Cantuccini – Tuscan Almond Biscotti

Cantucci or Cantuccini – that’s how these almond cookies are called. In Tuscany they are served together with Vin Santo (holy wine), which is a regional dessert wine. These biscotti can be found all over the country and around the world, being one of the most popular Italian sweets. Btw, the word biscotti is the plural of biscotto, and it means cookies or biscuits. Biscotti are big in Italy. Especially for breakfast. They come in countless different kinds. The word biscotto (bis-cotto) itself means twice-cooked. As we will do in this recipe: bake the cantucci twice.

There are so many recipe versions out there. A few ingredients might vary from recipe to recipe. And the one that I will share with you is the one that my family has been making for many many years. I love these little crispy cookies! First of all, it takes only a few minutes to prepare the dough. Second, you can make big quantities as you can store them for several days! And, now that Christmas is slowly approaching, these yummy bites are well worth to be added to the gift list!

To be honest, for whatever reason this is the first year that the idea of wrapping them up all nicely as a present crossed my mind. Maybe the past years I was too busy eating them. And probably it is this blogging mania that is re-awakening my creativity! Whatever works! ;) While I was trying out different packaging methods, different ideas crossed my mind.. All of a sudden I remembered actually how many other sweets could be wrapped up in nice little bags. Especially when we run out of ideas for Christmas gifts, this could be a great alternative to consider! Ok, before I get carried away fantasizing about upcoming projects, I better focus on this one first ;)

Let’s go to the recipe!

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400 g / 14 oz of chopped or halved almonds

500 g / 17¾oz of flour

250 g / 8¾oz of sugar

4 eggs

1 package of vanilla sugar (8 g / approx. 2 tsp)

½ package of baking powder (7,5 g / a bit less than 2 tsp)

1 tbsp of grated orange zest

(milk, as needed)

*  *  *  *  *

Preheat the oven at 190°C/375°F.

Roast the almonds for a few minutes either in the oven or in a pan. Let them cool off and then chop or halve them.

Mix the flour with the baking powder in a bowl. Add all the other ingredients, including the almonds, except the milk. If the mixture is a bit too dry, only then, add a little milk. Just enough to get a homogenous dough.

Shape the dough in long thin rolls (about 5cm/2 inches wide, 2,5cm/1 inch high) and bake for about 20-25 min until golden. Take them out of the oven, let them cool off a little until you feel comfortable touching them. Then cut them into slices (about 2cm/¾ inches wide).

Put them back on the baking sheet with the cut side up. Bake them again for approx. 5min. If they still don’t look golden enough, leave them in for 2 or 3 min. longer. But make sure not to bake them for too long, or you will risk a tooth or two ;) They tend to get hard quickly!

Prep Time: 1h

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    • mediterranealicious says

      Thank you Stacy for finding your way to my blog! Before you buy another box now you have a good reason to make these cookies yourself ;) What a timing ;)) Enjoy!

  1. Rosie says

    I just finished making a batch of your lovely cantuccini recipe and let me tell you… I understand why this recipe has been in your family for many many years.. they are awesome! I’ll definitely be making these again and again… I drizzled some and dunked the top of a few with chocolate because my husband loves chocolate goodies :) Thank you very much for sharing it with us <3

    • mediterranealicious says

      You’re very welcome Rosie! It’s always a pleasure to hear that my recipes have found their way to another kitchen ;) Actually I need to thank you for inspiring me..I love the chocolate idea! I will try that next time. It sounds like a perfect combination!

  2. Jacob says

    Thank you for that recipe.I’ve used natural ingredients like non-pastaurized organic milk,natural eggs.For how long they will be fine to eat?

    • mediterranealicious says

      You’re very welcome :) Usually we store them for about 1 week, in a cookie box, in a dry place. Lately I started freezing them. Especially when I make bigger quantities. That might work for you too, if you don’t mind them getting less crunchy though. Enjoy your cantuccini! :)

    • mediterranealicious says

      Thank you Roger!
      I always use plain flour, as I add baking powder to it. I’ve never tried different kind of flours, which doesn’t necessarily mean it wouldn’t work.. Should you give it a try, I would love to know about the outcome :)
      Enjoy your cantuccini!

  3. says

    I have achieved the status of culinary god amongst my friends and acquaintances with this recipe.
    I always point them to your blog now (once I have revelled in the awe and adulation for a few minutes!) – so thank you for a great recipe.
    I’m off to explore your blog for other awesome delights.

    Mangia mangia!

    • mediterranealicious says

      Welcome back Roger! I see..a star chef is born :)) Thank you so much for letting me know the outcome of the cantuccini! That’s one of the biggest satisfactions for a food blogger: to hear that someone else around the globe also enjoys the recipes as much as I do. Thanks again! For following, and for sharing ;) A presto!

  4. Susan says

    Hi, Your biscotti look wonderful and I love the rustic look of them. Could you tell me if there is a certain way to get that more rustic look, rather than the smoother look most biscotti have. I have tried many many recipes and they all come out the same. They almost look too commercial to me and yours do not.
    Thanks, hope you can help!

    • mediterranealicious says

      Hi Susan, thanks for stopping by! I think I know which smooth look you’re talking about. Have you compared the ingredients of the recipes? My recipe uses quite a big quantity of almonds. That – incl. the other ingredients – might make a difference! If you like the rustic look of these ones, you should go ahead and bake them ;) You might have finally found the recipe that works best for you ;) I’d love to hear about it!

  5. says

    Hi. Love this recipe. I’ve been addicted to biscotti / cantuccini for years – a throwback from dieting and them being so low fat! I’m just wondering if you could suggest other flavours that are authentic Italian? I’ve made them with cranberries, which go so well with the hint of orange. Not so keen on chocolate but really fancy doing something different and just wondered if you had any other versions. Thanks, and thanks for the recipe. Lin

    • mediterranealicious says

      You are very welcome Lin! Cantuccini are known as biscotti with almonds. You might find few varieties that replace the almonds by little chocolate chips. And I have also seen them made with pistachios. The authentic ones are definitely the classics with almonds, though. But I really like the pistachio version – which is already on my baking to-do list :) So although I wouldn’t consider this as authentic Italian, the pistachio itself definitely is! I wrote about the Bronte pistachio in a previous post (see here). If you can find them, I recommend using fresh ones! Adjust the quantity (less than the almonds used in my recipe!) – or it will cost you a fortune ;) Otherwise use roasted ones. And consider the orange zest as an optional ingredient. Hope I could help.
      Thanks for visiting ;)

  6. Alison says

    Hi, Sarah –
    I had a lot of success making cantuccini as holiday gifts a few years ago, and I’ve decided I’d like to repeat that gift-giving effort this year. Fortunately, your recipe came up just as I was searching for recipes online! I would love to switch from using individual holiday tins to the great plastic bags pictured in your photos. Could you please tell me where I could buy these perfect gift bags for the cantuccini I plan to make?

    Thanks very much!

    • mediterranealicious says

      Welcome to my blog Alison! Here in Germany I can find them in drugstores, bigger grocery stores and in crafty/hobby stores in the baking section. In the US I have bought them at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. Hope this helps!
      Happy Holidays!
      Rosa ;)

  7. Cory says

    Hi Rosa! I just had a baking fail with a different recipe and now have spotted your lovely cantucci! Can’t wait to try them. I can’t seem to find vanilla sugar anywhere though. What would you suggest to substitute? 1 and a half teaspoons sugar plus a half teaspoon of vanilla perhaps?
    Thank you!
    Vancouver, Canada

    • mediterranealicious says

      Hi Cory! Thanks for visiting :)
      Don’t worry, you don’t need to replace the sugar part of the ‘vanilla sugar’. Can you find vanilla beans? One would be enough. Or vanilla essence/flavoring..
      Enjoy the cantuccini! And Happy Holidays!

    • mediterranealicious says

      Ciao Maria :) I’m sorry to hear you are not happy with the results of your cantuccini.. What do they look like? Do you mean they didn’t turn out crunchy, or maybe the consistency of the dough? Did you bake them twice?


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