The parties have started, people are dropping in on weekends and there is this ever approaching deadline to do this and that before Christmas. I’m not sure why Christmas is the annual date of getting shit done… but it is.
If you’ve got people dropping around for coffee here and there like I do (the benefits of having a 1 year old is that people come to me now), there is nothing better than a freshly made biscuit and a coffee to give to people. Italian cantucci biscuits are my epitome of a great coffee biscuit.
As an Australian born Italian I can say that Italians don’t like to mess with tried and true traditional recipes. But also as an Australian born Italian, I figure I wasn’t born there so I can mess with the flavours a little without too much repercussion, so I’m sharing this recipe for my orange, cardamom and macadamia cantucci which are chocolate dipped for extra good measure.
I’ve made a few flavoured cantucci in my time, but these are definitely my all time favourite. The creamy crunch of the macadamia, the sharp zesty orange and the heady, almost floral, addition of cardamom makes this a perfect combination.
Cantucci are twice baked which is what makes them extra crunchy. After the dough is formed in two long shapes its baked and then cut into slices with a bread knife and baked again. The best thing about that is that they dry out completely and last for a long time in an airtight container in the pantry. This means you can make a big batch now and have biscuits all the way through the silly season… that’s if you don’t eat them all by the fist full first!
Orange Cardamom and Macadamia Cantucci
- 250g Italian '00' Flour
- 2 teaspoons cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 1 egg + 1 yolk
- 180g caster sugar
- 25g butter, softened
- Zest 1/2 orange
- 120g macadamias, chopped
- 180g dark chocolate, for dipping
Preheat oven to 180° Celcius.
In a bowl whisk together flour, cardamom, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the whole egg and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add softened butter, orange zest and the flour mixture and beat until it comes together. Once large wet crumbs form add the macadamia and mix by hand until combined. Transfer to a floured bench top and bring together with your hands. Separate the dough in two and roll into two logs 26cm long and 4cm wide. Cover in cling film and rest for 20 minutes in the fridge.
Place the two logs on a large lined baking tray and brush with the tops and sides of each with beaten egg yolk. Bake for 20 minutes the remove and set aside to cool for 5 minutes leaving the oven on. Use a bread knife slice the logs diagonally into 1.2cm thick biscuits. Place on two lined baking trays and bake again for 10 minutes until dry.
Set aside the biscuits to cool completely, then melt the chocolate in short bursts in the microwave and dip the ends of each biscuit in melted dark chocolate. Set aside to set and then store in airtight containers.