Cantuccini (biscotti) with fennel

Tags: Italian, biscuit, cantuccini, biscotti, made, picture
Created: 2011/03/14
Edited: 2011/03/14 2011/04/10 2011/04/12 2016/11/02
Traditionally, cantuccini were made without any oil or butter, so that they kept for long journeys. A little butter keeps them from seeming like chalk, and they keep well for a month.
. Makes 30 biscuits. 12 steps
125g castor sugar   beat thoroughly until very thick   Shape into two logs, 20cm long. Bake in moderate oven 20 minutes or until firm. Remove to a wire rack and cool until you can handle it. With a very sharp knife, cut logs diagonally into 1.5cm biscuits. Bake 10–15 minutes per side in moderately slow oven, until golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
2 large eggs
1 lemon's rind grated
25g butter melted   mix in
1/2 teaspoon fennel ground
180g flour sift   mix in to make a semi-stiff dough
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
1 egg white   Brush with white
The duration of the second baking will depend on the humidity, and whether you have a gas or electric oven.
For cantuccini alla mandorla (almond biscotti), omit the fennel and add a cup of almonds after mixing the flour. Some recipes insist that you blanche, toast and chop the almonds, but I think they're good with whole skin-on almonds. Make sure you use a very sharp thin knife, and you slice the logs right out of the oven, so that you can cut through the whole almonds.