Cantuccini are hard cookies that you can find in many cafés in Italy served as a snack along tea or coffee. These cookies known as biscotti - which literally means twice cooked - originates from Tuscany. Cantuccini are very easy to make - just shape the dough into a loaf and bake. Then slice the loaf with a sharp knife and bake the cookies again. It's during this step that cantuccini becomes crispy.
In this recipe we don't bake a classic cantuccini with plain flour and almonds but rather unusual version with combination of flours (chestnut, spelt and oat), chocolate and pistachios.
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The chestnut flour is a great ingredients in dessert recipes as it has its natural sweetness so we can reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe. We combined chestnut flour with small amount of spelt and oat flours to get interesting dough flavour and texture.
To bring these cookies a step further in the scale of indulgence, we stirred in a handfull of dark chocolate drops and whole pistachios. Grated orange zest is added to get fresh citrus flavour in the cantuccini.
In Tuscany, cantuccini are served at the end of meal with a glass of dessert wine, Vin santo, for dipping but you can also serve them with a tea or coffee.
Break the eggs into a medium bowl and whisk them with sugar. Add salt, ground clove and grated orange zest.
Sift the chestnut flour and mix with spelt and oat flours and baking powder. Gradually add flours to the mixture of eggs and sugar. Now add dark chocolate drops and whole pistachios. Make a compact dough.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and form a dough into one loaf (5 cm wide / 2 cm high). Bake in the preheated oven to 180°C for 15 to 18 minutes, remove from the oven. Let them cool for about 5 minutes.
Place loaves on a cutting board an using a sharp, serrated knife, cut into 1.5 to 2 cm thick slices, then place on the baking tray and bake for another 2 to 3 minutes. Let them cool down on a wire rack, then store in a airtight container.
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