Baking/ Christmas/ Dessert/ European/ Recipes

Cantucci – Easy Italian Almond Biscotti

18/02/2021

You can’t go past a popular Italian recipe like Almond Biscotti. Complete with the classic crispy crunch, Cantucci is the perfect sweet treat, especially paired with a glass of vin santo.

White plate filled with fresh cantucci biscuits.

Why We Love This

Cantucci have such a long shelf life, so they’re great for baking a big batch to share as gifts or take as travel snacks. They pair so well with coffee, we love any excuse to have these biscuits for breakfast in the morning!

While they’re baked twice and look quite fancy, they’re actually very simple to mix together and make, with only 10 minutes prep. That’s a win, win for us!

Italian almond biscotti laid out on a cooling rack.

What is Cantucci? 

Cantucci is a type of traditional Italian biscuit known as biscotti. It’s baked twice to give it an ultra dry and crunchy texture, and usually paired with a sweet dessert wine such as vin santo or in some areas muscat.

Cantucci is from the northern Tuscany region in the town of Prato and is exclusively made with almonds. If it features fruit or other nuts, it’s just a regular biscotti (twice cooked biscuit) and not cantucci.

P.S. Love almond biscuits? Try our chewy Italian almond cookies or biscotti frollini shortbread with almond meal!

What You’ll Need

Get out your baking essentials – we’re going to need all purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, eggs and butter. Then what really brings this recipe together is the almonds.

  • Almonds – Use unpeeled, whole almonds for your cantucci. You can also use almond slivers or blanched almonds in a pinch. If you’re not a fan of almonds, you can use pistachios, dried fruits or macadamia. While it won’t be traditional cantucci anymore, it’ll still taste great!
  • Almond essence – A teaspoon of this really gives the biscuits that distinct almond flavour. You can substitute with vanilla essence.
Ingredients laid out to make Italian cantucci.

How to make Italian Almond Biscotti:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180˚C / 360˚F. In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients (all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) except for the almonds.
  2. Make a small well in the middle, then pop in the wet ingredients (eggs, butter and almond essence).
  3. Using a dough whisk or wooden spoon, work from the middle out to combine all the ingredients into a rough dough.
  4. Now it’s time to use your hands to bring the dough together. The consistency will depend on the size of your eggs. This recipe uses two large eggs at 60g each. You’re looking for a dough that’s slightly sticky as you’ll roll it in flour before baking. Check the video for the right texture.

If your dough is too dry: Add 1/2 – 1 tbsp of water to bring it all together into a ball and away from the sides of the bowl.

If your dough is too sticky: Sprinkle a little extra flour until it forms a ball and stops sticking to the sides of the bowl.

Finally, add the almonds then using your hands, knead the dough until all the ingredients are well combined.

  1. Lightly dust a flat surface with flour. Divide the dough into two portions, then roll each portion into a log shape around 30 cm / 12 inches long. Slightly pat down and flatten the tops. Move both to a baking tray lined with baking paper or parchment paper. Make sure there is enough room between each log.
  2. Pop into the oven and bake for 25 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Using a cutting board and serrated knife, place one log on a 45˚ angle, and slice into diagonal pieces around 2 cm / 3/4 inch wide. Repeat for the second log.
  3. Place each piece of cantucci back onto the baking tray, and cook again for another 10 minutes at 180˚C / 360˚F.
  4. Once removed, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before storing. Cookies will dry out and firm up even more once cooled.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Storage – Stored in an airtight container, these will last around a month due to their dry and crunchy texture!
  • Gift Them – Due to their long shelf life, cantucci make the perfect homemade gift. Especially alongside some Sicilian cuddura!
  • Serrated Knives Work Best – When slicing the biscotti after the first bake, use a serrated or bread knife to cut them. This helps to get a nice flat cut and slice through the almonds smoothly without breaking the biscuits.
  • Egg Size is Crucial – Eggs make up the bulk of the liquid to bring the dough together. So you may end up with a batter that’s too dry or too sticky. If it’s too dry, add 1/2 – 1 tbsp of water, and if it’s too sticky, add a sprinkle of flour. You want a dough that pulls away from the edges of the bowl into a ball and is just slightly sticky, ready to roll it out on a floured surface.

FAQs

What’s the difference between cantucci and cantuccini?

Cantucci are regular sized biscotti, whereas cantuccini are the smaller version. If you can pop it in your mouth in one bite, you’re eating cantuccini, if not, it’s cantucci! Either way, they’re both a type of biscotti and thoroughly delicious.

What does biscotti mean?

Biscotti means twice cooked in Italian. Cantucci are an almond biscotti, and are baked twice to achieve the ultra dry and crunchy texture.

Should you dunk cantucci?

Most definitely yes! Traditionally it’s dunked into a sweet Tuscan dessert wine known as Vin Santo, but it’s just as good with a coffee!

Variations

  • Butter – Our almond cookies feature a little butter to soften the mix just slightly. Very traditional recipes exclude this, so if you want an ultra dry result, leave the butter out or swap it out for a tablespoon of water instead.
  • Lemon or Orange Zest – If you love citrus, feel free to add the zest of 1 lemon or orange to the recipe.
Small wooden board with cantucci toscani and mug of coffee.

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Plate of freshly baked cantucci toscani.

Cantucci – Easy Italian Almond Biscotti

You can't go past a popular Italian recipe like Almond Biscotti. Complete with the classic crispy crunch, Cantucci Toscani is the perfect sweet treat, especially paired with a glass of vin santo.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 30 Biscuits
Calories: 2748kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $10

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180˚C / 360˚F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients except for the almonds (all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt).
  • Make a small well in the middle, then pop in the wet ingredients (eggs, butter and almond essence).
  • Using a dough whisk or wooden spoon, work from the middle out to combine all the ingredients into a rough dough.

The Most Important Step:

  • Now it's time to use your hands to bring the dough together. The consistency will depend on the size of your eggs. This recipe uses two large eggs at 60g each. You're looking for a dough that's slightly sticky as you'll roll it in flour before baking. Check the video for the right texture.
    If your dough is too dry: Add 1/2 – 1 tbsp of water to bring it all together into a ball and away from the sides of the bowl.
    If your dough is too sticky: Sprinkle a little extra flour until it forms a ball and stops sticking to the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the almonds and knead into the dough with your hands until the they're well combined.
  • Lightly dust a flat surface with flour. Divide the dough into two portions, then roll each portion into a log shape around 30 cm / 12 inches long. Slightly pat down and flatten the tops.
  • Move both to a baking tray lined with baking paper or parchment paper. Make sure there is enough room between each log.
  • Pop into the oven and bake for 25 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Using a cutting board and serrated knife or cleaver, place one log on a 45˚ angle, and slice into diagonal pieces around 2 cm / 3/4 inch wide. Repeat for the second log.
  • Place each piece of cantucci back onto the baking tray, with the cut sides facing up to help them dry out, and cook again for another 10 minutes at 180˚C / 360˚F.
  • Once removed, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before storing. Cookies will dry out and firm up even more once cooled.

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Almonds – Use unpeeled, whole almonds for your cantucci. You can also use almond slivers or blanched almonds in a pinch. If you’re not a fan of almonds, you can use pistachios, dried fruits or macadamia. While it won’t be traditional cantucci anymore, it’ll still taste great!
  • Almond essence – A teaspoon of this really gives the biscuits that distinct almond flavour. You can substitute with vanilla essence.
  • Butter – Our almond cookies feature a little butter to soften the mix just slightly. Very traditional recipes exclude this, so if you want an ultra dry result, leave the butter out or swap it out for a tablespoon of water instead.
  • Lemon or Orange Zest – If you love citrus, feel free to add the zest of 1 lemon or orange to the recipe.
  • Storage – Stored in an airtight container, these will last around a month due to their dry and crunchy texture!
  • Gift Them – Due to their long shelf life, cantucci make the perfect homemade gift.
  • Serrated Knives Work Best – When slicing the biscotti after the first bake, use a serrated or bread knife to cut them. This helps to get a nice flat cut and slice through the almonds smoothly without breaking the biscuits.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Cantucci – Easy Italian Almond Biscotti
Amount per Serving
Calories
2748
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
93
g
143
%
Saturated Fat
 
16
g
100
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
357
mg
119
%
Sodium
 
819
mg
36
%
Potassium
 
1814
mg
52
%
Carbohydrates
 
425
g
142
%
Fiber
 
24
g
100
%
Sugar
 
207
g
230
%
Protein
 
67
g
134
%
Vitamin A
 
826
IU
17
%
Calcium
 
644
mg
64
%
Iron
 
19
mg
106
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Cantucci - Easy Italian Almond Biscotti

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Lois
    11/10/2021 at 5:31 am

    Hi, friends! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I checked the comments section because I was also having some trouble with the recipe, but was surprised to find that the only other feedback was exactly the opposite of my own! When following the instructions for this recipe my dough was extremely crumbly- to the point to where I couldn’t even try to assemble a loaf. No issues, I added 1tbsp more of butter and about 2tbsp of water and the consistency was achieved, but I wonder why there is so much variation! I agree with the egg size theory: mine were “Large” but I believe that using two Extra_Large eggs would probably have remedied the issue. I had only two or else I would have tried using three eggs, as other comparable recipes have done! These are delicious, thank you again so much for sharing!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      11/10/2021 at 1:45 pm

      Hey Lois! Thanks so much for your feedback. We’re going to test it again with the egg sizes and pop in the gram size we use. We’ll also add in some variations so others can add in that extra liquid if required to get the right consistency depending on where they are in the world. Any excuse to cook these again, haha! 😀

  • Reply
    Vicky
    02/09/2021 at 4:33 am

    I am an experienced baker. I followed the recipe exactly the first time. Stickiest dough I have ever worked with. So I tried it again thinking I had either measured wrong or something. Same results. Sticky dough and not a pleasure to work with. Sorry.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      02/09/2021 at 9:49 am

      Hey Vicky, sorry to hear your troubles with the dough. It could be the variation in egg sizes causing it to be stickier than usual. It’s an easy fix if this happens, sprinkle over a little extra flour and it’ll be fine. This recipe is a favourite in our household, and I’ve made it a dozen times with no issue.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      13/10/2021 at 5:30 pm

      After looking into this further, we can confirm it was to do in the variation of egg sizes and the recipe has been updated to reflect the fluctuations in liquid for the dough.

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