Recipes for Kids: Make Chef Vito Mollica’s Biscotti
The Slow Food icon reveals how to make Italy’s most famous cookie.
Chances are that if you offer your kid a plate of broccoli, all you’ll get is a disgusted face and a resounding “yuck!” But that’s not the case with The Four Seasons Florence’s executive chef Vito Mollica’s two children, Enrico, 8, and Giorgio, 6. The boys, for the most part, eat almost everything you put in front of them—even Brussels sprouts.
That’s all thanks to their dad, who devised a copy-worthy method to convince them to enjoy the “unthinkable.” "I invented the baby-aperitif," he says, like fruit kebabs, crudités, and fresh juices before dinner.
To witness the kids’ culinary curiousity first-hand, we caught up with all three in the kitchen of Il Palagio. "The children have their own table where they can mess around," says Mollica. What do they prepare? Onion skins and pieces of carrot. “They love to play with the scraps, much to the amusement of the kitchen staff,” he says. Giorgio interrupts with pride: “I also know how to make salad!”
Below, Mollica shares his children-friendly recipe for cantucci, a typical Italian cookie that Americans know as biscotti. Kids can dunk these in milk, while adults can enjoy them by dipping them in a glass of dessert wine.
5 sticks butter
5 c. granulated sugar
12 large eggs
15 c. flour
2 tsp. salt
1 oz. vanilla essence
½ oz. baking powder
30 oz. toasted whole almonds
7 oz. pistachios
Whisk butter and sugar together, adding eggs a little at a time. Add flour, salt, vanilla, and baking power, then almonds and pistachios. Split dough into two; shape into 2 long, narrow loaves. Place in oven for 15 minutes at 300°F. Cut diagonally and toast in the oven at 356°F for 7 minutes.