Cantucci

Traditionally, these biscuits (cookies) have always been made with unpeeled almonds. Some recipes, including the original Mattei recipe, include 20 grams (¼ cup) of finely chopped pine nuts, which lend a slightly different texture to the finished biscuits. True cantucci were made with bread dough, sugar, anise seeds and oil.

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  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation Time: 30 mins
  • Cooking Time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • butter, for greasing
  • 500 g (4 ½ cups) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 500 g (2 ½ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • pinch of saffron threads, crushed
  • 250 g (2 ¼ cups) shelled almonds, in their skins
  • salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Grease and flour 2 baking sheets.

  2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a mound on a work surface (counter) and make a well in the centre. Break 2 eggs into the well and add the egg yolks and saffron. Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients with your fingers. Add the almonds and mix well.

  3. With floured hands, take small pieces at a time and shape into long rolls, 2 – 3 cm (1¼ – 1¾ inches) wide and 1 cm (½ inch) thick. Put the rolls on the prepared baking sheets. Lightly beat the remaining egg in a small bowl and brush the tops of the biscuits. Bake for
    30 minutes. Remove from the oven, cut into 3 – 4 cm (1¼ – 1½ inch) pieces at an angle. When completely cool, store in an airtight container.