Homebaker’s Cookbook: Almond and Sesame Biscuits / Il Ricettario di Homebaker: Biscotti alle mandorle e sesamo

Some time ago I discovered reginelle palermitane, very simple but delicious biscuits. This recipe is simply inspired by the original biscuits, which I thought were the result of a mix between wheat flour and almonds an ingredient in fact missing in the original recipe, as found out after a fairly detailed study, nonetheless I decided to put in the mixture to make my own version for Homebaker’s Cookbook. I chose to use homebaker’s farina 400, a flour specific for biscuit baking. Since I started using it in my recipes for biscuits and crackers I keep a package in the pantry…the difference, compared to biscuits baked with all purpose flour, is tangible and all the baked goods resulting are definitely more crisp! These almond and sesame biscuits are not too sweet and are ideal for both breakfast and a coffee break.
Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Homebaker’s Cookbook: Lemon and Vanilla Olive Oil Biscuits / Il Ricettario di Homebaker: Biscotti all’olio di oliva, limone e vaniglia

Once you crunch you can’t stop, don’t you agree with me? Usually I’m more of a crackers and grissini fan, but won’t say no to a crumbly sweet biscuit. And that’s what I propose for today’s Homebaker‘s Cookbook. What’s the secret to achieve such a result? Well with a calculated mixture of durum wheat semolina and cornstarch. In order to have healthier cookies I used olive oil instead of butter, so I suppose they will be lighter on your conscience as well as on your thighs compared to a common cookie! Flavouring is the most classic vanilla and lemon zest combo but I have no doubt that this recipe can be customized with the most disparate additions, from chopped walnuts, to chocolate chips, and spices like cinnamon, cardamom or saffron as well. I can’t wait to do other experiments myself…what are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves and bake these delicious biscuits, it’s easy peasy!
Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Vegan Rye flour, Almond and Dark Chocolate Cookies / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Biscotti Vegani alla farina di segale, mandorle e cioccolato fondente

Has been quite a long time since the last time I baked cookies for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. Taking a look at the past recipes I realized that all of the cookies baked so far contain butter, eggs, milk or cream. Not even one vegan recipe. Surprising, as these vegan cookies have been a staple of my famous brunches! I adapted the original recipe to the use of Maroggia’s Mill rye flour, but you can always replace with any other kind of flour. These cookies are chewy, a word I tried to translate into Italian with not much success. If, just like me you love chewy cookies this recipe is the one you are looking for!

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

ZZAFF!: Ciambella ticinese

The ciambella ticinese is a crunchy and crumbly biscuit, spiced with anise seeds or sometimes fennel or cumin seeds. The typical shape of the ciambella is a ring with a hole in the middles, and its diameter is of about 8 cm. Apparently the ciambella ticinese was born in Lugano, at the hands the baker Bianchi who baked these biscuits in the early 20th century, flavouring them with different spices. It was he who made famous the ciambella ticinese, which spread in Ticino thanks to pastry chefs in urban areas. Once upon a time ciambelle could be bought in a bakeries or grottoes, bars and restaurants, usually stored in a typical glass jar. It was a daily consumer product, like bread. They were often eaten as afternoon snacks, dipped in red wine or milk. Widely popular in taverns, the ciambelle were strung into wooden rods resting on the bar counter and the customers enjoyed them accompanied by a glass of wine. Unfortunately ciambelle have lost importance in Ticino due to the competition from industrially produced biscuits. Today, family recipes are handed over, like the one I am presenting to you today which my aunt Luciana passed on to me.
Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Rice flour, Matcha and Lemon Cookies / Biscotti di farina di riso, matcha e limone

biscotti-the-e-matcha-2

Tea time with a friend. Rice flour which has been sitting in the pantry for too long, as well as a jar of matcha powder which might as well be a find from an archaeological site. Consider lemons are never missing in my fridge. Put all of that above together and what you are left with is a batch of sensational cookies. And here’s the recipe!

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Cantucci di Prato

cantucci 1

Cantucci (or biscotti, as they are called in the States and UK), can’t tell you how many of those I ate when I lived in Tuscany. Actually it was one of my favourite dessert when I went at the restaurant. A nice glass of Vin Santo, the relaxed dipping of the cantucci in the golden boozy liquid. The most perfect way to end a dinner. Before Christmas I was unable to bake panettone so I indulged with backing plenty of cantucci and pandolce (a Genoese version of panettone) that I gave as a gift to family and friends. Searching for the best recipes I came across this one which is just perfect. I found it on a very reliable blog which I already known for years, Anice e Cannella. The only two changes I made have been replacing orange zest with lemon zest, which I much more prefer, and not brushing the cantucci with the egg (more out of laziness than anything else). A gift which my guinea pigs welcomed and appreciated very much. You can store them in nice tin boxes and bring them as a gift to friends who invite you over for dinner, maybe with a good bottle of Vin Santo!

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Stale Bread and Fennel Seeds Brittle Biscuits / Biscotti al croccante di pane raffermo e semi di finocchio

Biscotti al croccante di pane raffermo e semi di finocchio 1

A couple of months ago I was interviewed by a young local journalist, Ivan Campari, for a series of articles he is publishing on the newspaper LaRegione featuring young people from the Mendrisiotto area. For this I have to thank my friend Alan Alpenfelt, the mind behind the independent Radio Gwen and the acting company V XX Zweetz who was interviewed too and gave my name amongst others. To greet both the photographer and the journalist I decided to bake a batch of biscuits, which proved providential as the only good picture of me is one I am transferring them from the baking tray to the rack! I am such a terrible photography subject as I always feel very embarrassed and pull faces and eventually end up throw evil glances at the camera.

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Cinnamon, Almonds, Orange and Dark Chocolate Sablés / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Sablés alla cannella, arancia e cioccolato fondente

Cinnamon, Almonds, Orange and Dark Chocolate Sablés : Sablés alla cannella, arancia e cioccolato fondente 1

Biscuits, biscuits..give me biscuits! I have no clue what is going on with me, but maybe the macrobiotic experience (which I interrupted nearly three months ago) has shocked me to the point that I really needed to walk a bit on the dark side of baked goods and indulge in all those recipes that require a lot butter and a good dose of sugar. I’m pretty confident I will overcome this phase, especially because I don’t think my hips can take so much fat for very much longer. No, I don’t think so. So enjoy these sablés until I feel like posting sweet recipes. And I want to share this with you and all of Maroggia’s Mills friends. When my friend Flavia (a very talented photographer, go and check her work here) invited me over for tea I baked a good batch which was thoroughly enjoyed. In fact they didn’t last long, I can tell by the way my pants feel a bit too thighs! Needless to say, these biscuits melt in your mouth with delicate bursts of cinnamon and orange flavour which blend very well with each other as well as with dark chocolate. The addition of crunchy almonds and chopped dark chocolate add an extra thing to the whole sensory experience you have while biting in. Diet can start tomorrow (you can always go and check my macrobiotic blog…since it’s still online!)!
Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Polenta dorata, Lemon, Thyme and Polenta biscuits / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Biscotti al limone, timo e polenta dorata

biscotti polenta timo 1

We’re back with Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook and I present you with my the second recipe with polenta flour.

This time around with a sweet recipe for cookies which are perfect to be dunked in tea. I took inspiration from my recipe for sablés and adapted it to the use of corn meal, combined with dried thyme and lemon zest. This blend make these cookies particularly fresh and tasty, but already I am thinking how gorgeous they would be with the addition of dark chocolate chips and toffee cubes. A basic dough with which you can play and have fun inventing new flavours! Polenta flour and raw cane sugar add a nice rough texture to these cookies, which were very much appreciated by my guinea pigs.

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

MTChallenge April: Chestnut flour, Toasted Hazelnuts, Orange Peel and Pepper biscuits / MTChallenge Aprile: Frolla montata alla farina di castagne, nocciole tostate, scorza d’arancia e pepe

Frolla montata alla farina di castagne nocciole tostate scorza d'arancia e pepe 1

MTChallenge, mon amour! Unfortunately last month, due to an overload of work, I had to skip the challenge around the theme broth. To have to give up a challenge is never nice. I don’t deny that skipping an MTChallenge often fills me with guilt. With such a compact community, where everyone does its best a lot in terms of effort in developing new recipes as in providing support and help throughout all the challenge feeling guilty at not taking part comes easily. I scroll the Facebook page, look at that wonderful recipes posted daily…and I’m there sitting on the bench with my hands tied. Fortunately some of the work I’ve been doing last month allows me to take part to April’s challenge, set by Dani and Juri of Acqua e Menta blog. The challenge is not an easy one, don’t be fooled by what seems to be an easy peasy topic. Biscuits are far from easy without foolproof recipes, especially the fearsome “frolla montata”, a kind of biscuit that until now I have never, and I mean NEVER EVER, managed to bake with success. I lost track of the amount of frolla montata biscuits I baked in the past exuding butter, which crumbled miserably at the first touch or worse, that were dramatically chewy and greasy on the palate. Thanks to the generous post by Dani and Juri I finally managed to come up with some noteworthy biscuits. In short, MTC strikes again in teaching me something new.

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…