I have been neglecting my blog and my cooking since I got back. It’s terrible of me. Mostly because I needed to avoid baking after all the eating I did whilst I was away. But I can’t really stay out of my kitchen forever, it calls me. Especially when you have stressful moments at work, not stressful I hate my job moments, but stressful sad moments that require moments of self-care when you return home.
Whilst in Florence we were conned into buying some biscotti in the market place, we were given some Vin Santo to go with it as we were told this was the traditional way of eating the biscotti. We did not mind being conned because it was delicious and we couldn’t stop eating it! Once we headed down to Rome, we thought we’d be able to easily replace it. We found a great bakery just around the corner from where we were staying and got our hands on some biscotti.
Only of course it wasn’t the same! It was different! We were reminded that biscotti is just biscuit and can be anything really! We enjoyed the biscuits we got but they weren’t what we were looking for. So we got our hands on some Cantuccio! And there we go. We got it right! It wasn’t as sweet as the biscotti we got, and not as moist – must drier, and great to go with cups of coffee or hot chocolate.
It was all over when we got back to Australia, there is “biscotti” around the place, but I’d never liked it prior to going to Italy. We held out for awhile, before my husband started to ask about it again, missing it and wanting it again. So I had to go and find a recipe, I couldn’t resist it, I had to have it as well. Soon enough I found a recipe and it was perfect!
I’ve made 4 batches since finding this recipe, with a couple of adaptations (such as replacing almonds with macadamia and introducing almond meal) and whilst we have enjoyed them all the pure remains our favourite!
• 2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 t baking powder
• 1/2 t cinnamon
• 1/4 t salt
• 1-1/2 cup whole, blanched almonds
• 3 large eggs
• 1 T vanilla extract
• 1.2 t almond extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and stir. Add the almonds and mix well.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla extract.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be dry.
5. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and begin gathering it together. Knead it for a few minutes and you will see that it will slowly come together into a firm dough. Keep some flour handy in case it sticks.
6. Divide the dough in half and shape it into two 12-inch logs. Transfer the logs to a baking sheet lined with parchment.
7. Bake for 30 minutes. The logs will rise a bit and will be golden and lightly brown on the bottom.
8. Transfer the logs to a wire rack and let cool completely.
9. Once cool, slice the logs, on the diagonal, into quarter-inch slices. Lay the slices, cut side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
10. Bake for an additional 10 or 15 minutes, or until the cantuccini are dry and lightly golden.
11. Let cool completely. Cantuccini can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
Recipe adapted from Cream Puffs in Venice.