Cantucci are crunchy almond biscuits from Tuscany.
As in almost all traditional recipes there are always variations just like in this one to which we added raisins and used durum wheat semolina flour.
Here is the original recipe: cantucci-toscani/
Biscotti literally means ‘cooked twice’ (Bis: twice – Cotti: cooked) and is also the generic term for biscuits in Italian.
Cantucci are very easy to make: you shape the dough into a loaf (or two loaves) and bake it. Then slice it into pieces and bake cookies again. It’s during this step that cantucci dry out and become crispy.
Makes about 20 Cantucci, Preparation time 10 mins, Cooking time 25-30 mins
- 500 g Durum wheat semolina flour
- 280 g caster sugar
- 3 Eggs – 2 whole and 1 yolk
- 380 g unpeeled almonds – whole
- 80 g raisins
- 160 g softened unsalted butter
- 8 g instant yeast or dried yeast for sweets: 10 g
Preheat the oven to 180 C – 350 F – Gas Mark 4
Soak the raisins for about 15 mins in lukewarm water (not warm or you will cook them and will become soggy), then dry and flouring them a bit.
Tip: flouring raisins will prevent them from sinking into the dough.
In a bowl, mix sugar and butter.
Beat the egg yolk and set it aside.
Add 2 whole eggs one at a time stirring each time, then incorporate them well: in this way you will obtain a very soft mixture.
Add the whole almonds, then semolina flour with the yeast and stir with a wooden spoon.
Flour the work surface (table or chopping board) and with the dough form loaves.
Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper, brush both of them with the beaten egg yolk you kept aside, then bake to 180C – 350 F – Gas Mark 4, about 20 minutes. Each oven is different but roughly the cooking time should be that one.
Take out the loaves of the oven and immediately cut them into rectangular or diagonal slices about 2 cm thick.
Tip: It’s important to cut loaves when still hot: if you let ’em cooling down too much, they will dry up and become too hard to be cut.
Place Cantucci biscuits in the baking pan with the cut part facing upwards and bake them again to 180 C – 350 F – Gas Mark 4 for 10 minutes or until a golden crust has formed.
Allow Cantucci Biscuits to cool completely down, they are ready. Cantucci are usually served paired along with Vin Santo or Marsala or a fruity wine where to dunk them, at the end of the meal.