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Almond Cantucci

  • 50 minutes
  • Medium
  • Desserts and Fruit
Simple and genuine, these almond cookies are great paired with a glass of sweet wine or a cup of tea or coffee.
Abruzzo

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ lb sugar
  • 7 oz almonds, whole, skinned
  • 1 package baking powder
  • 1 lb Italian "00" flour or all-purpose flour

Preparation:

Place the flour on a flat surface and form a well. Place the eggs, sugar and yeast in the center. Then add the whole almonds and work the dough using your hands or a mixer until you have a firm, yet elastic dough.

Then form 2 or more logs of dough, about 2 inches wide, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes or until the dough is slightly golden. Then remove the baked dough from the oven and place on a cutting board.

Slice log every ½ inch to form the biscotti. Place the biscotti on a baking sheet and return to the oven for 10 to 15 more minutes.

Remove from the oven, let cool and then serve.

Food History

The almond plant has ancient origins that can be traced back to Western Asia. According to some historians, the almond tree was the first fruit tree to be cultivated by man, almost 5,000 years ago. Since then, this splendid plant spread across the Mediterranean. Almonds were even found in Egyptian tombs from 1000 AC and thanks to the Phoenicians the almond tree was introduced to the rest of Europe.
The ancient Greeks attributed a divine origin to the almond tree, as they did for many other plants. An ancient legend suggests that while that Greek sailors stopped in the kingdom of Thrace to refuel. During this short stop, Acamas, a young Greek warrior, and Phyllis, a Thracian princess, met and fell in love. Acamas had to leave with his fellow warriors who had promised to return home immediately after the war. The young princess waited for her love to return for ten long years when finally she killed herself believing that her love had died on the battlefield.
The goddess Athena, moved by the compassion of the love of the young princess, decided to save her from death by transforming her into a tree meanwhile Acamas was returning from Thrace in search of his long-lost love. When he discovered what had happened, the young man hugged the tree affectionately. Magically, the tree began to flower and rather than form leaves, becoming the first almond tree.

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