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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Biscotto Dolce Di Ricotta (Sweet Ricotta Cookies)

In the spirit of my quest to become Italian, I made these little babies last weekend.  Aren't they cute?  Please note: use of icing and sprinkles.  I'm beginning to think that all Italian cookies should have this general festiveness about them!

I found this recipe via my favorite Italian cooking blog by Marie, Proud Italian Cook.  This recipe for Biscotto Dolce Di Ricotta is on a website for yet another Italian cook, Laurie, on her blog Dalla Mia Cucina.  If I could run her blog better, I would be able to follow via Blogger, but try as I may, I just haven't broken that code...These ladies have very snazzy blogs which we hope someday to aspire to. 

I can't possibly copy the recipes here, so please use the links above to copy the recipe.  Dalla Mia does a fabulous job of showing her steps, but I tried to do the same for our blog.  And, please accept my apologies for the majority of these photos.  It wasn't until the last few shots that I realized that my digital camera has a portrait setting for FOOD!  Imagine that...So, as I'm a food photographing newbie, bear with me folks.

First, you MUST use s a food processor for the dough.  Put the dry ingredients in the bowl and pulse a few times.

Add the butter in large chunks, and pulse maybe 10 times.  You will achieve a sandy texture, which is essential for the dough.  It makes a tender and sweet dough, with evenly distributed butter.  The butter is almost the same size of the sugar.  Sorry for the blur...

Add the egg and pulse until the dough comes together, it might take 15 to 20 pulses.  Don't worry!
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and kneed into a ball, cut into 4 pieces and gently form into 5 inch discs of dough.  I doubled Dalla Mia's recipe for this dough and it turned out favolosa! 

Wrap in plastic and chill in frig (I do overnight). 

Next I started the Marsala-infused, chocolate, orange and ricotta filling.  But, first, the night before, I placed the ricotta in a papertowel-lined sieve over a bowl.  This lets the extra liquid drain from the ricotta.  I learned to do this from Marie when I made her Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs as too much liquid makes for a runny, albeit VERY tasty, meatball! 
Next, I chopped up the bittersweet chocolate chips in my mini KitchenAid chopper--got to use A LOT of my kitchen power tools on this job.  Mixed up all the filling ingredients, including the fresh orange zest, and voile'! 
Double recipe

I put everyone in the frig for a good night's rest. 

After a morning of putting in more bark in the backyard and a visit to the gym, I pulled out the cookie fixins'.  I placed the ricotta filling in a plastic bag ready to pipe onto the little discs of dough.   

Got out my trusty Tupperware pastry mat (my mother had one of these) and my grandmother's, Bambi, rolling pin (I've had that since 1981, Lord knows how long she had it), lightly floured my mat and rolled out some dough.  Pretty thin as I wanted a crispy cookie. 

I used a bit larger round cutter than Laurie used, mine was 2 1/4 inches, and Laurie used one the size of a half dollar (???).  So, my cookies were on the mongo size, I guess.  They are what I'd call a 2-3 bite cookie.

My basic method of counting rounds and tops:  I roll out one disc and cut as many as I can, reusing excess to roll out more dough.  Place rounds on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets, and fill with a generous dollop of ricotta filling.  Just cut the corner of the plastic bag, works great!  Then, roll out the other disc of pastry dough, and cut out as many as you can, use an egg/water wash to moisten the edges of the discs on the cookie sheet, and gently place a "top" on each one. 
I used that scalloped cookie cutter (actually a biscuit cutter, if the truth be told), to gently press the edges together to seal in the ricotta goodness.  You could use a fork or other decorative press.  I had to be very careful not to cut through both discs of dough.  Trial and error here, my friends.  More egg wash on top.  I do that because I wanted to use icing and I have found that it does not get sticky otherwise.  Dalla Mia used powdered sugar, and I think I'd still use the egg wash for that too.  Just a hunch. 
Bake them and look how beautiful my babies browned in that brand now oven!  I was so proud, really.  I've never had such a great oven.  Been baking on my own for a good 30 years now, and I've finally hit the baking big time! 

Okay, so one more shot of my yummy, sweet little pockets of chocolate goodness.

I have decided that these will go into my xmas cookie tin and will replace my linzer cookies (getting tired of those).  Be ready for something new!


P.S. I used marsala and orange juice in the simple powder sugar icing.  I will include orange zest next time. 

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  1. Yum! These look delicious! Can't wait for our Christmas cookie tin!
    -Melanie :)

  2. Read your other comment re: cocktails, and I think our upcoming jam session would be THE perfect time to try out the new mixology. :)

    P.S. These little babies are very, very good. Subtle and so very Italian!

  3. Cookies always have a special place in Italian cuisine and as a Italian cuisine lover I think these are a very good example of cookies.


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