Cathy has asked me for my fav Cantucci recipe. I am far from baking the perfect ones, but then, when is a Cantucci a Cantucci and perfect? Try these and let me know how you lked them:
250 g white flour (type 00)
125 g sugar, me: white raw sugar, yes, that exists
50 g butter, taken out of fridge ahead of time*
4 g of dry yeast
A pinch of salt, a pinch of vanilla sugar or sugar that you mixed with lavender in a bowl and stored for a while, but only use the sugar, no lavender
90 g almonds, unpeeled
60 g pistacchios unsalted
Heat the oven to 180c. Roast the nuts for 3-4 minutes, let them cool completely. I use them entirely, you can chop them if you want, but not too much.
Now, you have two possibilities to make the dough, “a mano” or with the “wondermachine” called Kenwood Chef. Or whatever food processor you have at home;-)
Ok, let’s do it with my Chef…first mix eggs with sugar until creamy, add the butter which you have cut in cubes, continue to stir at low speed. Add salt, vanilla sugar. Mix yeast with flour and add to the egg-sugar cream in 3-4 portions. Not all at once, always stir until almost smooth, then add more flour. The dough remains very moist, now add the nuts and blend everything together, add a little bit of flour if it still seems too moist. It’s best if you use your hands instead of the food processor to finish the dough, form a ball at let it rest for a while.
Prepare a baking sheet. Form a kind of flat baguette of the dough, put it on the sheet and bake for twenty minutes. Take the “Cantuccibaguette” out and let it cool for a few minutes, then cut it diagonally in 1.5cm-wide Cantuccis. Put them back on the baking sheet and off they go to the oven for another 10-15 minutes (watch them, the thinner you cut them, the faster they are done).
Let them cool completely before you taste them! Enjoy them with a glass of Vin Santo, or just like that!
* my Daddy’s recommendation: if you read in recipes that you should melt butter in a pan and then add to the dough (any type), don’t follow that step, it kills your dough, instead, take it out of the fridge ahead of time, after 15 minutes it will be soft enough to be worked into the dough without cooking it first.