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Dolci di Noci (walnut cookies)

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Dolci di Noci (walnut cookies)

Rosetta

This is the first recipe that I am sharing with you from my new cookbook “Southern Italian Desserts”.  It has become one of my favorite cookies and it couldn’t be more simple to make.  Can you think of any other cookie that has only three ingredients?  It is so good that anybody that has one wants more and more.

I discovered this simple cookie, called “Dolci di Noci” in Maratea, Basilicata.  This charming little town is right at the border of Calabria, about half an hour of where I grew up.  When I was a young child and we used to go to Maratea  I used to think that it was in Calabria as it was so close to us.

Back to the cookies, there are only three ingredients in this cookie: walnuts, sugar and one egg.  That’s it!   It takes just a few minutes to make them and in less than 30 minutes you can have a batch ready for your family and friends to enjoy.

Combine the walnuts and sugar in a food processor and process to make a fine meal the texture of sand.

Transfer to a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the egg.

Use a fork to briefly whisk the egg,

then begin incorporating the nuts until everything is thoroughly combined, finishing the mixing with your hands. The dough will be quite moist and a little sticky.

Divide the dough into quarters. On a flat surface, shape one piece of the dough into a 6-inch log about 1 inch high, flattening the sides to make a bar about 1 inch on each side. Cut the bar into 3/4-inch segments to make eight pieces.

Space the cookies evenly on the prepared baking sheet, standing upright (not on a cut side) with 1 inch of space all around for spreading.

Repeat with the remaining bars to make thirty-two cookies.  Bake the cookies on the upper oven rack for about 15 minutes, until they are golden all over. Let cool on the pan.

Dolci di Noci (walnut cookies)

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups (285 g) walnut halves or large pieces
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Combine the walnuts and sugar in a food processor and process to make a fine meal the texture of sand. Transfer to a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the egg. Use a fork to briefly whisk the egg, then begin incorporating the nuts until everything is thoroughly combined, finishing the mixing with your hands. The dough will be quite moist and a little sticky.

Divide the dough into quarters. On a flat surface, shape one piece of the dough into a 6-inch log about 1 inch high, flattening the sides to make a bar about 1 inch on each side. Cut the bar into 3/4-inch segments to make eight pieces.

Space the cookies evenly on the prepared baking sheet, standing upright (not on a cut side) with 1 inch of space all around for spreading. Repeat with the remaining bars to make thirty-two cookies.

Bake the cookies on the upper oven rack for about 15 minutes, until they are golden all over. Let cool on the pan.

Makes 32 cookies

“Reprinted with permission from my cookbook “Southern Italian Desserts: Rediscovering the Sweet Traditions of Calabria, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, and Sicily, (Ten Speed Press, © 2013). This recipe can be found on page 151