Mocha Almond Cantucci, a fast, easy and tasty Italian Christmas or any Anytime Cookie, a delicious combination of coffee and chocolate. The perfect addition to your Cookie Recipe Collection. The perfect snack or dessert cookie.
When I first came to Italy, it took me the longest time to try a biscotto, not because I didn’t think that they tasted good or I didn’t like the look of them but because they are so darn hard. I knew if I dared take a bite I’d break a tooth or two!
For that reason, my husband told me that you can dunk them in coffee to make them softer, and in espresso to be exact. In fact biscotti means twice baked, with the second baking causing the cookie to dry and harden. But I also learned the adding butter or oil to mixture makes them softer.
So even though these Mocha Almond Biscotti are also twice baked they are on the softer side but still crunchy and of course just as delicious.
How to make them
In a large bowl beat the sugar and butter until well blended, add the vanilla and mix. Then beat in the eggs one at a time, beat until combined.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and instant coffee, then gradually stir into egg mixture. Fold in chocolate chips and almonds.
Batter will be quite sticky, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge and form into 2 logs place on the prepared cookie sheet and bake.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature, cut the logs diagonally into thick slices (or thinner if desired), lay them on their side, on the cookie sheets. Bake again until dry. Cool completely before serving.
How do I make the cookies?
You can make these biscotti with either a standup mixer, a hand beater or a food processor, which is what I usually use to make them.
Can the dough be made in advance?
If you wish to make the dough in advance, I would advise you to refrigerate it for the 30 minutes, then roll into 2 logs, place on the cookie sheet and cover with plastic, the dough will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge.
Where did they originate?
The oldest version of the Cantucci originates from Tuscany and dates back to the 16th century. In the Regions of Lazio and Umbria, Cantuccini are called Tozzetti. They are prepared in the same way as Cantucci, although they are usually made with hazelnuts instead of almonds.
The difference being, that Cantucci from Tuscany are made with almonds and are eaten with Vin Santo, whereas Tozzetti are made in various ways, including Triple Nut, Chocolate Almond, Mocha flavour, or if you are like us how about a savory Biscotti with Olives & Parmesan?
What is the difference between Cantucci and Biscotti
Biscotti literally means twice (bis) cooked (cotti), biscotti is also the general name that Italians call cookies. Therefore Italians refer to Biscotti as Cantucci or Tozzetti.
How to store them
The Biscotti should be stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place. To keep them crisp, place parchment paper between the layers of cookies, this also helps to keep them separated if you wish to dip them in chocolate. Stored properly, they will last up to two weeks.
Can Biscotti be frozen?
Biscotti can be frozen. Once the cookies have cooled completely, place them in a freezer safe bag or container. The cookies will last up to three months in the freezer.
You can also freeze the raw biscotti logs. Wrap them in plastic and place in a freezer safe bag. They will keep for about a month in the freezer. Be sure to let them thaw in the fridge before proceeding with the recipe.
Biscotti are a very popular Italian Christmas cookie, after a taste you will understand why. The dough from these Mocha Almond Biscotti is very sticky so make sure you refrigerate it for at least 1/2 an hour. I actually left it in the fridge for a few hours, then lightly floured a flat surface and also my hands when working with this dough, it will make it all much easier.
If you are looking for a yummy change from your usual Christmas Cookie recipes this tasty Mocha Almond Biscotti is something worth trying. Maybe you will get the urge to go dunking in your espresso too! Happy cookie baking. Enjoy!
Mocha Almond Cantucci
- 1/4 cup butter softened (57 grams)
- 3/4 cup sugar (150 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 3/4 cups flour (227 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee (dry)
- 3/4-1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (131-175 grams)
- 1/4-1/2 cup slivered almonds (28-55 grams)
- In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar until well blended (I used my food processor to make this dough and it worked really well), add vanilla mix, then beat in eggs one at a time, beat until combined.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and instant coffee, then gradually stir into egg mixture. Fold in chocolate chips and almonds. Batter will be quite sticky, so wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (I left mine in the fridge for 2 hours).
- Pre-heat oven to 300° (150° celsius).
- Remove the dough from the fridge and form into 2 logs (approximately 9 inches / 23cm), and place them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until light brown in colour.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275° (135° celsius).
- Cut the logs diagonally into 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick slices (or thinner if desired), lay them cut side up on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes or until dry. Cool completely before serving. Enjoy!
Updated from December 11, 2014.