Originally from Tuscany, The Cantucci, also known as “Prato biscuits”, are now widespread and prepared throughout Italy.
They were born from a very ancient recipe, already known in 1500 and used at the court of the Medici dynasty. But their fame spread around the world after 1867, when a Tuscan pastry chef introduced them at the Paris World’s Expo.
The Cantucci are made with a simple and very flavored dough, stuffed with almonds. Their peculiarity lies in the double cooking, hence the name “biscuits”, that means cooked twice. First, in fact, you create strands with the dough and put in the oven; then, halfway through cooking, they are pulled out of the oven, cut diagonally and again in the oven to dry the inside well. In this way, golden and crispy bits are obtained, usually enjoyed at the end of the meal. The Cantucci are ideal to soak in a liqueur wine, typically the Tuscan “Vin Santo”, but also the Marsala or the Passito; or to be served together with coffee, tea or cappuccino.
In addition to the classic recipe with almonds, Cantucci are now made in many variants: chocolate, cranberries, hazelnuts, or even pistachio and the dough is also often flavored with orange, lemon or vanilla.
In Italy, Cantucci can not miss on the Christmas table, but considering that they can be kept for a long time, usually, they never fail in Italian houses, and are a small gluttony to close lunch or dinner, or to accompany a good coffee, at all times day.