Torcettini di Saint Vincent – Yeasted Cookies

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This month’s challenge of ‘We Knead to Bake’ is something new to me – yeasted cookies !! Never knew cookies can be made using yeast.. These are not overly sweet , just perfect with a cup of tea !! The one thing I love about baking is the excitement kids have when they get the aroma of ‘something special’ from the kitchen oven !!

The recipe doesn’t have  much long procedures. Mix the flour , butter and yeast to make a dough and let it rise ( I left mine overnight in fridge) .. Then take small portions out of the dough ,roll each of then into a rope shape and twist to form the loop . Coat them with sugar , let them rise again and bake .

Torcettini are smaller versions of Torcetti (meaning small twists), and these pear/ teardrop shaped twists are made of a dough of flour, yeast and butter which are shaped and then rolled in sugar before being baked. These biscuits are synonymous with the town of Saint Vincent in Valle d’Aosta, a small mountainous region in North-Western Italy.

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Torcettini di Saint Vincent

(Adpated from A Baker’s Tour by Nick Malgieri)

Ingredients:

  •  1/2 cup warm water, about 110F
  •  1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or 1 tsp instant yeast)
  •  1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder (if making chocolate torcettini)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lime/ lemon zest (replace with orange zest for the chocolate version)
  •  40gm unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  •  about 1/3 cup sugar for rolling the cookies

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Preparation

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, in a small bowl and keep aside.
  2. Put the flour and the salt in the food processor bowl (or a largish regular bowl if kneading by hand) and pulse a couple of times to mix. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the butter is well mixed and the flour-butter mixture looks powdery.
  3. If making chocolate Torcetti, remove 2 tbsp all-purpose flour and add the 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder mentioned in the recipe. Don’t add the lemon zest/ anise. Use orange zest and maybe add 1/ 2 tsp instant coffee powder with the flour.
  4. Add the yeast-water mixture and pulse till it all comes together as a ball. Do not over process or knead. Place the ball of dough in a oiled bowl, turning it so it is well coated with the oil. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise quite a bit.
  5. This dough does not really double in volume, but it should look “puffy” after about an hour or so. When you pinch off a bit from the top you can see the interior looking a bit like honeycomb. Press down the dough and deflate it, wrap it in cling warp and refrigerate it for at least one hour or up to 24 hours.
  6. When ready to make the cookies, take the dough out and lightly roll it out into an approximately 6” square. If the dough feels sticky, scatter a little sugar on it. Using a pizza wheel cut the dough into four strips of equal width. Cut each strip into 6 equal pieces, by cutting across, making a total of 24 pieces. The measurements are not very critical in this part because this just makes it easier to have 24 equal sized bits of dough, as compared to pinching of bits of the dough.
  7. Roll each piece into a pencil thick “rope” about 5” long. Sprinkle a little sugar on your work surface and roll the “rope” in it so the sugar crusts the dough uniformly. Form the “rope” into a loop crossing it over before the ends.
  8. Place the Torcettini on parchment lined baking sheets, leaving 1 1/2″ between them. Leave them for about 20 minutes or so till they rise/ puff up slightly. Don’t worry, they will not “puff up” much.
  9. Bake them at 160C (325F) for about 25 minutes till they’re a nice golden brown. Cool the cookies completely, on a rack. Store them in an air-tight container at room temperature. Although, I found them best the day they were baked. This recipe makes 24 biscuits.

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They are delicious served warm and equally good cold, and keep very well if stored in airtight containers.

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Cornflakes Crunchies

The first time I had cornflakes cookies was a few years ago from a bakery back at home in Kerala. That time I was getting more interested in baking and wanted to try these cookies at home and started searching for the recipe.. Later , found out that the whole time it was there in one of the first recipes books I had bought..   🙂

These cookies are easy to whip up.. While getting them ready for the oven , my son had a tumble while playing and had a minor injury. So I had to leave the dough open for some time and hence the cookies had small cracks…. If you make the dough and roll them and immediately bake them you can avoid the minor mistake..

So here goes the recipe…

Ingredients

  • Butter – 1 cup
  • Castor sugar – ¾ cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Flour – 2 ½ cip
  • Baking powder – 2tsp
  • Crushed cornflakes – 2 cups

Method

  1. Cream butter and sugar
  2. Add the egg and beat again until fluffy
  3. Fold in the flour sifted with baking powder
  4. Form into small lime sized balls and flatten lightly.
  5. Roll in cornflakes
  6. Bake in  a preheated oven at 180C for about 10 to 12 minutes

    Sending this entry to Bookmarked Events hosted by Aipi and Priya

Melting Moments

Kids’ taste keep changing… Last week my elder son asked me to make cookies for him , but without chocolate..  (Earlier he used to munch in as much chocolate as he could – chocolate cake, chocolate cookies, brownies, chocolate cornflakes…  My bro used to make fun of him saying even your toothpaste is chocolate– which was true,  he was using Colgate’s chocolate tooth paste…  🙂 )

This time his request for cookies was specific, cookies with powdered sugar on top. So decided to try out the Melting Moments from the site Joy of baking..  While getting the dough ready to bake, younger son who is 4 years wanted to help me with it..  So he rolled the dough into small balls and placed them carefully on the rack. Later when I was sprinkling the icing sugar on top he excitedly said  “They look like snowflakes”…  Can as well  rename the cookies as snowflake cookies  🙂


Here goes the recipe


Recipe Source:

Joy Of Baking

Ingredients
 

  • All purpose flour – 1 1/2 cups (195 grams)
  • Cornstarch (corn flour) – 1/2 cup (60 grams)
  • salt  – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Confectioners sugar (powdered or icing)  – 1/4 cup (30 grams)
  • Unsalted butter, room temperature – 1 cup (227 grams)
  • Pure Vanilla extract  – 1 teaspoon

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners sugar (powdered or icing)

Fresh From The Oven


Preparation

  1. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt.
  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract.
  3. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated.
  4. Cover and refrigerate the batter for an hour or two, or until firm.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. When batter is firm, form into 1 inch  balls and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart.
  7. Bake for about 10 – 14 minutes or until the edges of the cookies just start to brown.
  8. Remove from oven and cool for about 3-5 minutes.
  9. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack that is placed over a sheet of parchment or wax paper. Put the confectioners sugar in a fine strainer or sieve and sprinkle the tops of the cookies with the sugar.

The cookies did melt in the mouth 🙂

P.S: Sending this to Bake Off Event hosted by Champa of Versatile Kitchen

and to Treat to Eyes Event at  Spice Ur Sense  hosted by Rumana


Mixed Cookies




A scrumptious treat…The cookie made with oats, cornflakes and semolina  makes it a healthy option for kids …


Ingredients

     

  • Dalda (Vegetable shortening) – 1/2 cup
  • Powdered sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Flour – 1/2 cup
  • Semolina – 1/2 cup
  • Oats – 1/2 cup
  • Cornflakes – 1/2 cup
  • Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
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Directions

  1. In a deep bottomed bowl, mix the dalda and powdered sugar with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients one by one and mix with your hand.
  3. Make small balls of the mixture.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 1800C for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the baked cookies from the oven and let them cool for sometime .