Cantucci or Biscotti di Prato are one of the most typical desserts of the Tuscan culinary tradition, especially coupled with Vin Santo,a very local liqueur wine.In 2015 they even obtained the recognition of IGP .Documents of 1691 speak of cantucci and in the XIX cen. Antonio Mattei, pastry chef from Prato, developed a recipe that later became classic.
The name derives from “canto”, that is corner, or from “cantellus”, in Latin a piece or slice of bread.Biscotti in Italian means twice-baked,and it’s the word usually used for every kind of biscuits/cookies.
500g plain/ all purpose flour 300 g sugar
4 eggs and 2 egg yolks 1 teaspoonful baking powder
1 pinch of saffron 1 pinch salt
150g unskinned almonds
Preheat the oven to 180 C°(350°F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper on the oven trays.
- Place the flour on the table and make a well in the middle. Add the sugar, 3 eggs, 2 egg yolks, the baking powder, a pinch of salt and the saffron. Knead the dough until it just comes together.It is rather a dry dough, so squeeze it well so that the eggs absorb the flour.
- Add the unshelled, oven-toasted almonds.
Divide the dough into 6/7 logs. Transfer the logs to the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the logs in the center of the oven for 15 minutes, or until they are slightly firm.
- Brush the tops of the logs with a beaten egg.
- Then cut them diagonally every centimetre or so, in order to obtain the typical shape of the Biscotti di Prato.
- Place again in the oven for about 10 minutes.
- You can serve them with the Vin Santo or with a cappuccino or sipping chocolate.
Make ahead once fully cooled, the cantucci can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Maybe longer ,but they “disappear easily” !