The Wine Word: Chocolate & Dessert, Part II

Last week I shared chocolate and dessert items that go well with wine.  That gave me the bug to bake, not to mention a mention of promised future recipes.  Savor a splash with a sweet bite?  Always sounds tempting to me!

Cantucci are essentially small biscotti.  Dennis at The Hidden Kitchen serves them as a bite or two with espresso but traditionally cantucci and biscotti are served with Vin Santo, the Tuscan dessert wine (and one of Dennis’ absolute favorites).

This recipe, courtesy of HK, is more like a cookie and less like traditional Italian biscotti, but that’s what makes it fun.  A bite into one is heavenly (pause) crunch, enter butter flavor, Ooo…burst  o chocolate, snap crunch- a nut, that spice…ummm (pause), just plain yum.  Then take a sip of either Vin Santo, or you can try the Muscat Canelli from Solis Winery which I shared with you last week and you’ve hit a flavor jackpot.

Hidden Kitchen Cantucci

1/2 cup of unsalted butter, cut into cubes, cold

1 3/4 cups of flour

1/2 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup of dried cherries, roughly chopped

1 1/4 cup of chocolate chips

3/4 cup of either almonds or pistachios, roasted and roughly chopped

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Mix dry ingredients in a food processor, pulse in the butter until it’s tiny balls.  If using a mixer, mix until it’s tiny.  Transfer to a mixer and mix in the cooled nuts, fruit and chocolate chips.  With the mixer running, mix in the eggs and vanilla.  Continue mixing a minute or two. Divide into two logs on parchment paper.  Chill in frig for at least 30 minutes or more.  You can also wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze for baking off later.

To bake, lay on sheet and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes.  Allow to cool completely, cut into slices about ½ to ¾-inches wide.  After you’ve allowed the cantucci to cool and you’ve cut it into 1/2″ wide pieces, you need to bake each side for 10 minutes to give it that extra crunch that Cantucci and Biscotti are known for.  Store in an airtight container.

Buon appetito!

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