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Cookies with Nuts
Torroncini (with almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts, made without fat)
Originated from: Italy
Occasion: Special times
Contributed by: Sue Alfieri

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6 eggs
3 cups sugar
2 cups almonds
2 cups walnuts
2 cups hazelnuts
4 cups flour
2 envelops Bertolini's Vanillina [Vanilla-flavored sugar]
1 envelop Paneangeli's Zucchero Vaniglinato al Velo [Vanilla-flavored sugar]
1 teaspoon Magic baking powder

For coating
about 1/2 cup icing sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.

2. Roast almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts for about 6 minutes.

3. Beat eggs.

4. Mix in sugar.

5. Add flour, envelops of vanilla-flavored sugar, and Magic baking powder. Mix well.

6. Mix in roasted nuts.

7. Shape the dough into two or three logs (about 12 inches long, 1 1/2 inches wide and 1 inch high).

8. Roll logs in icing sugar.

9. Place logs on a greased cookie sheet Or one lined with a silicon baking pat.

10. Bake for 20 minutes.

11. Remove and cut slices (about 1/2 inch wide) while the logs are still warm.

12. Serve at room temperature.


Nowadays, the Italian word, "torroncini," could either describe biscotti-type cookies with nuts or bite-sized soft-style "torrone," nut nougats. This entry is a recipe for the biscotti-type cookies. For a variety of recipes for the other type of cookies, including torroncini, torrone, nut brittle and nut clusters see Italy Revisited/"NOUGATS". While the "torroncini" made from the recipe in this entry look and taste similar to Tuscan-style biscotti they are not baked twice, so, in actual fact, they cannot be classified as "biscotti." In today's culinary world, both in Italy and in North America, the word, "biscotti" refers to "twice-baked" cookies. However, prior to World War II Italians, especially those living in the Southern Italian countryside, used the word, "biscotti," to describe almost any kind of cookie, from taralli to macaroons. Back then, the word, "biscotti" was a generic no-name term for all sorts of cookies. Not only do recipes change over time, but so do their names. It's no surprise North Americans of Italian origin have so much trouble trying to figure out which recipes are regional classics and which aren't........ The "torroncini" shown in this entry were made by Sue Alfieri; the recipe was given to her by her cousin, Pauline Fresco whose mother showed her how to do them years and years ago. Apparently, Pauline's mother, Nunziatina, picked up the recipe from a mutual friend of the family, a woman named Terry, who herself picked it up from her Zia Lina, a first generation Italian-Canadian. Remember, all of this took place in the 1960s, long before the Internet came along and showed the world how to cook Italian -- be Italian! -- in a minute and a half. Pauline's mother, a true magician in the kitchen, is credited for perfecting Zia Lina's original recipe. The beloved treat has become a Melfi-Fresco-Alfieri trademark at various cultural events for the past half century or so (Time does fly!). Notes and photo: Mary Melfi.

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