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Lucretia B's International Cookbook Lucretia B's Amazing International Cookbook

Biscuits and cookies







Cantucci (Biscotti from Prato)

Lucretia B

Translated and adapted from Vincenzo Buonassisi, Il Cuciniere Italiano, © Rusconi Editore, Milano, 1979
Ingredients
6 oz peeled almonds
1 lb plain (all purpose) flour
6 oz sugar
4 eggs (whole)
1/2 ts bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
a little butter (or other shortening) and flour for the baking sheet 
Method
Set oven at medium temperature.
Roughly chop the almonds. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, eggs, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Form a dough, knead until smooth then add the almonds, trying to distribute them evenly. Divide the dough into 3 or 4 parts. Form each piece into a 2-inch thick roll.
Lightly grease and flour a baking sheet. Arrange the rolls on the baking sheet, leaving some space between each. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
When the rolls are cool, cut each roll into 1/2-inch slices, keeping the knife at a 45-degree angle (the slices should be oval instead of round). Return the biscuits to a low oven for another 10 to 20 minutes, until perfectly dry and crunchy.
Try these biscuits the Italian way, dipped in Vinsanto (sweet wine from Tuscany) or other sweet Italian wines, such as Malvasia, Marsala, Passito di Pantelleria or Aleatico.

Hazelnut Shortbread

Lucretia B

Ingredients
10 oz plain flour
6 oz hazelnuts (shelled)
8 oz unsalted butter
8 oz white sugar
almond essence (optional)
Method
In a food processor fitted with metal blade, chop the hazelnuts until they are crumbs. Add flour and butter. Set the processor to max speed and mix the ingredients till butter, hazelnuts and flour are evenly mixed (a few seconds are enough).
Place the mixture in a bowl, add sugar and a few drops of almond essence. Knead quickly and form a dough. Place dough in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
Turn into a floured board and press out to a shape 5mm thick. Using cookie cutters, cut into various shapes. Place the biscuits on a greased oven tray leaving 1/2 inch between each. Bake in preheated oven (180º C) for 15 minutes approx.

Crispy Coconut Cookies

Thanks: Kate Kersh, England

Ingredients
2 eggs (whole)
5 tb castor sugar
2 tb canola oil
5 tb dried coconut (chopped)
5 tb self-raising flour
Method
In a bowl, beat eggs and sugar until fluffy. Add oil and coconut, beating well. Fold in the sifted flour. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for an hour.
Set the oven at medium temperature. Drop the mixture onto a greased oven tray, one tb at a time, allowing at least 2 inches between each for spreading.
Bake in moderate oven for 20 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Almond Biscuits

Thanks: Lorena Borghi, Italy

Ingredients
5 oz peeled almonds
5 oz white sugar
2 egg yolks
1 egg white
orange essence
almond essence
a few halved almonds
a little plain flour
 
Method
Finely grind the almonds; mix with sugar, egg yolks and essences. Press the dough into small balls (as big as a wholenut), roll in plain flour and flatten lightly. Place half an almond on top of each cookie. Beat the egg white, brush the surface of the biscuits with the egg white and place the biscuits on an oven tray lined with greaseproof paper, leaving some space between them. Let the biscuits stand for a couple of hours, then bake in preheated oven (220º C) for 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Oatmeal Chunks

Thanks: Angele Schneidmadl, Germany

Ingredients
1 lb oat flakes
10 oz unsalted butter
10 oz white sugar
your favourite spices (ginger, or cinnamon, or nutmeg, or a mixture of the three)
Method
Place butter in a pan over low heat and let it melt without bubbling; add sugar and spices, then oak flakes. Stir in well. Place the mixture on a greased oven tray (40x40 cm approx) and press it well. Bake in medium heat oven (175º C) for about 30 minutes. Cool for 10/15 minutes before dicing with a sharp cutting knife.

B & W Shortbread

Thanks: Gabrielle Jans, Belgium

Ingredients
1 lb plain flour
4 oz plain cocoa
10 oz unsalted butter
10 oz white sugar
1 egg
vanilla flavouring
juice of half a lemon
Method
Place 10 oz flour and half the butter in the food processor. Set the processor to max speed and mix the ingredients till butter and flour are evenly mixed (a few seconds are enough). Place the mixture in a bowl, add half the sugar and the lemon juice. Knead quickly and form a dough. Place in the food processor the remaining flour and butter with cocoa and vanilla flavouring. Follow the same instructions as above to form the cocoa dough. Place both doughs in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. Turn into a floured board and press out the doughs separately to a shape 5mm thick. Cut each shape into strips 10 cm wide. Layer a black strip on top of a white strip (or viceversa) and roll from the longest side. Cut each long roll into 5mm thin slices. Place the Biscuits on a greased oven tray leaving some space between them. Bake in preheated oven (180º C) for 15 minutes approx.

Orange or Lemon Shortbread

Thanks: Maria van Mertens, Belgium

Ingredients
1 lb plain flour
8 oz unsalted butter
8 oz white sugar
1 small orange or 1 lemon
1 egg yolk
Method
Place flour, butter and grated rind of lemon or orange in the food processor. Set the processor to max speed and mix the ingredients till butter and flour are evenly mixed (a few seconds are enough). Place the mixture in a bowl, add sugar, egg yolk and lemon or orange juice. Knead quickly and form a dough. Place dough in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. Turn into a floured board and press out to a shape 5mm thick. Using cookie cutters, cut into various shapes. Place the biscuits on a greased oven tray leaving some space between them. Bake in preheated oven (180º C) for 15 minutes approx.

Last updated 28 jun 2011

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