So yesterday I told you about the San Valentino family’s predilection for baking like there was no tomorrow during the Christmas season. Cookies, tarts, sweet breads, cakes and pastries can be found everyday cooling on baking racks, eaten almost before they are sufficiently cooled down. I thought you might like a recipe or two from Francesca and Nonna Constanza’s files, so here you go…and you’re welcome. But don’t say I didn’t warn you: once you make these and the word gets out – you’re gonna be chained to the kitchen making batch after batch after….to appease the sweet teeth of your friends and family.
first, you need to have a Pizzelle Iron, so make sure you do otherwise you won’t be making anything but batter!
Ingredients for the batter:
2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 cup sifted granulated sugar
3/4 cup melted and cooled unsalted butter
2 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla extract OR ANISE extract ( Nonna uses Anise only!)
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 slightly beaten eggs
Method: Heat your pizzelle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Mix all the ingredients together in large bowl by hand using a wooden spoon until you have a pasty batter.
Drop 1 tablespoon of batter into each pizzelle design and close the lid. Bake about 30 seconds or until the cookie is an even, golden brown. Carefully remove from the mold and cool on a wire rack. This recipe makes about 42 cookies, give or take depending on how many you eat before they cool completely!!!
Nonna’s Favorite Biscotti with Royal Icing
Make sure you have a cup of strong coffee or tea on hand when you eat these. You’ll know why once the cookies are baked!
2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick of real, unsalted butter, softened ( not melted!)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon zest ( Nonna prefers to zest the lemon right before she adds it to the batter so the flavor is fresh and pungent.)
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
4 oz white baking chocolate – shredded or chopped
1/3 toasted and sliced almonds
Preheat over to 350 degrees
Sift: flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
Beat the butter, sugar and zest in another bowl until well incorporated. Then, add the eggs one at a time with the mixer set to low speed. Add in the extract and then the flour mixture. Fold in the almonds and the white chocolate.
Roll out onto a floured surface and dived the dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each into a foot by 1 inch roll/log then place on a floured, greased baking sheet
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until each roll is equally golden brown. Cook for 15 minutes then cut into slices, like bread, using a well sharpened or serrated knife. Once they are sliced, put them back in the oven for another 4-6 minutes until the are darker golden brown and crisp ( like toast.) Once they are completely cooled, drizzle with royal icing. ( recipe to follow)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
3/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup meringue powder
Add all the dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl and mix with a whisk until incorporated
Add the water a little at a time, continually mixing on a very low setting until the water is fully incorporated. Then, swtich to a higher speed and beat until the icing looks fluffy ( like marshmallows). You can either dip the biscotti into the icing, or if you want to drizzle it like Nonna does, over the tops, you need to thin it up a little by adding tiny drops of water until you can put a fork in it, pull the fork up, and have the icing drizzle down.
If you want to read all about the San Valentino and Gia’s Christmas story, here’s where you can get a copy of A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: