dried cranberry, pistachio and fennel seed cantucci

I love fennel seed. In fact, I would go so far as to say I crave it. I use it in pasta sauces, pot roasts, biscuits, breads and rubs for meat. Today, I put it in lovely little Tuscan biscotti called cantucci.

They are the perfect size to slide into a glass of Vin Santo or a steaming cup of  espresso. This combination of fruit, nut and spice is stunning. I just drooled on my key board… I always thought that biscotti or cantucci would be a difficult cookie to attempt. Not so – they are a snap! I make them for Ralph when he wants something sweet and I am too distracted to concentrate on baking. I won’t go into detail but Kaitie went back to Toronto…

Cranberry, Pistaccio and Fennel Seed Cantucci

preheat oven to 350*F

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper

Set a rack in the middle level of the oven.

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons fennel seeds

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup shelled pistachio

In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, fennel seeds, baking powder, and salt and stir well to mix.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the eggs with the vanilla

Add dry ingredients and blend well on low until a stiff dough is formed. This can be done by hand if you prefer.

Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it in half. Place each half on a parchment lined baking sheet.

dampen your hands with water then shape each piece into a cylinder a little shorter than your baking sheet.

making sure the logs are neither too close to each other or to the sides of the pan.

Press down gently with the palm of your hand to flatten the logs.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the logs are well risen and feel firm to the touch.

Place the pan on a cooling rack until the logs are cool to the touch.

Reset the oven rack down one level but leave the temperature at 350 degrees.

Place one of the cooled logs on a cutting board and cut it diagonally into slices 1/2-inch thick.

Arrange the cantucci on the prepared pans, standing up.

Bake the cantucci for about 15 or 20 minutes or until they are well toasted.

Cool the pan on a rack.

Store the cooled cantucci in a well sealed container or freeze up to one month.

Thanks for reading