“A note on biscotti: The Italian word for biscuits or cookies, biscotti, comes from the fact that these cookies are twice (bis) cooked (cotto), a technique that Pliny the Elder once said would keep baked goods edible for centuries. They are first shaped into a sort of flat log, baked, then cut into slices and baked again. The double baking makes them durable and crunchy (perfect for withstanding a good dunking into vin santo or coffee).”
– Emiko Davies
300 grams of flour
4 small eggs
40 grams of melted butter
250 grams of sugar
2 tsp baking powder
150 grams of whole almonds
40 ml of vin santo
(if you don’t have this Tuscan dessert wine, you can use any other dessert wine as a substitute)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Arrange the almonds on a baking tray and pop them into the oven for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.
Sift the flour into a bowl and create a “well” in the centre. Crack the eggs into the well and beat, much the way you make handmade pasta. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well (I personally like to do this with my hands but if you don’t want to get dirty, you can use a mixer, just be careful not to over mix – stop when the mixture is just combined).
Split the dough mixture into two or three sections. Shape the dough into logs and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. They can be thin (about 5cm wide) or double the width for larger cantuccini. Note that they will expand quite a bit in the oven, so leave plenty of space between them on the baking sheet.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Remove the cantucci from the oven and while warm, slice the logs at a 45 degree angle into cookies about 1-2cm wide. Place these cookies back in the oven for another 15 minutes or until crunchy and golden. Allow to cool and serve with a small glass of vin santo or other dessert wine for dipping.
They keep well (and look pretty) in our Medium Biscotti airtight nesting bowls.