Search This Blog

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Biscotti della Regina (Italian Sesame Seed Cookies)

Biscotti della Regina or Queen's Cookies is a cookie that we ate only while visiting family in NJ, we would get them from the Italian bakery and I would fill up on them knowing that I couldn't get any more until next year. Now I can make them any time I like thanks to this authentic recipe I got off of  Italy Lovers 
I also use this dough recipe for my Pinocatte (Pine Nut Cookies)

1 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons milk plus a shallow bowl full for dipping
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
3 1/2cups all purpose flour plus more for kneading
3/4 cup sesame seeds was not enough it was double that like 1 1/4 cups
Preheat oven to 375
In a mixer cream the butter and sugar together.
Add the eggs one at a time and beat in thoroughly. Add the milk, vanilla, zests, baking powder, and salt and mix well.
Add flour and mix until it forms soft and pliable but not sticky dough. Start with the amount I have down adding more if needed.
Turn out onto a counter and form into a ball using more flour if needed but not too much. Handle very gently.
Cover and allow to rest for a few minutes.
Now set up your station: 1 shallow bowl of milk with a fork, then 1 shallow bowl of sesame seeds with 2 forks, then a parchment lined or well buttered cookie sheet.
Break off walnut sized pieces and roll into a log shape. I usually do several at a time.
Then dip in milk very quickly and remove with the fork, do not soak at all.
Now toss into seed bowl and roll around with the 2 forks.
Pick up with the 2 forks and place on sheet just a bit apart, they will grow a bit but not too much.
Bake for 15-20. Mine were done in 18. They will be just starting to turn pale golden brown but not quite.

~Did you know~ 
These are a delicious Sicilian cookie, widely available in commercially-made versions. I assume that the regina (queen) in question is Margherita di Savoia, the second and much beloved queen of a united Italy. Pizza Margherita was also named in her honor. Queen Margherita loved sweets and would often go personally to visit pastry shops with her ladies in waiting. She was known to spontaneously ennoble the owner of a pastry shop where she really liked the cookies, elevating him to the rank of cavaliere (knight)! Biscotti regina are an example of an Italian cookie which is not sliced and re baked, since biscotti in Italian just means cookies.~Maryann Esposito

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Thanks for sharing your cookie recipe. I have fond memories about all these great Italian cookies growing up with all my friends and marrying into one big Italian family. They always have them around for special occasions!