settembre 2, 2009
If you come to Tuscany, whenever you want, wherever you go, from a city to a little village, you’ll find those typical sweets: Ricciarelli, Panforte and Cantuccini. If Ricciarelli and Panforte are related most of all to Christmas holidays, Cantuccini are a real must, you can eat them in any period of the year as a rapid dessert, with a glass of good vinsanto (sweet white raisin wine).
This is how my Grandma makes them, especially on Sundays when there are uncles, aunts and cousins in the garden to spend some time with us. If you don’t have time to bake a superb cake and fill it up with cream and chocolate, those cookies are incredibly easy to make and delicious.I’m absolutely a teetotaller, so I don’t soak them in vinsanto, but in water! I know, I know, it’s a nonsense… but when I was a child and my uncle used to soak them in vinsanto, I was given a glass of water to dip them. Since then, It is an unique flavour, cosy and comforting. It brings me back to after dinner moments in San Gimignano, when the only problem was to choose in between playing cards with my Grandad and my cousin or reading comics lying on my Aunt’s huge bed.
::::: CANTUCCINI DI PRATO – PRATO COOKIES :::::
Ingredients for a whole trayful of cookies:
- Plain flour, 500 gr
- Caster sugar, 500 gr
- Sweet almonds, 200 gr
- Eggs, 4
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Toast almonds in a baking-tin in the oven for some minutes or until they are fragrant and golden. Then set aside to cool, peel them and chop them up.
Put flour on a flat surface and make a well in the middle, adding sugar, chopped almonds, a pinch of salt and eggs.
Work the mixture until you have a smooth and soft dough. Divide the dough into equal parts, form flattened thin loafs, 10 cm wide. Place them on a baking tray lined with greasproof paper and bake them for about 25 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
Slice slantwise into 1,5 – 2 cm slices and bake the cookies again, returning to the oven for a while, until they are toasted. Then remove from oven and let cool. Store at room temperature in an airtight tin.
GREAT NEWS! today I’m really happy, finally Basil, an american web magazine, is on line! Have a look at my monthly column, obviously dedicated to Tuscan Cooking! Tuscany Home Sweet Home… doesn’t it remind you anything? can I indulge in pride and satisfaction for today? Com’on, just for one day!