Homebaker’s Cookbook: Milanesini Biscuits / Il Ricettario di Homebaker: i Milanesini

The recipe for today’s Homebaker’s Cookbook is a classic swiss Christmas cookie. For those who ignore it every self-respecting Swiss housewife prizes herself for the quantity and quality of biscuits baked preceding Christmas festivities. Tradition wants them to be given as gifts, presented in fancy packs. Here I present you with milanesini. I admit, in 37 years of life I had never tried to make this recipe at home, probably because it is not part of my tradition (at our place during Christmas time we bake one and only recipe: mincepies). So I’m not a biscuit expert, but thanks to homebaker’s 400 flour I managed to bake superlative milanesini! I discovered it relatively recently, or rather I knew it before but not being a biscuit virtuoso I had never tried it out, but the choice of flour is essential when baking biscuits. Farina 400 is the perfect flour for crumbly, crisp and light biscuits. Try it and you won’t bake biscuit without it… trust me!

x 2 baking trays

250 gr farina 400
120 gr butter,
100 gr sugar,
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
grated peel of half a lemon
1 pinch of salt

1 egg yolk diluted with a little water, to brush the biscuits

for lemon icing
40 g of powdered sugar
1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice

durum wheat semolina for rolling out the biscuits

All ingredients at the time of preparation must be at room temperature.
In a large bowl, process the butter and the sugar until soft and fluffy.
Add the lemon zest, egg and egg yolks.
Beat well with a whisk until you get a light mixture, then add the flour.
To mix, use a fork until all the flour is absorbed.
Press together the dough using your hands, shape into a ball and wrap in clingfilm.
Crush the ball with your hands to get a square and place in the refrigerator to rest for at least half an hour.
Lightly flour the work surface and roll the dough to a thickness of 5 mm.
Cut out the biscuits and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Store the baking sheet in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before baking.
Meanwhile, turn the oven onto static mode at 175° C.
Brush the surface of the biscuits with egg yolks mixed with a dash of cold water.
To obtain a more intense yellow and a thicker crust, brush two or three times.
Bake the biscuits until golden brown biscuits, for about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on a wire rack.

To glaze the cookies instead mix vigorously all ingredients for the icing, using a fork, until you have a smooth glaze.
Dunk cookies in the frosting while still warm and put them to rest on a grill.
Alternatively, you can spread the icing using the back of a teaspoon.

Il Ricettario di Homebaker: i milanesini

La ricetta del Ricettario di Homebaker di oggi è un classico nei sacchettini dei biscotti di Natale di ogni casalinga svizzera che si rispetti: i milanesini. Ammetto che in 37 anni di vita non avevo mai provato a fare questa ricetta a casa, vuoi perché non fa parte della mia tradizione (da noi a Natale si è sempre e solo fatto i mincepies). Insomma non sono una biscottara nata, ma grazie alla farina 400 di homebaker sono riuscita a sfornare dei milanesini superlativi! L’ho scoperto relativamente da poco, o meglio lo sapevo ma non essendo una virtuosa del biscotto non l’avevo mai provata, ma la scelta della farina è fondamentale quando si cuociono i biscotti. La farina 400 è la farina perfetta per avere dei biscotti friabili, croccanti e leggeri. Provatela e non riuscirete più a farne a meno…fidatevi!

x 2 teglie di biscotti

250 gr di farina 400 
120 gr di burro,
100 gr di zucchero,
1 uovo intero
2 tuorli
scorza di mezzo limone grattugiato
1 presa di sale

1 giallo d’uovo un poco diluito per spennellare i biscotti

per la ghiaccia al limone
40 g di zucchero a velo
1 ½ cucchiai di succo di limone

semola di grano duro rimacinata per lo spolvero

Tutti gli ingredienti al momento della preparazione devono essere a temperatura ambiente.
In una bacinella grande lavorate il burro e lo zucchero a pomata.
Aggiungete la scorza di limone, l’uovo e i tuorli.
Sbattete bene con una frusta fino ad ottenere un composto chiaro, dopodiché aggiungete la farina. Per amalgamare usate una forchetta finché tutta la farina sarà assorbita.
Compattate con le mani, formate una palla e avvolgetela in pellicola alimentare.
Schiacciate la palla con le mani per ottenere un quadrato appiattito e mettete nel frigorifero a riposare per almeno mezz’ora.
Infarinate leggermente la superficie di lavoro e tirate l’impasto ad uno spessore di 5 mm.
Ritagliate con gli stampini e appoggiate i biscotti sulla placca foderata con carta da forno.
Riponete la teglia per almeno 20 minuti prima di infornare.
Nel frattempo accendete il forno in modalità statica a 175° C.
Pennellate la superficie del biscotto con del rosso d’uovo mischiato con un goccio di acqua fredda.
Per ottenere un giallo più intenso e una crosta più spesso fate due o tre passate di tuorlo.
Infornate subito i biscotti e curate la cottura fino a doratura dei biscotti, circa 20 minuti.
Fuori dal forno fate raffreddare i biscotti su una gratella.

Per i biscotti ricoperti di ghiaccia al limone unite gli ingredienti in una ciotola e mescolateli energicamente con una forchetta fino ad ottenere una glassa liscia.
Tuffate i biscotti ancora caldi nella glassa e metteteli a risposare su una griglia.
In alternativa potete spalmare la glassa tirandola con il dorso di un cucchiaino.

Liquorice Torrone and Christmas Wishes / Torrone alla liquirizia e Auguri di Buon Natale

Torroni 1

This is my last recipe before Christmas, I don’t know yet if there will be more confectionery/sweets recipes next year as sugars and dairy product are the biggest no no in my new diet, and I would like to avoid falling into easy temptations even by having a little taste. But change is inevitable, the whole evolving as the days go by. I really wanted to post this recipe to show how sometimes the simple addition of a single ingredient can change a product, making it more special. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Dolci Regali, MTC’s third book is here! / Dolci Regali, finalmente il terzo libro della collana dell’MTC!


I don’t know about you but to me Christmas is a source of massive headaches and late races to purchase gifts. Not to mention gift wrapping and greeting cards, people who know me well are aware of my habit of wrapping presents in old newspapers, which I love to scribble with stupid doodles and vaguely punk collages. This year I won’t miss the opportunity to buy this wonderful volume for some of my friends and family members. “Dolci Regali” is the third book of MTC’s book series, which was born a year ago “L’ora del paté”. With such a title (Dolci means Sweet and Regali has two meanings, gift and royal) there’s no better choice for a Christmas gift, isn’t it? As in the book series’ dna this volume focuses on a very specific topic, exploring a period of time between the late seventeenth and early nineteenth century, which saw the rise and triumph of pastry, with the birth and development of leavened sweet breads starting from the mythical babà. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Raffaele Pignataro’s Panettone / Il Panettone di Raffaele Pignataro

Panettone Raf 1

Christmas is coming, by now most of you will have decorated their living room with a properly decorated tree, maybe yoi have put some pomanders here and there, set up the crib and started the countdown on the an advent calendar. I admit, my innate laziness and the luxury of having my sister (up until 3 years ago) to take care of the tree and house Christmas decorations at our parents made me unfit to recreate a proper festive atmosphere in the house. But as I type it comes up to my mind that some bread wreath, from Essen Mag’s shooting, are still lying around. It would take just 10′ to make a nice decoration, something to be hanged on my front door. That said to me Christmas mood is all in the food. All memories, emotions and Christmas images are filtered by special and traditional dishes. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Merry Belated Christmas and a latecomer recipe: My Mum’s Mincepies / Tardivi Auguri di Natale e una ricetta in differita: I Mincepies di mia Mamma

mincepies2Merry Belated Christmas! Working in a shop around this time of the year means no time to blog around and unfortunately little baking and cooking too. But I am back, and cannot exempt from leaving one little traditional recipe even though it’s a latecomer.

Christmas is nothing without traditions. I grew up with a weird mix of Father Christmas meets Joan Baez in front of the manger scene. But I guess that’s our tradition. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Panettone Yule Log, the recycling of a monstrous Panettone / Tronchetto Natalizio di Panettone, o del riciclo del Panettone dilusione


Panettone, only Panettone on my mind. Every step I take, every move I make am thinking about IT and yes, it does sound a bit like a bitter-sweet nightmare. What I have been avoiding for years, the most difficult and scary of leavened has now become my obsession. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…