Saturday, April 16, 2011

Carmela Soprano's Quaresimali, Cinnamon Nut Biscotti

Hoo boy... Tomorrow is Palm Sunday.

Lent's almost over.
And all that suffering you planned to do during this Lent... well, if intentions counted for anything, they'd be printing holy pictures with your face on them right now. 

Can't exactly use "Time flies when you're having fun" as an excuse for not doing anything on your Lent List.

Okay... I'm not here to make you feel guilty.
Things have gotten a bit loosy goosy since Vatican II.
It's the twenty-first century and we live in a multicultural world.

But this is the last week of Lent.
Let's at least try to do something Lentish.
Within reason.


In the Adult Birthday Parties chapter of Carmela's Entertaining with The Sopranos, Carmela has a recipe for Quaresimali, Cinnamon Nut Biscotti. 
Perfect for Lent.
I'm not kidding.
Check out the recipe, not the chapter title.

I don't know what gets into that girl.
Some of the wedding recipes were a bit cheesy.
Even for one of Janice's weddings....
I mean, really.

Maybe Carmela's editor just took her Lent recipes and scattered them in different chapters, hoping nobody would notice.

Yeah, right. 

Carmela used cinnamon oil.
She bought it in a gourmet shop.
She measured it out in drops.
Give me a break.
I just increased the cinnamon. 

                             
                        Quaresimali
                       
grease and flour 2 large cookie pans         
preheat oven to 350ยบ        
bake 20 + 10 minutes

In a large mixer bowl, mix
2 Cups flour
1 1/4 Cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Beat
3 large eggs 
stir in the dry ingredients

Stir in
1 1/2 Cups toasted almonds
1 1/2 Cups toasted hazelnuts

Divide the dough into 6 portions.
Wet your hands so the dough won't stick so much.
Shape each portion into a log, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter
and place them, 2 inches apart, on the baking sheets.

Bake 20 minutes, until the logs are firm when tapped in the center. 
DON'T turn off the oven.
Place the logs on a cutting board and cut into 1/2 inch slices.
Place the slices back on the cookie sheets.
Bake 10 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown.
Cool the cookies on a rack.
Store in an airtight container.


If they seem familiar, you probably bought them as teething cookies (minus the nuts) for your kids.
But as a dessert for a wedding?
Eh.... Maybe a wedding in Lent.


Would I make Quaresimali again?
Sure.
And even when it's not Lent.
Can you say 'Low Fat'?


Another recipe down.  Twenty-four more to go.

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