Five ingredients, one guarantee: Tuscan Cantucci

Cantucci are the most loved and well-known Italian biscuits

Cantucci (Cantuccini) also known as “Biscotti di Prato” are typical sweets of traditional Tuscan cuisine, very crunchy and scented. They are dry biscuits with almonds, obtained by cutting slices of dough while still hot and then cooked again for a few minutes. For this very reason, this biscuit are so special, because you need only few ingredients, that can be counted on the fingers of one hand: flour, sugar, eggs, butter and almonds.
Cantucci are usually eaten alongside a typical sweet Tuscan wine called “Vin Santo”. As they can be preserved for a lot of time, Cantucci are ideal to keep at home for the arrival of guests, as gift on Christmas, New Year’s Eve and festive lunch.

History: very ancient and very typical

The story of cantucci dates back to a long time ago, during the Roman Empire when it was popular to slice bread diagonally and bake it again to preserve for a long time. The first real recipe dates back to the second half of the 18th century, when Amadio Baldanzi, a presbyter and doctor wrote a recipe book recipe, including also the recipe of the Tuscan Cantucci. However, the merit of these sensational biscuits is thanks the pastry chef from Prato Antonio Mattei, as he crowned himself “the cantucci-maker”.


The ingredients of the original recipe is made of flour, sugar, eggs, butter and almonds, but by adding other ingredients you can make tasty variations. Almonds can be replaced with pistachios and cranberries as well as Vin Santo can be replaced with tea. For a delicious variant you can consider to use chocolate by adding it directly to the dough or by replacing almonds with chocolate. To obtain a slightly more aromatic taste to the traditional recipe, you can add grated lemon zest and vanilla extract to the dough. For dried fruit lovers, the variant with almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and pistachios will be irresistible.


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Un post condiviso da Lisa Toeuk | sweetenbylisa (@sweetenbylisa)

The traditional recipe

• 265g flour 00
• 1 eggs
• 100g almonds
• 150g sugar
• 1 pinch salt
• 30g butter
• 25ml Marsala
• orange zest
• 5g baking powder

Let’s take at look at how these delights are made: the original recipe remains secret, pride of the master pastry chefs of beautiful Tuscany, however this recipe is very close to the typical product,
To prepare Tuscan Cantucci start mixing the egg and sugar in a bowl, then add the sifted flour with the baking powder in order to obtain a grainy dough while continuing to mix. Add butter and Marsala and knead vigorously with your hands. Add the almonds and the freshly grated orange zest and mix everything. Pour the dough for the Tuscan Cantucci onto a pastry board and compact the mixture evenly.
At this point, divide the dough for the Tuscan Cantucci in two halves and stretch it with your hands, thus making two loaves. Bake the latter at 180 ° C for about 20 minutes and then let them cool. With a knife cut the two warm loaves into small pieces in order to create the shape of cantucci. Now re-bake them at 160 ° C for another 15 minutes and let them cool. Serve the Tuscan Cantucci with a glass of vin santo.


Cover photo from Youtube