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Cookies with Nuts
Soft Biscuits/Biscotti teneri (with currants, almonds, white flour and potato meal)
Originated from: Italy
Occasion: Special times
Contributed by: Taken from "The Italian Cook Book" by Maria Gentile (The Italian Book Co., 1919)

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2 ounces flour
Potato meal (a little less than 2 ounces)
3 ounces, currants
4 ounces (1/4 lb.) sugar
1 1/2 ounce, sweet almonds
1 ounce, candied orange or angelica
1 ounce, fruit preserve
3 eggs


"Skin the almonds, cut them in half lengthwise and dry in the sun or at the fire. Pastry cooks usually leave them with the skin but it is much preferable to skin them. Cut in little cubes the candied fruits and the preserve.

Stir for a long while, about half an hour the sugar in the egg-yolks and a little flour then add the white of the eggs well beaten and when everything is well beaten add the flour, letting it fall from a sieve.

Mix slowly and scatter on the mixing the almonds and the cubes of candied and preserved fruit.

Grease and sprinkle the tin box with flour.

Bake in the oven and cut the biscuits the day after. If desired these can also be roasted on both sides."


This recipe was taken from "The Italian Cook Book: the Art of Eating Well, Practical Recipes of the Italian Cuisine" by Mrs. Maria Gentile. It was published in the U.S. in 1919. For the entire copyright-free cookbook see www.archive.org........ P.S. I tried this recipe and even though the result was edible, it was not at all tasty. In fact, the biscotti tasted more like pancakes than like what North Americans have come to think of twice-baked Italian cookies. Obviously back in 1919 few home cooks used baking powder, and this made baking cookies very difficult. The batter for this cookie recipe rose in the oven, but as soon as the cookie dough was baked and removed from the heat, it fell substantially. The use of potato meal also did not do much to enhance the flavor of this recipe. I would Not do it again. Nonetheless it was interesting doing this very old recipe and finding out how challenging it must have been for home cooks to come up with edible works of art when they had so little to work with..... Notes and photo: Mary Melfi.

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