In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients except for the almonds (all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt).
2 cups plain flour / all purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp salt
Make a small well in the middle, then pop in the wet ingredients (eggs, butter and almond essence).
2 eggs, 1 tbsp butter, 1 tsp 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.
1 cup almonds
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.
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.