Cantuccini (Biscotti di Prato)

I find it difficult to think of any sweet that may be a more ideal coffee companion than Italian biscotti. However, I have often deplored the poor quality of many a biscotto that is out there. Although biscotti keep well and, in a way, are meant to keep for some time, they are best when they are fresh, so I recently found myself faced with the only sensible option (not exactly to my dismay): Make some myself.

Sanni

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Ingredients:

  • 150 grams of blanched whole almonds
  • 240 grams of white flour
  • 100 grams of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 50 grams of butter (cut into small cubes)
  • For coating: 1 egg yolk, 1 teapoon of sugar

Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan oven).
  2. Spread the almonds on an oven tray. Roast in the hot oven for approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool down.
  3. Mix the flour, the sugar, the baking powder and the salt in a bowl.
  4. Add the eggs and the butter. Knead the ingredients until you have a smooth dough (the dough should not be too soft, but should be moist enough not to disintegrate into a crumble too easily).
  5. Fold in the orange zest, and, finally, the almonds.
  6. Halve the dough and form two rolls which are approx. 3 cm wide and 1,5 cm  high.
  7. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the rolls of dough on the tray with some distance left between them.
  8. Mix the egg yolk and the sugar and 1 teaspoon of water well and thinly coat the top of the rolls with the mixture.
  9. Bake in the oven (200 degrees Celsius) for approximately 15-20 minutes until the dough turns lightly brown.
  10. Take out of the oven and reduce the heat to 100 degrees Celsius. Wait until the temperature is down before putting the biscotti back into the oven!
  11. Meanwhile, let the rolls cool down a bit. Then cut diagonally into slices approx. 0.5 cm to 1 cm thick (depending on how you prefer it). Place the slices on the baking tray with the cut sides facing up.
  12. Let dry in the oven at 100 degrees Celsius for approximately 30 minutes.
  13. Turn off the oven, open the door of the oven a few centimeters and continue drying for approximately 2 hours.

Keep in an air-tight container. Biscotti keep well for several weeks, but they really are best when fresh!img_0168_t

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