Showing posts with label biscotti. Show all posts
Showing posts with label biscotti. Show all posts

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Traditional Sicilian Easter Cookies - Cuddura

Happy Easter!!! I would like to wish you and all your loved ones a Blessed and Peaceful Easter. Yesterday we made these Sicilian Easter Cookies which originated in Sicily but are made all throughout the south of Italy and are called Cuddura even though the name changes slightly with the different dialects of the southern regions.  

In the olden days, no meat, eggs or dairy were consumed during lent therefore when Easter came around all of the traditional desserts and dishes were very rich.  These cookies were made on the Saturday before Easter and brought to church to be blessed before giving them away to loved ones as an Easter offering.  Young ladies typically gifted their sweetheart with a cuddura in the shape of a heart as a sign of affection. How cute is that? I feel like everything is so different now a days and so much more complicated.  I guess I'm just too old fashioned... Now it's like you never know what to buy someone because everything is so accessible through online shopping and malls etc. Back in the day all it took was a cookie made with love to  let your sweetheart know that you were interested in him or her. 

Ingredients for the dough:

 - 600 grams of all purpose flour
 - 200 grams of butter
 - zest from one fresh lemon
 - 4 large eggs
 - 200 grams of sugar
 - 1 teaspoon of baking powder
 - pinch of vanilla extract

Mix all of the ingredients,  cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Prepare your hard boiled eggs ahead of time and let them cool. You can color them if you want or leave them as they are. I colored mine but since they were brown eggs the colors weren't as bright as I wanted them but they turned out fine all the same. 

The technique is pretty self explanatory so I'll leave you with the pictures so you can see what I did. 

After you roll your braid in a circle to place the egg on, you proceed to make a cross on top of the egg to hold it in place. 

Now brush a little egg white on top and add your favorite topping, sprinkles, chocolate chips, confetti, whatever you like. 

Now you're ready to bake in a preheated oven at 200°c for 35 - 40 minutes. 

This is my Easter offering to You :-)

Happy Easter my friends!

When our faith 

stands at the grave,
for a stone that's rolled away,
forgive us.

When our faith
is short of
though the truth is there to see,
forgive us.

When our faith,
beset by doubt, sees
no further
than an empty tomb today,
forgive us.

Bring to mind 
the cry of Mary,
‘I have seen the Lord!'
and grant us faith to believe!

God Bless, 


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Sweets - Valentine's Day Rustic Lemon Cookies

Hello dear friends and "Buona Domenica"! Buona Domenica in Italian means Happy Sunday and it is what most people say in place of "have a good weekend". In Italy Sunday is the the day in which family and relatives usually gather together have a HUGE lunch and just relax, laugh and enjoy the company of family. It's a very important day of the week for my relatives in Italy and I didn't get it in the beginning but now I understand the importance of it. 

I have two uncles on my Italian side. The oldest one, Uncle Tonino passed away some years ago whereas my Uncle Franco is still alive and well. I wrote a post about the beautiful marriage with his wife here. Sunday lunches are always held at Uncle Franco's house.  When Uncle Tonino was alive they used to alternate one Sunday at Uncle Tonino's and the other at Uncle Franco's. Obviously the wives have to do all the work but my other aunts pitch in and help as well. I mean I have 5 other aunts! 

It's fun and it certainly keeps family close. It's an effort and a tradition that brings unity in the family. And at the end of day family is the most important thing, am I right? 

Rustic Lemon Valentine's  Day Cookies

 - 2 medium sized organic lemons
 - 350 grams of all purpose flour
 - 150 grams of corn flour
 - 2 eggs
 - 150 grams of sugar
 - 60 grams of corn oil
 - 1 teaspoon of baking powder
 - 2 tablespoons of cold water
 - pinch of salt

Grate the peel of the organic lemons and squeeze the juice of half a lemon that you will add to the dough.

Work together all of the ingredients in a mixer or by hand. You will find that the mixture is pretty dry so that is where you add the cold water to add some moisture. 

 Form a ball with the mixture making sure all of the ingredients are incorporated well and cover in plastic wrap leaving it in the fridge for about an hour.

Next thinly roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and begin cutting out the shapes you like. 

I found these heart cookie cutters on clearance and thought they were so cute so I decided to use them in the different sizes. 

I love these cookie cutters!

Then they got put on a tray in a preheated oven (200°C) for about 15 minutes. I had to watch them closely because of the different sized cookies. Obviously the smaller cookies baked in less time so I just removed them a minute or two sooner. 

Then I made a batch of cookie glaze mixing confectioners sugar, a couple tablespoons of milk and some red food coloring.

Now the fun part...decorating. I haven't decorated cookies in a very long time so it was fun. I tried spreading the glaze on with a knife but to make life easier I just dipped each cookie in the glaze and I was done in no time. 

Then I just topped with nonpareils and voila!

Valentine's Day Cookies!

I dedicate this post to my Niece who is joining our world today. 

May God Bless You and Watch Over You Today and Always.

I Love You.

Aunt Silvana


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday Sweets - Biscotti Cantucci

My Sunday Sweet recipe today will be for Biscotti which are known in Italy as Cantucci and are typical of the Tuscan Region. Why share this recipe today you ask? …because I watched Under the Tuscan Sun yesterday :-) what a romantic movie…sigh….  

So as I was saying these cookies are typically made in Tuscany and get dipped into Vin Santo which is an Italian dessert wine. I personally like to have them with my my morning coffee or afternoon tea. They are also delicious dipped into a sweet vanilla cream sauce.
These cookies are cooked twice in the oven and are know for being hard dry cookies so you can keep them for several days in a closed container. They are normally made with just almonds but I used pine nuts as well for mine.
They are very simple to make and don’t require many ingredients.
Here’s the shopping list:
250 grams of allpurpose flour
2 eggs
40 grams of sliced almonds
40 grams of pine nuts
1 teaspoon of baking powder
200 grams of sugar
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

Mix all of the ingredients together and you will notice that the mixture is very dry. Make sure to blend all of the ingredients well and divide mixture in half. From each half make 2 rectangles  as shown below and bake on pacrhement paper in a preheated oven at 180°c for 25 minutes. Make sure to space them far apart because they will rise once baked.

After the 25 minutes have passed, remove from oven and cut slices diagonally giving them the typical biscotti shape.

Place back in oven and bake for another 5 minutes. Serve!! They are the best when served warm out of the oven because they are still soft and chewy on the inside…but as I said before you can keep them in a sealed container and enjoy them even after they’ve hardened. Happy Sunday!!