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Cantuccini di Prato

(Makes about 60 pieces)
Cantuccini are miniature biscotti that come from Prato, near Florence, Italy.
They are also referred to as biscottini di Prato.  Cantuccini are firmer and crisper than regular biscotti. They are commonly used for dipping in Vin Santo, a sweet dessert wine. Cantuccini are also delicious on their own or served with a cup of espresso or cappuccino.

1 cup flour
3/4 cup unblanched whole almonds *
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 egg, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons Amaretto liqueur
1 teaspoon anise extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, almonds, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, melted butter, Amaretto, and anise extract. Beat together lightly. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture in the food processor bowl.  Process about 30 seconds, just until the dough forms into a ball.  You want the almonds to retain a coarse chop throughout, so don’t over process.

Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces (aabout 4 ounces each).
Roll each piece into a log about 8-inches long and 1-inch wide.
Place the logs on the baking sheet with a few inches of space between them.
Press the tops of the logs to flatten them to about 1/2-inch thick.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the cantuccini are lightly golden.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Transfer the logs to a cutting board.  Using a serrated knife, cut the logs on the diagonal into 1/2-inch slices.
Place the slices cut side down on the 2 parchment lined baking sheets.
Bake another 11 to 14 minutes, until firm and dry.
Remove from the oven and cool completely on the baking sheets on wire racks.

*Almonds can be replaced with toasted hazelnuts

Cantuccini can be stored for several weeks in an airtight container at room temperature. They can also be frozen for up to 4 months.
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