Cantuccini—biscotti from Tuscany. Cantuccini and vin santo go together like a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit; although these biscuits are twice baked and won’t break off in your drink. Like many of the sweet treats available in Italy at Christmas, cantuccini are usually baked with nuts such as almonds and pistachios. According to peasant folklore, eating nuts aids the fertility of the earth and people, increasing flocks and family.
When making cantuccinni the dough is rolled out into long salami and baked, then taken out of the oven, cut into slices and baked again to dry them into biscotti. The result is a hard, crunchy biscuit best eaten when softened by dunking in a dessert wine or a cup of coffee.
Twice baking dough is an ancient method of preserving food when biscuits similar to cantuccini would have been found in a soldier’s pack in ancient Rome.
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