Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Spiced Raisin and Walnut Cantucci

Cantucci, that's what they're called.  "Biscotti" are just cookies.
These are a bit of a childhood thing for me too. The plain cantucci with almonds, that is. My grandmother used to make them. Of course, she made everything. I remember they were always in these big cookie boxes. They were so small, maybe less than 2 inches wide and less than an inch in height. It's again one of those no-recipe things she just did. She just mixed in enough flour and eggs and everything until it "felt" right. It's funny because I just typed everything in present-tense and had to edit it all. I miss her.

Every Italian boasts about their grandmother being the best cook in the world – the difference with me is, mine actually was. She was perhaps what you would imagine a stereotypical Italian grandmother to be, cooking all day long just to make the grand kids happy.
What a woman. Isn't she beautiful? That's her holding my father and my aunt.

My passion for food definitely comes from her. Well, I always say I get it from my father, who got it from her. Nothing can replace that, really - that passion for food you get in Italian families. I don't know, I could be wrong, but it feels like a uniquely Italian thing. See, I know so many foodies. I know so many people that love cooking just as much as I do, and that's why I'm scared of pursuing my dreams and going into the food business. What makes me so special? But, sometimes, I try to make myself feel better, or unique, by just thinking...the way food is in an Italian family, in my family... It's got to be unique. Chinese people love food - my Chinese side of the family loves food, but it's just not the same. Who knows. I keep hoping that that means that, maybe, my passion for food just exceeds other people's by just a bit. Doubtful, but comforting thoughts nonetheless.

I didn't have almonds and I felt adventurous.  And this is what happens when I try to study at home.  This is how I procrastinate.  I either overeat or cook.

I love the spices in these cantucci.  People in the library seemed to enjoy it too.  Yes, I usually make cookies and bring them to the library.  The logic is simple - I hate the library because it's a depressing place.  Everyone's stressed out of their minds and look like they're about to kill themselves.  I don't like that kind of atmosphere.  So I bring cookies to them in hopes of cheering them up, which makes the library a happier place, which makes me a happier person. 

makes about 24 cookies
2 1/3 cup white spelt flour (or normal all purpose flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened at room temperature
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1/4 cup raisin
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 180C.  Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.

Mix all the dry ingredients together, then mix in the softened butter and eggs.   When all well-combined, mix in the raisins and the walnuts.  Form into a big log and place it on the lined baking tray.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch.

Reduce oven temperature to 150C. 

Leave the log to cool completely then cut it into 1/2 inch slices.  Lay the slices flat on the baking tray and put them back in the oven.  Bake for about 6,7 minutes, then flip them over, and bake for 6-7 minutes again, until dried out and crispy. 

1 comment:

  1. Maria you should definitely submit the top photo to foodgawker! It's beautiful!


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