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.
450gr. Self raising Flour
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 put the sliced dough back on the tray and into the oven and toasted each side for about 5 minutes.
At this stage the vanilla and mandarin scent is mind-blowingly intoxicating…
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