This local dessert is made of two Italian ingredients: Cantuccini and Vin Santo.
CANTUCCINI di Prato are a type of dry cookie that are quite popular in central Italy you can find them in restaurants served as a dessert called “cantuccini and vin santo”. The genuine aspect of these biscuits is that they are made of just a few simple ingredients: flour, eggs, sugar, almonds and butter. The Cantuccini have been served in Tuscany since the 19th century. In 1867, Antonio Mattei (a pastry chef) from Prato received an honorable mention at the Expo in Paris for these cookies.
In Tuscany (the region where it is most likely to find them), these biscuits are eaten after a meal, and are dipped into VIN SANTO which is a sweet white wine. This way they become softer.
The combination of the two flavors provides a unique taste.
If you like them, they can easily be purchased them throughout Tuscany to bring back home.
Because its always fun to make cookies for those who want to try here is the recipe for the cantuccini.
Sugar: 280 g
Eggs: 4 whole, and 1 yolk
Butter: 100 g
A little bit of salt
Almonds: 250 g
4 g baking powder
Flour: 500 g
One egg to brush the dough before going in the oven.
– First of all turn on the oven to 190 ° and when the temperature reaches toast the almonds well arranged on a plate for 3-4 minutes; then remove them from the oven and let them cool.
– Afterwards proceed to form the dough. Place the 4 whole eggs and egg yolk in the planetary (or in a large bowl) and add the salt and sugar, at this point whip very well until mixture is puffy and fluffy.
– Add the melted butter and stir then add the sifted flour with baking powder and mix.
– Once the mixture is crumby and soft, add the almonds (cooled down), mix and put the mixture on a floured surface and make a uniform ball.
– Divide this mixture into two or three balls of the same size (depending on how big you want your Cantuccini, for example with two loaves the biscuits will be bigger, instead with three loaves they will will be smaller) from the balls make the loaves and transfer them on a baking sheet covered with baking paper, brush them with the egg slightly beaten and cook for 20 minutes in a hot oven at 190 degrees.
– Remove the loaves let them cool a few minutes and cut them diagonally to obtain “Cantucci” of about 1-1.5 cm.
– Arrange the biscuits obtained again on the plate and put them again in the oven at 170 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.
– Extract the “Cantucci” obtained and wait until they are cold to serve.
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