From Tuscany with Love….Lemony Tuscan Christmas Cookies
Tuscany is full of surprises. Every season, there is something new and wonderful to experience. Christmas, for example, brings life to holiday markets, street lights strung up in centuries-old piazzas, carol-singing and lots of delicious food! Everyone knows the traditional Italian Christmas treat, panettone, but Italians are also well- known for their delicious biscotti (cookies) including these lemony Tuscan Christmas cookies.
One of our favourite places to visit and cook is at Villa La Quercia in Impruneta, a small charming town in the outskirts of Florence. The 17th century stone cottage is home to Chef Veronica, who shared one of her own cookie recipes with us. Chef Veronica suggested dipping these scented cookies in a cup of hot tea, share them with friends and impress your colleagues at the office cookie exchange or holiday party!
We are thrilled to share this recipe with you . . . with love from Tuscany.
700 grams 00 flour
(The recipe calls for 00 flour, but if you can’t find any you can mix 1 part pastry flour with 3 parts all purpose flour)
400 grams granulated sugar
4 whole eggs
8 Tbs honey
1 1/2 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 handfuls of crushed walnuts
Walnuts to decorate
FOR THE ICING
1 egg white
200 g confectioners’ sugar
PREPARATION OF LEMONY TUSCAN CHRISTMAS COOKIES
In a bowl, sift the flour, add the granulated sugar, the cinnamon, the clove powder, the crushed walnuts, and combine well, adding 1 egg at a time. Pour in the honey, and at last the baking powder, sifted.
Mix well. Preheat the oven to 360 F (180 Celsius). With a spatula, spread the dough on a baking sheet, about 1 cm thick. Bake for 15 minutes. Still hot, cut in squares or diamond. For the icing, whip the egg white with a few drops of lemon extract. Add the confectioners’ sugar and blend well. Gently brush the cookies with the icing, and top each one with a few walnuts.
Merry Christmas! Buon Natale!
Carol Ketelson is the owner and operator of Delectable Destinations LLC. Dedicated to planning, co-ordinating and curating customized group tours to hand-picked destinations. As an experienced travel planner, Carol’s customized itineraries, specialized tours and off-the-beaten-path experiences create memorable journeys for her small groups of singles, couples, divorced, widowed and solo travelers seeking exceptional trips into the culture and cuisine of destinations around the world. Spring and Fall bookings invite travelers to taste delectable local cuisine, culturally rich traditions and mesmerizing sights. For over 10 years, Carol’s tours have captured the true essence of Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, Puglia, Spain, Ireland and India.