Polenta cantucci

Polenta cantuccini

These maxi cantucci made with polenta flour, amongst many other ingredients, are delightful to have with a nice cup of coffee during your morning break. And by the way, for those people who don’t know: cantucci  or cantuccini are a typical Tuscan biscuit, twice baked . They have roasted almonds inside and traditionally you dip them in a very sweet wine, called vin santo….which means “holy wine” in Italian. The ones I am blogging here are lighter than the traditional cantuccini you can buy ready made. My friends and colleagues will testify how airy and deliciously crumbly they are (I took a few in the office to test the ground). I have seen them called “biscotti” in the UK, which is the general name for biscuits (or cookies if you are American)  in Italian. The polenta flour gives them a nice crunchy bite. They are easy to make and keep well in an airtight container. As you can see from the picture they can look very nice too if put in a transparent bag and tied with a nice ribbon or some rafia. The first time I made them my husband thought they came from the delicatessen shop, so professional they looked! I guess they could make a nice home made present to a foodie friend. By the way, you can’t gauge this from the picture but they measure approx. 10 cm. in length.


200 gr. plain flour

50 gr. polenta flour

115 gr. caster sugar

50 gr. butter, softened

2 tsp baking powder

50 gr. almonds (I used the ones with their skin on but you can use the blanched variety if you prefer)

50 gr. pistachios

grated lemon zest of 1 lemon

2 medium eggs

a pinch of salt


Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and roast in the oven (170 degrees) for 5-10 minutes until golden. When they are done allow them to cool and roughly chop them with a knife.

Mix the flour with the polenta, salt and the baking powder.

Cream together the butter and the sugar until nice and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, adding a few tablespoons of flour for each egg. Add the lemon zest and the rest of the flour. Mix until you have a soft dough. If too sticky add a bit of flour.

Turn out on a floured surface, add the almonds and the pistachio nuts and knead until you have amalgamated them through the dough.

cantucci in the making

Divide the mixture in two and shape each half into a sausage, approx 30 cm. long. Slightly flatten the top.

Put both sausages on a baking sheet and bake at 170 degrees for about 30 minutes. Leave a space as they will grow in size.

Transfer to a wire rack. Let them cool for about 6-8 minutes then cut diagonally into 1 cm. wide slides.

Place the cantuccini cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for a further 10 minutes until nice and crisp.

Cool on a wire rack again and eat when cold.


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2 Responses to “Polenta cantucci”

  • Cara Lucina, i cantuccini sono squisiti; ho seguito la tua ricetta pari pari e ho avuto successo al primo tentativo. Il verdetto è positivo, la ricetta è foolproof.
    Continua cosi’.

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