Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Cantuccini

 

Last weekend was the 2nd annual Cape Town Cookie Swap. I don’t really have favourite cookie recipes so take the opportunity to page through all my cookbooks and to choose a new recipe to make. Katie Caldesi wrote a wonderful Italian cookery book called The Italian Cookery Course. The book is beautiful, interesting, easy to understand and covers the Italian culinary map.

I decided to make the Orange and Pistachio Cantuccini in the book and replaced the orange peel with dark chocolate chips. These biscuits are a winner and so easy to make. Flavourful and still a bit soft which I prefer to the rock hard biscotti you seem to find everywhere.

 

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Cantuccini

Ingredients

  • 75g whole blanched almonds
  • 75g shelled & skinned pistachios
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, Spread out the almonds on a baking tray and lightly toast in the oven for 5 minutes, taking care not to burn them.
  2. To give a brighter green look to the pistachios, blanch them in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then drain. Slip off the skins.
  3. Mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the nuts, eggs, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Stir to form a thick but soft dough. Divide the mixture into thirds. Form each third into a sausage shape by rolling it with your hands in icing sugar. Place the rolls on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and flatten slightly. Bake for 20 minutes until rather dark golden brown.
  4. Remove from the oven. Cut each roll diagonally into strips about 5mm - 1cm wide. Spread the strips in a single layer on baking trays and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Leave to cool.
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Enjoy as is or dunked into a glass of Vin Santo or other sweet wine.

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