-)

  24. Steve says:

    Tried to make with gluten-free flour. Didn’t work. Be warned those who might try this at home too. :(

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