Today I propose to make cookies in the house. Apart from goodness, certainly better precisely because you made them, but it is the smell of cookies that spreads out around the house and evokes memories of holidays, celebrations, Christmas holidays and even people, grandparents and aunts who always made them.
There are cookies for every need, biscuits to soak in milk in the morning, elegant biscuits to serve with afternoon tea, ugly but good cookies and cookies for children’s parties.
I think that almost all cities and all regions have original cookies recipes and I would like to take a tour of Italy to discover the best cookies.
Let’s start with a recipe from my region, Tuscany and with the cantucci of Prato, typical biscuits of that city well known but also in the rest of the region and that find their completion drenched in the Tuscan Vin Santo.
Necessary for Prato cantucci
- 300 grams of flour
- 150 grams of almonds
- 170 grams of sugar
- 2 eggs
- half a sachet of baking powder
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 beaten egg yolk
Preparation of Prato cantucci
In a container mix the sugar with the beaten eggs and the lemon peel and a pinch of salt. Mix everything well and slowly add the flour and baking powder, finally working with your hands to obtain a homogeneous mixture. Incorporate the almonds into the mixture and work for a couple of minutes more.
Divide the mixture in half and form two panes giving it an elongated shape. Brush each filon with the beaten egg yolk and bake in a hot oven at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Remove the panes from the oven and after making them cool but do not cool cut pieces about one and a half centimeters wide, possibly all the same.
Put the biscuits back in the oven at 150 degrees for about 20 minutes, turning them halfway through cooking to brown them evenly from all sides.
Unwrap and leave to cool, these cookies are stored for several days.
Now a delicious recipe from Liguria, a chocolate and hazelnut shell that contains chocolate cream and cream.
Kisses of Alassio
Necessary for the kisses of Alassio
- 300 grams of sugar
- 350 grams of whole hazelnuts
- 50 grams of honey
- 30 grams of cocoa powder
- egg whites of 4 eggs
- 100 grams of liquid cream
- 120 grams of dark chocolate
Preparation of Alassio’s kisses
First toast the hazelnuts in a baking dish, in the oven already hot at 180 degrees for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool, then with a mixer along with the sugar and cocoa powder, chop the hazelnuts very finely, until you get a very fine powder.
Apart from an electric beater or a snow-whipping whisk the egg whites. Add the egg whites little by little to the hazelnut powder, stirring slowly from the bottom up and add the honey. The whole thing is gently incorporated.
Put the mixture in a pastry bag and make many dolls of dough on baking paper in a baking dish.
Bake already hot at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.
Prepare the ganache cream now, putting the chopped dark chocolate and cream in a saucepan. Stir and mix quickly, avoiding boiling.
Allow the cream to cool for about 30 minutes, then whisk until it has cooled completely.
Put the mixture in a pastry bag and squeeze a tuft of mixture on the base of a biscuit. Place the second cookie on the cream and press gently.
Do this with all the cookies and serve.
Let’s go now to Sardinia with the Sardinian Savoiardi. The ingredients are similar to those of savoiardi but have a larger and more irregular shape. In Sardinia it is used to serve them with coffee.
Necessary for Sardinian savoiardi
- 120 grams of sugar
- 120 grams of flour
- 6 eggs
- the zest of half a grated lemon
Preparation of Sardinian savoiardi
Whip the egg whites with half the sugar and set aside
Whisk the egg yolks with half the sugar and gradually incorporate the flour and grated lemon zest.
Combine the two compounds with a gentle bottom-up motion to prevent the egg whites from dismounting.
With a pastry bag directly on the oven plate lined with parchabouts paper form biscuits of about 10 centimeters by 3 leaving them a little far apart from each other.
Sprinkle the sugar biscuits and bake in a pre-hot oven at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Now a biscuit typical of Emilia Romagna, originating anyway of the Apennine. They are rustic doughnuts scented with anise, covered with an icing. In ancient times they were given at a wedding.
Necessary for mountain sugars
- 600 grams of flour
- 100 grams of sugar
- 3 eggs
- 40 grams of aniseed liqueur
- 80 grams of seed oil
- 1 packet of baking powder
For the icing:
- 300 grams of sugar
- 25 grams of aniseed liqueur
- 50 grams of water
Preparation of mountain sugars
In a bowl beat the eggs with the sugar until you get a frop mixture.
On the pavement mix the flour with baking powder, add the eggs with the sugar, seed oil and anise liqueur. Work with your hands to obtain a homogeneous compound.
With a rolling pin roll out the dough until you get a thickness of about 1 centimeter.
Cut many strips about 10 centimeters and 2 centimeters wide. . Take one strip at a time and give it the shape of a cord to join at the ends to form a special of small doughnut.
Place the doughnuts in a baking pan over baking paper and bake in an already hot oven at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes.
While the biscuits bake, make the icing. In a large saucepan, melt the sugar with the aniseed liqueur and water until you get a kind of syrup.
Put the biscuits directly into the syrup that has just been removed from the oven, turning them to make the icing stick from all sides.
Allow the biscuits to cool before serving. This biscuits if stored in a closed glass container are kept well for at least two weeks.
Now we go to Piedmont with cat tongues, biscuits softened with cream and egg whites and scented with vanilla., perfect for a tea or a cup of hot chocolate.
Required for cat tongues
- 50 grams of butter
- 50 grams of icing sugar
- 50 grams of flour
- 2 egg whites
- 1 sachet of vanillin
Preparing cat tongues
In a bowl add the butter to room temperature cut into small pieces, the icing sugar, the vanillin and the egg whites. Work with a whisk until you get a homogeneous cream, then add the flour. The dough should be soft.
At this point using a pastry bag make on a baking tray covered with paper oven sticks about 10 centimeters in length. The biscuits will reach the classic crushed shape while baking in an already hot oven at 200 degrees for about 10 minutes. When the edges of the biscuits will be golden, unwrap the cat tongues. Let cool and serve.
Required for Abruzzo puff pastles
For the pastry:
- 500 grams of white flour
- 60 grams of sugar
- 3 eggs
- a glass of dry white wine
- 60 grams of lard.
For the filling:
- grape jam, ground almonds, chocolate, cinnamon and the zest of half a grated lemon
Preparation of Abruzzo puff pasts
Prepare the dough of the pastry adding to the flour the icing sugar, beaten eggs, the glass of white wine and the softened lard.
Make a firm and elastic dough and let it rest for an hour under a cloth.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling by mixing the grape jam with the ground almonds the chocolate flakes, a pinch of cinnamon and the zest of a grated lemon.
Now let’s get the pastry ready. With a rolling pin make a very thin pastry. Cut into strips of about 10 centimeters all over the pastry and overlay the strips by brushing between strip and strip with molten lard. Roll up all the strips and let it rest for about an hour in the refrigerator closed in a sheet of cling film.
After this time resume the roll and cut slices about 1 centimeter thick.
With a rolling pin, smooth the slices until they become about 4 millimeters thick. Place a tablespoon of filling on the slice and close to a crescent. Place the puff pastles on the oven plate and bake in a pre-hot oven at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes. Take the oven from the oven to sprinkle with icing sugar and serve both hot and cold.
And to finish the recipe of macaroons, cookies that are made in many Italian regions, each with its own variant. What I want to propose is the recipe of soft amaretti with almonds. Great cookies for you.
Necessary for macaroons
- 180 grams of almonds
- 150 grams of sugar
- 50 grams of icing sugar
- 3 egg whites
- half a sachet of baking powder
Preparation of macaroons
First, toast the almonds in the oven for 5 minutes already hot at 200 degrees. Once roasted put the almonds in a mixer together with the icing sugar and finely chop until you get a kind of powder. In a bowl put the almond powder along with the sugar and egg whites and baking powder for sweets and mix to make the mixture homogeneous and without lumps.
Leave the mixture to rest for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator.
After this time, make balls of about 3 centimeters and place on baking paper, quite far from each other. Lightly crush the center of these balls and bake in a pre-hot oven at 170 degrees for about 20 minutes. Let them cool completely before serving.