Cantucci (Italian Almond Cookies)
Cantucci or Biscotti di Prato are crunchy almond cookies from Tuscany.
Biscotti literally means twice (bis) cooked (cotti), biscotti is also the generic term for cookies in Italian.
These almond cookies are very easy to make: you shape the dough into a log and bake it. Then slice the log with a sharp, serrated knife and bake the cookies again. It’s during this step that cantucci dry out and become crispy.
I’ve divided the dough into 2 logs, if you want bigger biscotti just make one big log.
You can replace the almonds with chocolate chips, hazelnuts, pistachios or dried fruits. The possibilities are endless.
In Tuscany, cantucci are traditionally served at the end of a meal with a glass of Tuscan dessert wine, vin santo, for dipping but you can also serve them with tea, coffee or cappuccino.
Stored in a sealed container these almond cookies last for several weeks and they are also perfect to give as a homemade gift.
Cantucci or Biscotti di Prato are almond cookies from Tuscany. The are made without butter or oil and are twice baked to crisp perfection.
- 250 grams (2 cups+1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour sifted
- 165 grams (3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest or lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon amaretto or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 eggs
- 125 grams (4.4 ounces) raw unpeeled almonds
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (356 degrees F).
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
- Add the eggs, honey, orange zest, amaretto and mix all the ingredients.
- Once you have a crumbly, soft mixture, add the almonds.
- Transfer the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it into 2 logs that are approximately 30 cm (12 inch) long, and 5 cm (2 inch) wide.
Wet your hands, it will be easier to shape the dough.
- Place the logs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or with a silicone mat.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove the logs from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes before slicing.
- Place a log on a cutting board and using a sharp, serrated knife, cut it diagonally into 1.5 cm (1/2 inch) slices.
- Put the cookies back on the baking sheet and bake them for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the cantucci from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
- Store them in a sealed container for several weeks.
The dough is rather crumbly, but don’t be alarmed. Keep kneading and I promise it will become softer and stickier.
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