Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

The King’s Biscuits, recipe and history of Bolognese cantucci

The King's Biscuits, recipe and history of bolognese cantucci

The King’s biscuits look like cantucci: for shape and double baking.
And like cantucci, you can serve them at the end of dinner with vin santo (sweet wine) and a good story.

Recipe of the King's biscuits

The history of the King’s Biscuits

On June 6, 1918, King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy visited the Bassa Bolognese area, once full of rice fields. On his tour, he also went to Altedo, a hamlet in the municipality of Malalbergo, a few kilometers from Bologna, interested in the new methods used for rice cultivation.

The motorcade, headed by the King’s car, a Fiat 510 Torpedo built for him, entered the town at 10:15 a.m. And here, a half disaster occurred.

Mayor Zeno Pezzoli was not ready. Known for not being an early riser, he was still intent on dressing and sent his daughter Anna to do the honors and stall. The girl offered a flower bouquet that bathed the royal pants of Victor Emmanuel III.

The convoy was astonished, but Vittorio Emanuele smiled. When, at last, the mayor was ready to go, the royal procession began a tour of agricultural cooperatives in the area.

At the end of the inspection, the mayor of Altedo offered a banquet, during which Tuda Martinelli Pezzoli offered cookies created for the occasion.

The King, who liked these cookies so much, offered Tuda the opportunity to take advantage of the Royal House patent. It must have seemed too much to the good woman, and she declined. However, she asked permission to call them the King’s Biscuits. Vittorio Emanuele gave the honor, and he climbed back into his Torpedo carrying some cookies wrapped in a knotted handkerchief.

Recipe of the King's Biscuits

King’s Biscuits recipe

Preparation of the dough is simple: you’ll need just a bowl (or planetary mixer).

After shaping the dough pieces like long, thin sticks, you’ll need to double-bake them, just like cantucci.

After the first baking, you need cut diagonally to form the cookies and return them to the oven, for a few minutes, at a low temperature.

At this point, let them cool before dusting them with powdered sugar.
My friend Ginevra routinely bakes them but without candied fruit.
As always, I leave you with the traditional recipe but choose your way. Personal tip: add anise liqueur so as not to lose all the typical characteristics of the Altedo recipe.

Buona cucina, Monica

Recipes of Bologna’s cookies

Bologna has a rich tradition of cookies.
Some you can easily find in city bakeries. For example, the Raviole of San Giuseppe, now eaten year-round, or the Zuccherini montanari. Others, however, are disappearing: Mistocchine, simple sweets made with chestnut flour and water (vegan and gluten-free), or Fave dei Morti, typical cookies for All Saints’ Day (another gluten-free recipe).

Stay in the know!

To receive unpublished recipes, tips, and food stories, sign up for the Tortellini&CO newsletter. You can disable it anytime.

Keep in Touch

If you like, follow me on InstagramPinterest and Facebook.

King's Biscuits recipe

King’s Biscuits recipe

for 1 kg cookies
List of the Ingredients

00 flour, 500 g
melted butter, 125 g
granulated sugar, 250 g
normal eggs, 3
baking soda, 1 teaspoon
peeled almonds, 150 g
candied citron, 100 g
anise liqueur, 2 g
salt, a pinch


Set aside the coarsely chopped almonds and the citron cut into small pieces.

In a bowl or the planetary mixer, mix the dry ingredients.
Add the melted butter, which is not too hot, the eggs, and the liqueur, and mix until soft and well blended. Also, combine almonds and citron, knead again, wrap in plastic, and put in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Remove the plastic wrap, dust your work surface with flour, and take pieces of dough, form loaves 20-30 cm long, 2 cm wide, and 2 cm high.

Arrange them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven, static function, at 180 degrees for 25 minutes (they should remain light in color).

Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
Gently move them apart and, with a knife, cut the strands diagonally, forming cookies about 2 cm thick.

Place back in the oven and bake for 6 minutes at 100 degrees.
Remove from the oven and let cool. Dust with powdered sugar.

Cookies of Bologna

Cookies of Bologna

Cookies of Bologna

Leave a comment

© 2023 Tortellini&Co. All Rights Reserved.