Traditional Italian biscuits. Legend has it that they originated from the town of Prato, where they called them biscotti, from Old Latin bis cotto – baked twice. The dry biscuits kept well and tasted great dipped in tea, coffee or wine so it comes as no surprise that even today you might get cantucini served with vino santo.
200 g brown sugar
1 pouch vanilla sugar
25 g butter, softened
250 g spelt flour
1 pouch baking powder
150 g almonds, coarsely chopped
Combine the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Sift the flour and baking powder and add to the butter mixture. Add the almonds. The dough should be slightly tough and sticky. Wrap in a sheet of plastic foil and refrigerate for at least a day.
Cut into 6 pieces and form loafs.
Place on a sheet of parchment paper far apart (as the dough will rise) and bake at 210 ºC for 12 minutes, until nicely golden.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to 180 ºC. Slice each loaf, arrange the slices on a baking tray (thickly) and bake for another 8-10 minutes.
Leave the baked biscuits on the baking tray for several minutes, until thickened, before arranging them on a serving plate.
When cold, store the cantuccini in metal boxes or glass jars – or give them away as Christmas gifts.