Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Torcettini - Twisted Italian Sugar Cookies (We Knead to Bake #4)



This not so sweet, but crunchy, delicious Italian treat,  is our baking challenge for this months We Knead to Bake group, created by Aparna.

Recipe copied from Aparna,  adapted from A Baker's Tour By Nick Malgieri.


Ingredients:

Warm water - 1/2 cup
Active dry Yeast - 1 1/4 tsp
All Purpose Flour - 1 1/2 cups
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Lime / Lemon Zest - 1 tsp
Cold Unsalted Butter - 2 1/2 TBSP, cut into small cubes
Sugar - 1/3 cup, for rolling the cookies

Method:

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, in a small bowl and keep aside.
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.
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. 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.
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.


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.
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. They will not “puff up” much, like bread, but the “puff” will be visible.
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 cookies.

Some tips that might make a difference to your Torcettini –
1.       For a variation on these biscuits, you can make them chocolate flavoured.  If making chocolate Torcettini, remove 2 tbsp all-purpose flour and add 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder.  Also add 2 tbsp powdered sugar and replace the lemon zest with orange zest while making the dough.

2.      Once your Torcettini have been shaped, don’t let them rise for longer than 20 minutes. If you do, your Torcettini will more bread-like on the inside due to the extra “rise”.

3.      To make sure the Torcettini dough does not rise for more than 20 minutes, it’s a good idea to work on shaping the 2nd batch while the first batch is in the oven.

4.       If you do not want to use parchment paper, you can grease you cookie sheets and place the shaped Torcettini dough on them directly. Just remember to take them off the sheets while they’re still hot. You will need a spatula to the dislodge them, and do so carefully so they don’t break. Once they’re cool, the caramelised sugar on the Torcettini make them stick to cookie sheets and they become difficult to dislodge without breaking them!




3 comments:

  1. Those twisted cookies looks super cute and stunning.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It looks yum! Cookie is my favorite snacks.

    ReplyDelete

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