Traditional recipes: Cantucci Toscani with Vin Santo

The most typical Tuscan dessert, which you will find in all restaurants, is for sure Cantucci Toscani, or Cantucci di Prato with Vin Santo.
Delicious dry almond biscuits, strictly to be consumed dipped in Vin Santo! The sweet and crunchy biscuits go perfectly with this fortified wine typical of our region, which softens them and makes them absolutely irresistible.
The name “cantuccio” comes from the Latin cantellus, which means piece, slice of bread. These sweets in fact derive from the Roman cantellus, a salty biscuit that was consumed by soldiers during military campaigns.
It was with the addition of sugar first in the Renaissance and later of almonds that the cantellus transformed into a sweet biscuit and the recipe we know today was created.

This new recipe dates back to the nineteenth century and was created by the Prato pastry chef Antonio Mattei.
Today there are several variations that replace the almonds with pistachios or chocolate chips or that add cocoa and other ingredients to the dough, but the true Tuscan Cantuccio remains the plain one with almonds. However, don't be fooled by its rustic appearance and hard consistency, because one bite leads to another!
You can also try making them at home, here is the recipe.


Ingredients (about 40 biscuits):

500g of white flour

300g of sugar

250g of unpeeled almonds

3 eggs

3 egg yolks

50g of butter

½ packet of backing powder (8 gr)

1 shot glass of sweet Vin Santo

a pinch of salt

In a bowl, mix the whole eggs and 2 of the egg yolks, the sugar, the salt, the previously melted butter and the Vin Santo.
Pour the flour onto a table, making a mound and then a crater in the center, then pour the mixture inside it.
Work the dough quickly and at the end add the almonds, kneading until combined.
Make loaves about 5 cm wide and less than 2 cm high, place the loaves on a baking tray covered with baking paper so that they are well spaced from each other.
Brush them with the remaining egg yolk and cook them at 200° (preheated oven) for about 30 minutes.
Remove them from the oven and immediately slice them into 2cm thick biscuits.
Put the biscuits back in the oven for another 10 minutes and voilà! Cantucci Toscani are ready to be eaten or stored in a tin box. Don't forget to dip them in Vin Santo!

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