Today, Tuesday's with Dorie brings you Cantuccini. Cantuccini looks exactly like biscotti, for the simple fact that it IS biscotti. In fact, this is generally what you think of, when you think of biscotti. As it turns out, the term "biscotti" is used for ALL cookies in Italian, and cantuccini are this particular form. Ah, a bit of cookie education to start off the day!
These cookies are amazingly fast and easy to make. There is no special equipment, and it is all mixed in one bowl, by hand! You will likely be done preparing the cookies before your oven is pre-heated. The dough is a bit sticky, so be ready to have some pretty darned messy hands, but I found that keeping my hands damp with water helped tremendously. The recipe in the book claimed to make 8 DOZEN biscotti, and since I am not trying to open a coffee or tea shop here, I made 1/3 of the recipe and ended up with 18 cookies. Perfect.
Now, I will admit that at times my measurements for 1/3 of a recipe were simply pretty good guesses. I did not take the time to weigh out the ingredients, I just approximated some of them. So, my measurement for 1/3 of 1/2 of a teaspoon of cinnamon might have been a bit off, but I decided it was close enough! If I make this again, I may change up a few things... Instead of using vanilla extract, I would use almond extract (though a bit less as almond is more potent than vanilla). Also, I think they would benefit greatly from a drizzle of dark chocolate. How could it not?
If you are looking for a good traditional biscotti recipe, I would suggest giving this one a try. They are nice and crunchy, but not in the break-your-tooth family of crunchiness as I have found with some other purchased biscotti. I had mine with a mug of tea, and it was a lovely complement. Alas, I am not a coffee drinker, so I cannot attest to how the cookie pairs with coffee. The recipe suggests serving with "vin santo", an Italian dessert wine. That is definitely worth trying!
You can find the recipe for Cantuccini on pages 313 - 314 of Baking with Julia, or by going here.