Authentic Toscani Cantucci – delicious Italian almond cookies that are twice-baked so they are crunchy. Perfect for dunking in coffee, tea, or even wine. These cookies keep well at room temperature and are perfect for gifting to friends and family or keep them all to yourself. Once you try these authentic Tuscan cookies you will not need another recipe.
A question I hear often from non-Italian friends and family is “are what are biscotti?” The truth is, biscotti is a generic name for Italian cookies and there are many different kinds. Depending on the region, there are countless biscotti in all flavors and they all have special names.
I know in the US and other parts of the world, it’s common to refer to all the crunchy cookies from Italy as biscotti, but “biscotti” actually just refers to all cookies – crunchy, soft, or chewy. So, today I’m showing you an authentic Italian cookie recipe that is called Toscani Cantucci.
This famous cookie is from Tuscany and is well-known around the world. It’s a classic Italian almond cookie that is twice-baked so it is sturdy and crunchy. Believe it or not, Italians like to dunk their cantucci in vin santo, which is a sweet wine, but it is also great to serve them with coffee for dunking, too.
This type of cookie is easy to make with just a few ingredients. They are wonderful for the holidays because they keep well at room temperature. If you store them properly in an airtight container, they can keep for up to two weeks. This makes them great for gifting to friends and family.
- Large eggs
- Granulated sugar
- All purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Roasted whole almonds
As you can see an Authentic Cantucci recipe does not contain butter, extract or zest. Eggs are used for fat content.
How to Toast Almonds
For the best almond flavor, you will want to toast the almonds in the oven. This helps release their natural oils and flavor, giving your cookies the best flavor.
Spread them out on a baking sheet and toast them for six to seven minutes at 350°F. Don’t leave them and take them out as soon as they are fragrant. Take them off the hot sheet pan right away so they don’t continue to toast.
How to Make Toscani Cantucci
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar for several minutes until they are well combined.
Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Just before the dough comes together, mix in the almonds.
Divide the dough into two equal parts and pat them to form them into logs. Place them on a prepared baking sheet and let them rest for three minutes.
Bake the logs for 20 minutes at 350°F (180°F) and then take the pan out of the oven. Slice the logs into pieces approximately 1/2 to 3/4″ (1 1/2 to 2 cm) thick.
Place the slices cut-side up on the pan in a single layer. Bake them for six to ten minutes or until they are dry. Cool them for five minutes on the pan and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once your cantucci are cooled, store them in an airtight container. Because they are dry with little moisture, they should keep well at room temperature for up to two weeks.
How to freeze Cantucci
If you want to make the dough ahead and freeze it, you can do that. Shape it into logs and then wrap them tightly. Freeze them and then allow them to thaw before baking them. They will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer.
You can also freeze the baked cooled cookies, place the cookies in a freezer safe container or bag. They will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Can the dough be made in advance?
Yes it can, raw cookie dough will keep well wrapped or in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days.
This is an authentic Toscani Cantucci with almonds, but you can change the nuts if you prefer. Just be sure to lightly toast them first for the best flavor.
Make a batch and serve them wine just like Italians do. Or treat yourself to a few with a cup of coffee. Their crunchy, nutty texture is perfect with both. Enjoy!
More Cantucci Recipes
Authentic Toscani Cantucci
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups +3 tablespoons all purpose flour (273 grams total)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup +1 tablespoon roasted* almonds (with skin) (150 grams total)
* Place the almonds on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350F (180C) pre-heated oven for 6-7 minutes, then move immediately to a clean bowl to cool. Do not leave on the pan or they will continue to bake.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In the mixer (with the flat beater) beat the eggs and sugar well, approximately 3-5 minutes, add the flour, baking powder and salt, mix, when almost combined add the almonds and mix to form a dough.
- Divide into 2 parts and form into 2 logs. Place on the prepared pan, let sit 3 minutes, then bake for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let sit approximately 5 minutes, then slice into ½-¾ inch (1½-2 cm) slices. Place cut side up again on the cookie sheet and bake for 6-10 minutes or until dried. Let cool 5-10 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!