Cantucci: here’s a great recipe for a typical Italian cookies, with our Sara’s Cantucci Abruzzesi version. Originally from Tuscany, (also called “Prato biscuits”), their peculiarity is the double cooking: “bis-cuit”.
It all begins by baking the sweet loaf of dough for about 30 minutes than, after slicing it (still warm and soft), there goes a second round of baking for about 7-8 minutes to dry the slices up and make them crunchy.
Despite being known as typical Tuscan cookies, there is also this version of Cantucci from Abruzzo, typically made by our grandmothers for the Holiday Season.
In Abruzzo they are usually paired with a strong espresso or the Ratafià liqueur, locally known as the “Elixir”, a cordial whose aphrodisiac properties were praised by the Italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio. It’s generally prepared with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine, black cherries, alcohol and sugar; this list may includes some other local ingredients when homemade.
Recipe: Cantucci with spelt flour, pistachios, hazelnuts and white chocolate
- Author’s Recipe: Sara Scutti
- Category: pastry
- Cuisine: Italian, Abruzzo
- Keywords: cantucci biscuits, cookies
- Servings: 8 portions
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Difficulty: easy
- 400 g organic spelt flour
- 150 g sugar
- 2 medium eggs (110 g net)
- 2 baking powder for pastry (around 6 g)
- ½ g vanilla powder
- 4 tablespoons of grated lemon zest
- 80 g raw pistachios (no salt added)
- 80 g raw whole hazelnuts
- 100 g white chocolate coarsely chopped
- 1 egg for brushing
- In a bowl, whip the eggs, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest with a whisk – until you get a frothy cream. Place aside.
- On the work surface, sift the flour with the baking powder and form a well, where you’ll pour the egg cream.
- Start mixing/kneading until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous. If the dough is too sticky, add some more flour.
- At this point, divide the dough into two loaves and, in each of them, add the whole pistachios.
- Next, combine half of the white chocolate in one loaf; the hazelnuts and the remaining half of the chocolate in the other one.
- Afterward, form 4 logs of about 8 cm thick – weighing about 200 g each – (weight and dimensions depend on how thick you prefer the biscuits slices to be).
- Lightly brush the surface of each log with the egg wash, and place them on a baking sheet previously lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes, at 180 °C. The logs should be slightly soft and golden on the surface). Remove the trays from the oven and let them rest for a couple of minutes.
- At this point, with a sharp serrated knife, cut each log crosswise into 2 cm thick slices. Place them back on the baking tray and into the oven. Bake for about extra 7-8 minutes at 170 °C, until the golden tones turn into brown. Let them cool.
- Serve the Cantucci with a glass of Genziana or Ratafià, both Very Abruzzesi liqueurs !!!