Cantuccini/Biscotti

imageWhy have I never made this wonderful Italian biscuit before? It is an absolute delight to make and a superb dunking biscuit to accompany your cup of  coffee/tea/hot chocolate or indeed feel free to follow the Italian custom and dunk it in your glass Vin Santo or Amaretto!

Once immersed into your drink the biscuit softens.When it hits your taste buds the flavours merge together creating a wonderful sweet delight. It has now become one of my husbands favourite break time treats.

Traditionally this biscuit is made with almonds and pistachio nuts,as I am not keen on these flavours I substituted for flavours I do like.

Give it a go, be adventurous with the flavours, believe me it is worth the minimal effort needed to make.

It also keeps well in an air tight tin for about 4 weeks, if it lasts that long.
Serves 20

Ingredients

Cranberry,orange and chocolate chip biscotti

70g dried cranberries
70g chocolate chips
250g strong white flour
150g caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 unwaxed orange
Icing sugar for dusting

Chocolate biscotti

225g strong white flour

25g cocoa powder

25 g chocolate chips

( miss out cranberries and orange from recipe above)

Method

Line 1 or 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 180C for fan oven, Gas Mark 4

Sift the flour (add cocoa powder here if making the chocolate version) sugar, baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips with the eggs, vanilla extract and orange zest and combine to form a biscuit dough.

Dust your work surface with icing sugar, divide the dough into 3 pieces and shape each piece into a sausage by rolling it with your hands in the icing sugar

Place the rolls on the prepared baking tray and flatten slightly

Bake for 30 minutes in the middle of the oven

Remove from the oven and places the rolls on a chopping board. Leave to cool for 10 minutes to firm up. Use a sharp knife to cut each roll diagonally into 1cm strips.

Turn oven down to 140C Gas 1/2. Spread the strips in a single layer on the baking tray and return to the oven for 30 minutes (you may need an extra tray for the second baking). Turn over after 15 minutes to dry other side.

Leave the cantuccini/biscotti to cool on a wire rack before serving. Enjoy them with a coffee or a glass of Vin Santo or Amaretto!