Festive Cantuccini or Biscotti

31 Dec


A final, final (promise) Festive Recipe before we move into the New Year.

I´m not sure why, but in our family, Biscotti were always called Cantuccini.  Maybe it´s because the words biscotto (singular) or biscotti (plural) in Italian mean biscuits (cookies) and could apply to any type at all.  I´m not sure.

Of course, now we make our own, and like many of you out there, we add our own special twists to appeal to the people we are giving them to, or the time of year, or depending on what is available.

I´ve made these Festive Cantuccini for the last few years at this time of year because there are so many beautiful dried fruits available and the spices, to me, evoke Christmas smells.  Of course, the fruits, nuts and spices can be changed to please you and your loved ones.

Delicious served with frothy coffee or Vin Santo for dipping.  Buon Appetito!


  • Heat oven to 180º or Gas 4 and line 2 flat baking trays with silicon or greaseproof paper
  • 350g plain flour plus 2tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 3tsp mixed spice
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Grated zest of one large orange and one large lemon
  • About 200g of dried fruit (I used candied peel and dried cherries)
  • 100g nuts (I used whole blanched almonds)

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl with the zest and then stir in the beaten egg with a broad knife initially and then your hands. Keep kneading even though it seems dry, it will come together.

Now add in the fruit and nuts and mix in well.  Divide the mixture into four and make a sausage shape out of each piece, about 30-40cm long. Put two on each baking sheet and bake for about 30 mins until firm.  It will spread out slightly but still be pale.

Leave them to cool slightly for about 10 mins, reduce the oven temperature to 120º/Gas 1. Cut diagonally into slices and put back on trays and into oven.  Continue to bake for about 30 minutes, turning half way through.

Can be stored in an airtight tin for up to one month (like they´ll last that long!).

All that remains for me to say on this last day of the year is, Health and Happiness to you all in 2012!


46 Responses to “Festive Cantuccini or Biscotti”

  1. Mad Dog December 31, 2011 at 13:13 #

    They look delicious – I could eat several now! 😉

  2. Food,Photography & France December 31, 2011 at 13:32 #

    I love cantuccini and these look great. Have a very happy New Year

  3. Malou Prestado December 31, 2011 at 13:56 #

    I love biscotti but I haven’t made it myself yet. This will be my next baking project. Today is hubby’s birthday so I baked him his fave carrot cake.

    • Chica Andaluza December 31, 2011 at 22:51 #

      Ah – lots of celebrating for you! I have a huge weakness for carrot cake so you must show us how you make yours! Happy Hubby Birthday and Happy New Year!

  4. Dani December 31, 2011 at 16:44 #

    Great festive recipe ! Love candied fruits, thank you for sharing !
    Happy New Year !!!

  5. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide December 31, 2011 at 17:01 #

    Whatever you call them, they look great. Have a wonderful new year!

  6. sportsglutton December 31, 2011 at 17:08 #

    They sound great to me. Have a Happy New Year!

  7. gardenfreshtomatoes December 31, 2011 at 18:31 #

    Looks great…maybe at breakfast in the morning! 🙂
    A very Happy New Year to you and Big Man!

    • Chica Andaluza December 31, 2011 at 22:55 #

      Ah thank you and the same to you and the family…and I love them in the morning with a coffee!

  8. ChgoJohn December 31, 2011 at 19:10 #

    These do seem like they’d make wonderful dipping cookies. THat citrus zest must really perk ’em up! I hope you, Tanya, Big Man, and all with whom you surround yourselves Up the Mountain have a fantastic New Year!

    • Chica Andaluza December 31, 2011 at 23:08 #

      Thank you so much John – it´s been a pleasure to “get to know you” this year. In fact, your ears must be burning as we´ve been talking about you this evening!

  9. spree December 31, 2011 at 20:04 #

    I’ve heard of biscotti dipped in vin santo and that’s one thing I resolve to try in the new year. These look festive and delicious and I love their versatility. Joyous New Year to you Tanya and those you hold dear!

    • Chica Andaluza December 31, 2011 at 23:09 #

      Thank you Spree for your good wishes and we reciprocate them. Make that Biscotti and Vin Santo thing a New Year resolution!

  10. Karen December 31, 2011 at 22:29 #

    Tanya, I hope you, Big Man and your extended families have a wonderful, healthy and happy 2012. I like dried fruit in cakes and cookies. Sitting by the fire with a glass of Vin Santo and your cookies sounds like a perfect way to end the year and begin the next.

    • Chica Andaluza December 31, 2011 at 23:10 #

      Thank you Karen -we wish you the same! Glad you liked the recipe, I also make them with almonds and fennel seeds which is a great combination…

  11. Just A Smidgen January 1, 2012 at 01:57 #

    I love biscotti and always inspired by new ingredients that are used… I’ve read about Cantuccini as well! Have a wonderful New Year’s!!

    • Chica Andaluza January 1, 2012 at 10:18 #

      You can add your favourite ingredients – they´re very versatile! Happy new year to you too!

  12. kathryningrid January 1, 2012 at 04:27 #

    Candied peel makes so many things just so much better!

    • Chica Andaluza January 1, 2012 at 10:19 #

      I agree…used to hate it as a child, now I love it!

  13. peasepudding January 1, 2012 at 08:26 #

    No, you keep up with your festive recipes, as you saw I too have just posted a Christmas cake recipe! Have a fabulous 2012.

  14. promenadeplantings January 1, 2012 at 11:46 #

    they look delicious, and I particularly like the idea of serving them with some Vino Santo 🙂

  15. trevorhunt January 1, 2012 at 18:03 #

    They look lovely! Just to wish you both a very happy 2012 and l promise to continue my gardening blog! We are still renting but hope to have found a house soon, hopefully with a reasonably sized garden so l can grow my own again!
    Keep up the good work,
    Best wishes,

    • Chica Andaluza January 1, 2012 at 18:12 #

      How wonderful to hear from you Trevor – all the best to you and yours and look forward to hearing soon that you are settled somewhere more permanent!

  16. spicegirlfla January 1, 2012 at 21:24 #

    Love, love, love these!! Especially dipped in wine!!

    • spicegirlfla January 1, 2012 at 21:26 #

      and…Happy New Years!

    • Chica Andaluza January 1, 2012 at 21:26 #

      But you are the Queen of Biscotti!!! I follow your lead on this one 🙂

  17. ....RaeDi January 2, 2012 at 01:45 #

    Cannot wait to hear how your holiday went! Happy New Year my friend!

  18. niasunset January 2, 2012 at 13:53 #

    Beautiful… should be so delicious too. Thank you dear Chica, Happy New year, with my love, nia

  19. thecompletecookbook January 3, 2012 at 14:43 #

    Don’t care what you call them – they are delicious!
    Have a super duper awesome year Tanya.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza January 3, 2012 at 15:19 #

      “You say tomayto I say tomarto…” you´re right! Happy New Year Mandy 🙂

  20. Michi January 3, 2012 at 21:12 #

    Biscotti is my favorite when I’m looking for a crunchy pasty! We’ll have a real oven over at my suegra’s during Reyes, I’m jotting this one down, too!

    • Chica Andaluza January 3, 2012 at 21:26 #

      Oh good – not having an oven is a pain. Will be posting a Roscon de Reyes tomorrow or the day after!

  21. Fired Up Cooking SA February 13, 2012 at 21:05 #

    Oh my word – make me a cup of coffee, and pass me a plateful of these yummy bits of deliciousness!!!! recipe *saved* thanks Chica!!!

    • Chica Andaluza February 13, 2012 at 21:20 #

      How funny that you should comment on this. Am about to make a batch this week and am going to do lemon and aniseed this time!

      • Fired Up Cooking SA February 14, 2012 at 07:13 #

        Oh my word – I adore aniseed! give me a shout when they are out the oven, I’ll be over in a flash 🙂

  22. seminar ACLS August 24, 2016 at 09:45 #

    I love almond…thanks for the recipe. I’ll to try that recipe


  1. Food Bloggers Unplugged « Chica Andaluza - January 19, 2012

    […] 8.   I’m coming to you for dinner what’s your signature dish? Oh, that´s tough too. I guess it would depend on what time of year you came as I´d try to use as much of our own produce from the vegetable garden, our own eggs, perhaps our own chickens. Ok, as we´re in Spain I´ll do a lovely seafood platter to start, a chicken paella cooked outdoors, you can digest, take a walk or a dip then we´ll have whatever fresh fruit is in season with honey and almond ice cream, little cups of coffee and some of my cantuccini biscuits. […]

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