It has been a while since last time I posted a recipe. This business of publishing books it sure is a time-eating endeavor. So much so that Christmas has arrived and we only put the tree up yesterday. Since the astral bodies had already aligned, we also baked tozzetti e ciambelline to celebrate the occasion. In the process of taking the tree box out of the garage, some cleaning of the aforementioned room also took place. Word written, zero, but the world—aka my house—is definitely a better place because of the ongoing Christmassification.
Also known as Biscottini di Natale around Civitavecchia, the tozzetti shown in the above pic are easy to make and have that wonderful Italian bakery smell I sometimes miss. The recipe is another gift from my mother in law and it was given to her by her mother, who received it from hers. To honor tradition, I will post it as it is, without my usual tinkering.
1/2 kg sugar
4 hg butter
4 hg chocolate chunks (I used dark chocolate, 62% cacao baking chips)
3 hg almonds
5 gr cinnamon
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanillin sugar (which we forgot to add)
flour as needed (I know…)
Melt the butter. Mix all the ingredients together by hand. Never use an electric mixer. Add enough flour until the dough doesn’t stick to your fingers anymore. My daughter says the resulting dough resembles putty. As for the majority of Regional Italian recipes, our grandmas knew what they were doing and had great hopes we would as well, so there was no need to state what they deemed basic culinary knowledge. Once you are satisfied with the dough consistency, take a handful at a time and make flattened logs with it.
Line the logs on a cookie tray covered with parchment paper. Bake them for 30/35 minutes at 350F, or until the edges of the logs look golden.
Let them cool until they harden. Finally, cut the tozzetti. They can be stored in a cookie jar or a Ziploc. Enjoy the Italian bakery aroma around the house!