The Antonio Mattei cookie factory in Prato, Tuscany, has been making one product since its founding in 1858: dried biscuits called cantucci, or “biscotti di Prato.” (In America, we refer to them as “biscotti.”)
A genuine Tuscan meal always ends with a glass of vin santo and a plate of cantucci. The cookies are dipped into the wine quickly so that they absorb its sweet aromas and a superficial coating of moisture, but maintain crunchiness in the mouth.
The interplay of sweet Tuscan Vin Santo and the nutty crispness of these cookies is a traditional favorite; recommended producers include Fontodi, Capezzana and Avignonesi
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup almonds with skins
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour and sugar. Stir in the eggs until combined, then add the remaining ingredients. Roll the dough into a ball.
On a clean surface, shape the dough into 1-inch ribbons as long as your baking sheet and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly flatten the tops of the rolls. Bake for 30 minutes. While the rolls are still warm but firm, cut them into 1/2-inch-wide slices.
Turn the slices on one side, making sure that the slices don’t touch. Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees F. and bake the cookies on their side for 10 minutes. Turn the cantucci over onto the other side and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cantucci to a wire rack and let cool.