Hazelnut & Chocolate Cantuccini

This is a variation of the classic almond cantuccini and I cannot really make up my mind which one of the two I like better. So I alternate between the two recipes with only one thing being absolutely certain: Rarely will I allow my cookie jar to run dry of this delicious Toscan coffee treat! Luckily, they are easy and quick to make and keep for a long time – if you have the discipline that is.

Sanni

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Ingredients:

  • 100 grams of hazelnuts (with skin)
  • 240 grams of cake flour (German type 405)
  • 110 grams of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 2 medium eggs
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 70 grams of dark baking chocolate, chopped into small chunks
  • For coating: 1 egg yolk, 1 teapoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of water

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Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (fan oven).
  2. Spread the nuts on an oven tray. Roast in the hot oven for approximately 5  minutes. Let cool down.
  3. Mix the flour, the sugar, the baking powder and the salt in a bowl.
  4. Add the butter and the eggs. 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, hazelnuts and, finally, the chocolate bits.
  6. Halve the dough and form two rolls which are approx. 2 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, the sugar and the water 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 nicely brown (but not too dark).
  10. Take out of the oven and reduce the heat to 100 degrees Celsius. Wait until the temperature is down before putting the cantuccini 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. Dry outside the oven for another 2 hours, then store in an air-tight container. cantuccini keep for several weeks.
  14. Serve with a glass of Vin Santo!

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