Cantuccini - Almond Biscotti
Moses has been out of town all week, so Vienna and I have been laying low. Don't worry, we're ok. We've been eating lots of eggs with rice, edamame, broccoli, oatmeal, and pizza. Kinda sounds weird now that I've said it out loud, but this is comfort food kind of week at its finest. The only person we really talk to is our favorite barista, and we wear a beanie every day to avoid brushing our hair. Ok, to be clear, Vienna does none of these things, though she watches me do them, so it feels like a team effort.
If Moses were here, there's a good chance at least one meal this week would have come from Emiko Davies' beautiful cookbook, Florentine. It's a book that I've been obsessed with for almost a year now, and have been meaning to share a recipe from for quite a while. As you know, Moses is obsessed with pasta, so I've pretty much cooked every pasta-centric recipe in the book. I'm in love with her Sugo Tuscano, a simple but delicious meat sauce and her Ravioloni di Pera e Ricotta. The ribollita makes me feel like I'm back in Tuscany with Molly, Brandon, and Rebecca.
And it's not just her amazing recipes that get me. It's the gorgeous imagery and pieces of Florence that she weaves seamlessly into every chapter. Since I knew the closest I'd get to Italy this week was pizza, I figured I'd whip up a big batch of Cantuccini, aka almond biscotti, and dream about Florence while drinking my morning cup of coffee. Oh, and while we're on the subject of Italy, Emiko's got another inspiring book, Acquacotta, hitting bookshelves on March 1st, so be sure to check that one out too. I'm thinking I might need a vacation to Tuscany's Secret Silver Coast this summer... 😉
Reprinted with permission from Florentine
Makes about 36 biscotti
- 125 g (4 ½ oz) whole almonds, chopped roughly in half
- 350 g (12 ½ oz) all-purpose flour
- 200 g (7 oz) sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 2 eggs, plus 1 yolk for glazing
- 30 ml (1 fl oz) vin santo or other liquor (I used bourbon)
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)*
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Heavy knife
- Preheat the oven to 360°F.
- Place the almonds on a baking tray and toast for 10 minutes in the oven, then let them cool.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and crack the eggs (reserve the extra yolk for glazing later). Add the vin santo and honey (and almond extract if using) warmed if not runny enough and beat the wet ingredients with a fork, slowly incorporating the dry ingredients around them until it becomes a dough. Add the almonds and continue mixing with your hands until the dough is well combined.
- Shape the dough into thin logs, about 3/4-inch high, 1 1/2-inches wide, and slightly flattened. Place on baking trays lined with baking paper, at least 2 to 3 inches apart.
- Beat the extra egg yolk and brush the tops and sides of the logs with the beaten egg. Bake in the oven at 360°F until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Turn the oven down to 270°F.
- When just cool enough to handle, slice the logs at a 45° angle into half inch slices (use a sharp heavy kitchen knife that can easily chop through nuts).
- Place the cantuccini on their sides back onto the baking tray, and bake for a further 20 minutes or until crisp and dry to the touch (but not colored).
- These biscuits keep well when stored in an airtight container if they are not eaten all at once.
Note: I forgot to chop my almonds in half and didn't have any issues with them. The almond extract was not in the original recipe, but I'm a sucker for it when it comes to biscotti! I ended up flipping my biscotti slices over after baking them 20 minutes and baked them more 20 more--so be sure to make sure your slices are totally dry before removing and cooling. And if you wanna drizzle them with chocolate, I used 50 grams of semi-sweet, and microwaved for 30-second increments, mixing in between, until melted.