Cantucci Biscuits

By Rachel Davies •


Everyone loves biscuits over the Christmas holiday. Rachel shares a delicious recipe for some Italian Cantucci biscuits filled with festive flavours.

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Homemade gifts of food are one of my favourite things to give to friends and family around this time of year, displayed in a nice glass jars or cellophane packaging and tied with a festive ribbon.

These cantucci biscuits will keep for about a month if they don’t disappear before then, and contain some of my favourite flavours. If you’d prefer different nuts, spices, dried fruits, chocolate pieces or a little vanilla or almond essence, you can be creative and play around. Just keep the biscuit recipe as it is, and substitute the orange zest, cardamom, pistachio and cranberry for flavours of your choice.

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Cardamom, Orange, Cranberry and Pistachio Cantucci

(adapted from Maria Elia, Full Of Flavour)

Makes about 60

Ingredients

180g butter, softened

275g caster sugar

4 eggs

10g baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

600g 00 flour

½ teaspoon ground cardamom seeds

1 orange, zest only

100g pistachio nuts,

60g dried cranberries

Method

1.  Preheat the oven to 150˚C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

2.  Using an electric whisk or standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.

3.  Gradually add the eggs into the mixture, combining well each time. Scrape the mixture down with a spatula.

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4.  Beat in the remaining ingredients until the mixture comes together.

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5.  On the baking trays form the dough into 3 or 4 logs, approximately 5cm wide, and pat into an even shape using wet hands. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until risen and lightly golden.

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6.  Transfer the logs onto a wire rack to cool slightly for 5-10 minutes. When still warm, cut the cantucci diagonally into 1cm thick pieces. Lay on the baking sheets, turn the oven down to 120˚C and bake for 30-40 minutes, turning halfway through.

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7.  Cool on a wire rack before serving. These cantucci will keep in an airtight container for up to a month.

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Inspired? We've a whole selection of delicious biscuit recipes to fill your home with the smell of baking. What are some of favourite biscuits at this time of year?  Let us know over on Great British Chefs Facebook page.

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Rachel Davies

Rachel Davies is a London based chef, cookery teacher, food writer and founder of Rachel’s Kitchen. She teaches classes ranging from patisserie and Sugarcraft to fresh pasta and sushi. She loves big, bold flavours and obscure ingredients. She is also a finalist in the Cookery School Awards ‘Best Young Rising Star’ 2012.

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