Cantuccini: Traditional Italian Recipe

Makes 24 biscuits


  • 250 g/9 oz. /2 cups plain/all-purpose flour
  • 250 g/9 oz. /2 ¼ cups caster/superfine sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium/large eggs
  • 1 medium/large egg yolk
  • 100 g/3 ½ oz. / ¾ cup toasted and roughly chopped mixed almonds and hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp whole aniseed
  • 1 medium/large egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp. water, for glazing
  • Vin Santo dessert wine or coffee. to serve



Preheat the oven to 180°C/350° F/Gas Mark 4. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick baking parchment. Place the flour, caster/superfine sugar, baking powder, vanilla extract, the whole eggs and one of the egg yolks into a food processor and blend until the mixture forms a ball, scraping down the sides once or twice. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the chopped nuts and aniseed.

Divide the paste into three pieces and roll into logs about 4 cm/1 ½ inches wide. Place the logs onto the baking sheet at least 5 cm/2 inches apart Brush lightly with the other egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/300° F/Gas Mark 2. Cut the logs diagonally into 2.5 cm/1 inch slices and lay cut-side down on the baking sheet. Return to the oven for a further 30-40 minutes until dry and firm. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

Serve with Vin Santo or coffee.

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