Cantuccini con Pistacchi e mandarino

Cantuccini, also known as Biscotti di Prato, are Italy’s best-loved cookies.

They serve many useful purposes.

You can dunk them in your morning coffee, in your afternoon gelato and in your evening Vin Santo.

They are also, almost fat-free. Mind you, they make up the near absence of butter with a plentiful presence of sugar…

Stefano Spilli’s recipe calls for almonds, but I didn’t have any in my kitchen yesterday when I started mixing the dough and, as it often happens in Italian kitchens, I made do with what I had and replaced almonds for Pistacchios. I wasn’t disappointed.
Ingredients:

450gr. Self raising Flour
350gr. Sugar
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon melted butter
Grated zest of two mandarins
a pinch of salt
200 gr. pistacchios
1 teaspoon of vanilla paste

I chucked all the ingredients in the kitchen Aid, starting with eggs and sugar whipped until pale and creamy. I then added the sifted flour, the butter and the mandarin zest and vanilla. I then incorporated the nuts.

I used my hands to shape the dough into three sausages and I baked them in a medium oven for around 25 minutes.


I let them cool slightly, then I sliced them using a sharp bread knife.

I put the sliced dough back on the tray and into the oven and toasted each side for about 5 minutes.

**WARNING**

At this stage the vanilla and mandarin scent is  mind-blowingly intoxicating…

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