The Tuscan cantucci are still there among the desserts most appreciated by Italians. This is attested to by several surveys, which usually place them in first place, after tiramisu (first in the general classification) and panettone (second or third place). In fact, it is enough to take a walk through pastry shops and bakeries to discover that Italy is full of lovers of dry sweets to accompany with wine, vin santo and various liqueurs.
Besides cantucci are very easy to find, because they are widespread throughout Italy. In any case they are It’s hard to find exactly how you want them., which is something completely different. In fact, the producers are infinite, and since they are usually sold in hermetically sealed packages, it is very common to want them crumbled and find them very hard and vice versa, to want them not too sweet and full of almonds and find them with a lot of sugar and few almonds. Etc.
So? So it is best to do them. Furthermore, also having the pleasure of discovering that Performing them does not present excessive difficulties.
There are different variations of cantucci.: with pistachios, pine nuts, chocolate and more. The recipe we propose is the typical one from Prato: the best known and most famousmade with almonds and a vague touch of orange.
These sweets were already famous in the 17th century. In fact, they are mentioned in the Crusca dictionary of 1691, where they are defined as “sliced cookies, made of fine flour, with sugar and egg white.” Almonds are missing, which did not become part of Tuscan cantucci until the end of the 19th century.
However, it is interesting that the first written recipe for Tuscan cantucci is found in a manuscript from the mid-18th century, preserved in the state archives of Prato, where they are defined as “Genoese cookies.”
The definitive recipe dates back to the second half of the 19th century., thanks to Antonio Mattei from Prato. A great pastry chef, whose fame remains linked above all to these cookies. But not only that: it was he, for example, who started the first commercial production of mantuana cake.
The cantucci are offered with the possibility of bathing them (pucciare, in Tuscan) with sweet wines. Vin Santo and Passito di Pantelleria are traditional, but Tuscan Aleatico, Sicilian liqueur Zibibbo, Friulian Piccolit and various Moscatos are also excellent.
Each Italian region has great and centuries-old baking traditions. Impossible to make rankings. But Tuscany is undoubtedly among the first, with a series of desserts that date back to both the Medieval Municipal Ages and the glorious era of the Renaissance.
Among the first it is worth mentioning Crushed With GrapesYo horses (so called because they were used daily as a snack in the inns), i sienna almond cake and the Chestnut.
Among those dating back to the time of the Medici Renaissance, in addition to cantuccithat is, it should be mentioned waffles (of which we have a recipe described by Lorenzo the Magnificent himself), i Brigidini (or Pods of Saint Brigida), the buccellatoHe berlingozzo Hey necci.
- 500 g white flour
- 400 grams of sugar
- 200 g almonds
- 4 eggs
- 50 grams of butter
- 1 level tablespoon orange zest
- 1 sachet of vanilla yeast
- a pinch of salt
- Heat the oven to medium heat (about 160°) and toast the almonds for 4 minutes, then cut them into large pieces without peeling them.
- Beat the eggs for a long time until foamy.
- Melt the butter in a bain-marie and then let it cool enough so that it stays melted.
- Make a well in the flour on a pastry board and add the eggs, yeast, sugar, orange peel (use lemon if you haven’t used it) and a pinch of salt. Knead for a long time until you obtain a soft dough.
- Add the almonds and knead again, then roll out the dough to form three cylinders 4-5cm wide.
- Place them on a buttered and floured baking tray and cook for about 15 minutes at 160°.
- Take them out of the oven and while they are hot, cut them with a sharp knife into 1.5 cm thick diagonal slices.
- Put them back in the oven and cook them for another 15 minutes, this time at 190° so that they toast well.