You often hear people calling Cantuccini ‘biscotti‘. Technically they are, because biscotti is the generic Italian word for biscuit. Cantuccini however are a very special biscuit, twice-baked so they firm up just enough so that they can be dipped into Vin Santo without disintegrating and soft enough that they don’t necessitate a trip to the dentist.
Makes 10-12 (recipe doubles easily)
125g plain flour
Pinch of salt
30g ground almonds
70g caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g almonds (whole or flaked)
30g dried fruit (raisins, sultanas or dried cranberries)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Mix the flour, salt, ground almonds, caster sugar and baking powder together. Add the olive oil, egg white and vanilla extract and mix together with your fingertips just until you have a homogenous soft dough.
3. Add the almonds and dried fruit and gently massage them into the dough. Form into a thick log. Bake on a tray lined with baking parchment for about an hour until the log is firm to the touch and is a lovely golden colour. Turn the oven off. Remove the ‘log’ from the oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes, then slice. Put the slices back onto the baking tray and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the slices have firmed up.
4. Store the cantuccini in a closed baking tin so they don’t go soft. If they do, refresh them in a warm oven for a few minutes.