Cantuccini (Biscotti Toscani) adapted, approved, & authorized by Khristine

A Bonus Recipe: enjoy while watching your favorite Italian movie!

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2/3 cup sugar

3 eggs (2 for dough, plus 1 more for brushing on)

4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick) melted and cooled

3/4 cup toasted whole almonds (or raw & toasted at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes) 

1/2 teaspoon anise seeds (optional)

1/2 teaspoon almond extract plus 1/2 teaspoon anise extract (also optional)

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, beat 2 eggs, sugar, melted butter, and extracts (a large rubber spatula works well for all the mixing, if you have one). Add the other dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Add almonds and anise seeds, mixing evenly throughout. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line a metal cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Turn solid dough out onto a floured surface, cut into 2 equal parts, and roll with your fingers into 2 logs, each about 12 inches long. Place logs on prepared pan, beat extra egg and brush on top and sides of logs, lightly, so egg doesn’t drip down sides.

Bake logs for 20 min, remove pan and let it rest on cooling rack for at least 15 minutes. Move logs to cutting board and slice diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces (I use a sharp, serrated bread knife).  Place on cookie sheet, cut side down (you can crowd them on the cookie sheet, it’s okay). Return sheet to oven, bake for 10 minutes. Then turn them over gently using tongs, and bake for another 10 minutes. Makes 30 perfect cantuccini….Buon appetito! Store in a tin for up to one week.

Note: Biscotti is a generic Italian word roughly translated as cookies (American) or bickies (British). Unlike the long rusks we are used to seeing in America, Tuscan Cantuccini are small, and meant to be dipped in the glorious dessert wine, Vin Santo. Of course, they are also perfect dipped in your favorite caffeè or thè.