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!
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ZZAFF!: Cavollatt montato

 

For the last episode of this season of ZZAFF! I chose a simple but very scrumptious recipe. The base consists in cavollatt, an egg cream that was once consumed as an energy drink because of the amount of sugar and fat contained in it. The cream, alternated with ladyfinger biscuits, results in an excellent dessert that is perfect for the summer season. Cavollatt montato has to rest in the refrigerator and is to be eaten cold.
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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.
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Rye Flour and Ginger Biscuits / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Biscotti alla farina di segale e zenzero

This is not the first time that I talk about Maroggia’s Mill rye flour which is sold by Migros Ticino among the Nostrani selection. I used it before to cook pillowy soft blinis and a spiced Babka. An aromatic flour which can be used in sweet preparations (but I will soon develop recipes for pasta and savoury bread). This time around I decided to bake biscuits which are the perfect accompaniment for a moment of pause and chatter while sipping a damn good coffee.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Walnut and Black Pepper Sablés Biscuits / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Sablés salati alle noci e pepe nero

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And we’re back with a new recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. Usually I try to juggle between sweet and savoury, cakes, bread, biscuits and pasta. So far so good. But what hasn’t been posted yet is a recipe for savoury biscuits. So why not surprise your friends with these crumbly, buttery, delicious squares flavoured with walnuts and black pepper? I was even considering to switch to savoury biscuits for this Christmas presents, instead of the same well known traditional cookies and biscuits. After all during Winter holidays cocktails and parties are held almost non-stop, so why not contribute with some good homemade snacks to go along with the bubbles? The basic ingredients apart from the walnuts and black pepper can be mixed up with any flavouring, such as grated cheese, herbs, fennel seeds, spices. Use your imagination! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Cream Biscuits with Saffron and Raisins / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Biscotti alla panna con zafferano e uvette

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook is back, this time with some cookies which in reality are a little of a failed experiment from an aestethic point of view but then such a delightful for the tastebuds I decided to publish them anyway. Let’s call them ugly but tasty cookies!
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Autumn Sourdough Savoury Biscuits / Biscotti salati autunnali, con pasta madre

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Autumn has crept in suddenly, without giving any notice. The leaves are still green and strangely intact on the trees, there is no trace of wet foliage on the pavements and its comforting and enveloping scent. Only a bitter cold which caught us by surprise and a leaden sky filled with sadness. The season that I’ve always loved the most is hostile to me this year. The season of chestnuts and wooly jumpers, with its warm colors and the primordial scent of the earth and damp leaves crushed under our hurried footsteps in the evening when we return home with one only thought, turning the kettle on.
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