Sometimes called Italian Almond Biscotti, Cantucci are twice-baked almond cookies that have originated from Tuscany. There is no need to travel to Italy to enjoy them, though; you can easily prepare them at home with this traditional recipe!
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But if you’re not a fan of sweet wine, then enjoy these almond biscotti with a cup of coffee (or espresso) instead.
As long as you can dunk them into your drink, then you are enjoying cantucci the right way — exactly like the locals.
IF YOU WANT TO TRY MORE TUSCAN TREATS, YOU WOULD LOVE THESE OTHER POSTS!
- Eggs – at room temperature.
- Honey – you can use any type of honey that you prefer, dark, fruity, flowery, etc.
- Vin Santo – a dessert (sweet) wine that is the pride of Tuscany — hence it makes sense that they are using it for the region’s biscotti.
- Sugar – regular white sugar
- Flour – all you need is all-purpose flour for this recipe.
- Baking powder
- Butter – unsalted and softened.
- Salt – you might need to skip this if you are using salted butter.
- Almonds – use whole almonds, and there is no need to blanch them for this cantucci recipe.
Start by preheating the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Using a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine sugar, egg, egg yolk, honey, and Vin Santo (photo 1).
Mix with a whisk until sugar has completely dissolved.
In a separate bowl, combine and mix flour, baking powder, salt, and softened butter (photo 2).
Add the egg mixture with the flour, mix the dry and wet ingredients a bit, and add the almonds (photo 3).
Mix until you form a dough; transfer everything on your countertop to make kneading easier.
Cut the dough in half (photo 4).
To start forming the cantucci, make a log from each portion; about nineteen to twenty centimeters long and four to five centimeters wide.
Place the logs on top of a baking tray that’s lined with a baking sheet (photo 5).
Place the tray in the oven for twenty-five minutes, set aside for ten minutes to cool, then adjust the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F).
Slice each log into diagonal portions of about one to one and a half cm-thick (photo 6).
Place each portion on top of the baking tray (photo 7).
Place the tray back in the oven for about fifteen minutes, turn the cantucci to the other side, then back in the oven for another fifteen minutes or until they are completely dry.
Take the tray out of the oven and transfer your Tuscan almond biscotti to a cooling rack.
- Make sure that the eggs are at room temperature.
- There is no need to sift the dry ingredients, just ensure that the sugar has completely dissolved with the eggs when you are whisking them together.
- Do not wait for the logs to cool completely before slicing them. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to slice them into cantucci.
- WHAT SHOULD THE TEXTURE OF BISCOTTI BE?
They should be hard and crunchy, perfect for dunking into coffee or, in this case, sweet wine.
You get this cantucci texture by baking them twice — the first bake is when it’s formed as a log, and the second is when they are cut into portions.
- WHY ARE MY BISCOTTI SOFT?
This means they are not dry enough, and you need to put them back in the oven for a longer time.
Admittedly, this happens quite often to me when I had to prepare cantucci with friends, using their oven.
I know the exact amount of time it takes to get that perfect biscotti texture in my own oven, an entirely different story when I use someone else’s.
- HOW LONG SHOULD I LET IT COOL BEFORE CUTTING?
You should not wait for more than 10 minutes — the cooler it gets, the more difficult it is to slice them into portions.
Lastly, if you don’t have a very sharp knife, it is safer to use a serrated knife for cutting your cantucci.
- HOW LONG CAN I STORE THEM?
Place them in airtight containers, and they’re good for two weeks.
Do you want to give them a try this weekend? Then let me know how it goes in the comment section!
Cantucci Recipe (Italian Almond Biscotti)
- 1 & 1/2 cups flour
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 medium egg
- 1 medium egg yolk
- 2 tbsp butter, unsalted & softened
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup Vin Santo
- 1/2 cup almonds, whole
- pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Line a rectangular baking tray with baking paper and set it aside.
Preparing almond biscotti dough:
- Combine sugar, egg, egg yolk, honey, and Vin Santo in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Mix with a whisk, make sure the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Using another bowl, combine and mix flour, baking powder, salt, and softened butter.
- Add the egg mixture with the flour and mix to combine.
- Add the almonds and mix until you form a dough. You might need to transfer the dough to your countertop for easier kneading.
Forming and baking cantucci:
- Cut the dough into two equal portions.
- To start forming the cantucci, create a log from each portion; about 19-20 cm long and 4-5 cm wide.
- Place the logs on top of a baking tray that's lined with a baking sheet.
- Place tray in the oven for 25 minutes, then set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
- Adjust the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F).
- Slice each log into diagonal portions of about 1 to 1 1/2 cm thick.
- Place each portion on top of the baking sheet.
- Place the tray back in the oven for about 15 minutes, turn the cantucci to the other side, then back in the oven for another 15 minutes or until they are completely dry.
- Take the tray out of the oven and transfer your Tuscan almond biscotti to a cooling rack.
- Cook’s Tip #1: Make sure that the eggs are at room temperature.
- Cook’s Tip #2: There is no need to sift the dry ingredients, just ensure that the sugar has completely dissolved with the eggs when you are whisking them together.
- Cook’s Tip #3: Do not wait for the logs to completely cool before slicing them. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to slice them into cantucci.