So far I’ve made several delicious recipes replacing butter with olive oil, but how about baking cookies without neither? That is what made me curious about these cantuccini: the fat in them comes from the almonds and the eggs – no butter, no olive or canola oil – and the eggs, combined with the fruit juices, are also responsible for the moisture in the dough.
Just for the record: I have nothing against fat, much to the opposite – I feel lost without butter in my fridge and I use olive oil for cooking all the time – but I find it interesting to learn how to make delicious things without it.
This is a fairly simple recipe – no electric devices involved – and the cantuccini turned out very flavorsome from all the fruit zest and juice. These are not rock-hard and they benefit from some time in the cookie jar: the citrus flavor becomes more evident with time, making the cantuccini even tastier days after they were baked (if they last that long). ;)
slightly adapted from the delicious Do-Ahead Dinners: How to Feed Friends and Family Without the Frenzy
200g all-purpose flour
50g amaranth flour
150g granulated sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 orange and juice of ½
zest and juice of ½ lemon
2 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
150g almonds (skin on)
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
Mix the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Throw in the orange and lemon juice and zest, eggs and vanilla, and mix together thoroughly. Stir in the almonds – the dough will be sticky.
With lightly floured hands, divide the dough into two pieces and roll each into slightly flattened sausage shapes, about 30cm (12in) long each. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes, then carefully peel off the foil.
Using a sharp knife and one firm cut, slice each log diagonally into 1cm slices, place them onto the sheet, side by side, and bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Turn the biscotti and bake until golden on the other side as well, about 8 minutes.
Cool completely, then store in airtight containers.
Makes about 35