Tozzetti are the Umbrian version of cantucci (aka biscotti or biscotti di Prato) and are slightly different containing hazelnuts as well as almonds and being flavoured with aniseed. I first had these at the Saio Winery in Assisi, where they served them as part of the food to taste with their wine. Cantucci are traditionally dipped in vin santo but they encouraged us to dip the tozzetti in red wine before eating. The effect was incredible, because what was a sweet biscuit, became in effect savoury; the aniseed a perfect partner to the wine. I promised the recipe after that blog post, but as these biscuits are traditionally eaten at Christmas time, I thought I’d save it for now.
Makes about 14
75g (1/2 cup) almonds
50g (1/3 cup) hazelnuts
175g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
225g (1 5/8 cups) ’00’ flour
4g (1 teaspoon) baking powder
1 tablespoon of ground aniseed
25g unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
- Heat the oven to 180° C (355° F). Place the almonds and hazelnuts on a baking tray and toast for about 10 minutes. Leave to cool completely.
- Put the eggs, sugar, and salt into a bowl and whisk until the begin to turn white.
- Add the flour, baking powder, aniseed, and butter to the bowl and mix until combined.
- Add the nuts and continue to stir until they are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
- Turn the mixture onto a floured board, and form into a long log shape. Transfer to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
- Using a brush, paint the whole log in beaten egg. Then bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Allow to cool.
- Cut the log into slices about 1 1/2 cm (2/3 inch) thick.
- Place on a baking tray and then put them back in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.