Adapted from Florentine: The True Cuisine of Florence by Emiko Davies
If you cannot find vin santo or cannot consume alcoholic beverages, use the same quantity of 2% or whole milk with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- 125 grams/4½ oz. (¾ cup) whole, unsalted almonds
- 350 grams/12½ oz. (2¾ cup) all-purpose flour
- 200 grams/7 oz. (1 cup) granulated sugar
- Pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk (for egg wash)
- 30 ml/1 fluid oz (1/8 cup) vin santo (or milk) *see headnote
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (if using milk in place of vin santo) *see headnote
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place the almonds on one of the baking sheets and toast them for 5-7 minutes until lightly fragrant. Let them cool completely and then roughly chop them so they are halved. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in the 2 eggs. Add in the vin santo (or milk and vanilla extract) and the honey, and mix the ingredients using a fork, gradually incorporating the dry ingredients around the wet ingredients until a dough forms. Add in the chopped almonds and continue mixing using your hands so the almonds are evenly distributed throughout the dough (it will be sticky).
- Shape the dough into 2 thin logs about ¾ inches high and 1½ inches wide and flatten them slightly–do this directly on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Keep the logs of dough about 3 inches apart since they will spread slightly. Beat the egg yolk with 1 Tablespoon of water and brush each log lightly with the egg wash.
- Bake the dough logs until golden, about 20-25 minutes. Remove the dough logs from the oven and place the baking sheet on a cooling rack. Let the dough logs cool on the baking sheet until they are barely warm. Once they have cooled off, transfer the dough logs to a cutting board and using a sharp, serrated knife, slice the dough logs into ¾-inch slices.
- Place the cantuccini on their sides on the baking sheets and bake them an additional 20-25 minutes until light golden, dry, and crisp. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool slightly on the baking sheets before transferring them to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
- Storage: Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. The cookies can last up to 2 weeks, or a bit longer, but are best eaten within a few days.