Sunday, March 10, 2013

Crisp Tuscan Almond Cookies - Cantucci Toscani alle Mandorle

40 cookies
In Tuscany, the twice-baked cookies known as biscotti, are called cantucci, which translates as "little nooks." Classically flavored with almonds, these miniature cookies make the perfect end to a hearty meal, especially when served with a glass of sweet Vin Santo, for dipping.


  • 3/4 cup blanched almonds
  • 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Vin Santo for serving (or any sweet wine)


Heat oven to 350°. Spread almonds on a baking sheet and bake until lightly golden, about 7 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together almonds, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add eggs and butter. Using a wooden spoon, stir until combined, then knead in bowl until dough comes together.

Divide dough into 5 equal pieces. Form each piece into a log about 6 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Put logs onto prepared baking sheet, at least 2 inches apart. Gently press each log to flatten slightly.
Bake logs, rotating pan halfway through, until golden and slightly firm to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let logs cool on baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes.

Using a sharp knife, cut logs crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices.

Arrange cantucci on prepared baking sheet, cut-side down, in a single layer. Return to oven and bake, turning cookies once about halfway through, until golden, about 25 minutes more. Let cool on wire rack. Serve with Vin Santo.

Note: Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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