Best home made cantuccini

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Its a grey afternoon in Vienna. Outside its already really cold, but inside nice and comfi. Iker is at work and I want to surprise him with some home made cookies.
Its the first time I make cantuccini at home, but the story begins already much earlier. When I was a kid, my family and me, we went every summer to Gargano, which is in the south of Italy. And I can remember I always dipped those cantuccini into milk. They get really soft and when you finish the milk there are still the presell in the cup left. Nowadays I still buy them sometimes and when I eat them I always feel like a little girl, and every time it feels like I would eat them for the first time.

Today there are gonna be two different types of cantuccini:
Cantuccini ai pistacchi and Cantuccini al cioccolato

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What you need for the pistachio cantuccini:

250 g flour
160 g sugar
1 tbsp backing powder
2 tsp vanilla sugar
dash of salt
25 g soft butter
2 eggs
200 g peeled pistachio

1. making the dough:
Mix the flour with baking powder, sugar, vanilla sugar, salt, butter and eggs and knead the ingredients till you got a smooth dough. At the beginning it seems very sticky, but just keep kneading and you will see the dough its gonna be very smooth and nice, if necessary add more flour. Knead in the pistachio and form a ball. Roll the dough in a cling film and leave it for a half an hours in the fridge.

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2. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and preheat the oven to 200 C .
Cut the dough into 3 pieces and shape each into a 25cm log. Arrange the logs on a baking tray, but try to leave enough space for them to spread whilst cooking. Bake them, in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.

3. Take them out of the oven and allow them to cool a little, then cut into 1cm slices. Lay them on a baking tray with the cut side on the baking parchment and bake for another 8-10 minutes at 200 C until they get golden-brown and crunchy.

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For the cantuccini al cioccolato:

Actually its more or less the same recipe, but for not getting confused, here it comes:

200 g flour
50 g cacao
160 g sugar
1 tbsp backing powder
2 tsp vanilla sugar
dash of salt
25 g soft butter
2 eggs
200 g almonds
100 g dark chocolate

Same progress but different result:

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After you take them out of the oven, let hem cool down. In the meantime you can melt the chocolate, I always do it in the bagnomaria, but if you got an other fancy idea, go for that! When the chocolate is completely melted you can decorate you cantuccini just the way you like it, and then…. eat…
I couldn’t wait till the chocolate was hard, but I think they really look nice.

I would like to give my friends for christmas some little gifts out of the kitchen. I think the cantuccini are gonna make the start and lets see whats gonna be next.
I hope Iker likes them, but actually I am more scared that they are gonna be finished by tonight.

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