Cantucci di Prato 40.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Mar 18, 2015

This is Domenica Marchetti's version of the "original" Italian recipe for crisp, delicately almond-flavored biscotti.

Make Ahead: The biscotti will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.


Servings:
40 - 42 pieces

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 40-42 pieces

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Scant 1 cup blanched whole almonds, lightly toasted (see NOTE)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large rimmed baking sheet with the oil.

Combine the flour, 1 cup of the sugar, the baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer. Add the almonds and beat on low speed to blend well, then add 2 whole eggs and the yolk of 1 egg and the extracts; increase the speed to medium and beat just until a sticky dough forms.

Lightly flour a work surface. Turn the dough out onto it, patting it into a disk. Divide the disk into four equal sections.

Lightly moisten your hands; use them to gently roll one section of the dough into an oval shape. Place it on the baking sheet, then shape it into a log that's about 1 1/2 inches wide by 9 inches long. Repeat with the remaining three sections of dough; the shaped logs should be spaced at least 2 inches apart. Press them gently to make sure their tops are all even.

Lightly beat the remaining egg white; brush it on the tops of the logs, then sprinkle them evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the logs are lightly browned and just set; there will be cracks on the surface. Use a thin spatula to gently release the bottom of each log from the baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire cooling rack; let the logs rest for 5 minutes, then place them directly on the rack to cool for 20 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Working with one cooled log at a time, use a serrated knife to cut it on the diagonal into about 10 equal slices; lay the slices flat on the baking sheet, with a cut side facing up. Repeat with the remaining logs. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn each slice over; bake for 10 minutes or until the slices are totally crisp.

Transfer the slices to the rack to cool completely before serving or storing.

NOTE: Toast the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet in a preheated 350-degree oven for 7 to 10 minutes or until just fragrant. Cool completely before using.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Ciao Biscotti: Sweet and Savory Recipes Celebrating Italy's Favorite Cookie," by Domenica Marchetti (Chronicle, 2015).

Tested by Domenica Marchetti.

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