Cantuccini di Prato

By Ippolita Douglas Scotti:

Today, I’d love to share with you a typical Tuscan recipe—cantuccini, or biscotti di Prato. These dry almond cookies have an ancient origin all the way back to a book written in 1691!

They where made by nuns in Prato, a city close to Florence, and now they are famous all over the world.

Photo: Prato - pom'. on / CC BY-SA

These "cookies" are usually served at the end of the meal with Vin Santo, a Tuscan dessert wine that is historically used to celebrate Catholic Mass.

The word biscotti literally means "twice (bis) cooked (cotto)"—twice-baked cookies! They are extremely simple to make. Just mix all the ingredients together, shape the dough into long logs, and bake them. Then, when the logs are still warm, cut them into slices and cook them again.

According to tradition, these cookies should be quite hard and dry as they are usually dipped in sweet wine.

Buon appetito!

Cantuccini di Prato

1 cup unpeeled almonds

1 1/4 cup sugar

3 eggs, plus 1 for brushing

1 tablespoon honey

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Zest of 1 orange

Pinch of salt

Preheat oven at 350°.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, honey, and eggs. Whisk until it turns lighter in color.

Add flour, baking powder, orange zest, and salt. Mix everything together until well combined.

When you achieve a crumbly texture, add the almonds.