Cantucci

Tuscan Hard Dunking Cookies

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    8 to 10

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

Italians love to dunk things, and these cookies are made for being dunked into a glass of vin santo, Tuscany’s favourite sweet dessert wine, or a cup of dark and fragrant espresso coffee, to make a simple but very satisfying dessert. Recently, these tasty little cookies have become hugely popular all over the world and a host of recipes exist for them, using all kinds of weird and wonderful ingredients, from pink peppercorns to hazelnut liqueur. This, however, is the more simple classic, much-loved recipe from their native Tuscany.

Ingredients

  • oil, for greasing
  • 225 g/8 oz/1⅓ cups almonds
  • 1 kg/2 ¼ lb plain/all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 1 kg/ lb/generous 5 cups caster/superfine sugar
  • 10 ml/2 tsp ammonium carbonate (see Cook’s Tip)
  • pinch of salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2. Oil two baking sheets. Blanch the almonds by soaking them in hot water for about 1 minute, then removing the skins.
  2. Lay the almonds out on a baking sheet and toast them under a hot grill or broiler turning occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until golden. Chop coarsely.
  3. Put the flour on to a work surface and use your fist to make a hollow in the middle. Pour the eggs into the hollow. Add the sugar, ammonium carbonate or bicarbonate of soda, and salt. Mix together, then add the almonds.

  4. Knead everything together thoroughly and shape the dough with your hands into several thick strips about 7.5cm/3in long, 6cm/2½in wide and 2.5cm/1in thick.

  5. Slide the strips of dough on to the baking sheets and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until golden.
  6. Cut the strips into cookie-sized lengths, on the diagonal. Return them to the oven for a further 6 minutes, to crisp them.
  7. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and leave to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.