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Cookies without Nuts
Biscottini la Saint Cloud
Biscottini la Saint-Cloud (Gluten-free Neapolitan cookies made with rice flour, sugar, eggs and citrus peel)
Originated from: Naples, Campania, Italy
Occasion: September 7th, The Feast Day of St. Cloud & any ot
Contributed by: Taken from "Cucina Teorico-Pratica" by Ippolito Cavalcanti (1839).

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2 ounces rice flour, sifted
Half a pound of fine sugar
4 egg yolks
Shredded citrus peel*
8 egg whites, beaten stiff

Equipment needed
Greased cookie molds

[*If citrus peel is unavailable candied citron, lemon or lime zest can be used]


Original Italian Text
due once di farina di riso, passata per setaccio
mezza libbra di zucchero fino
quattro rosi d'ovi
un poco di corteccia di cedro verde***, triturato ben fino
otto chiaro d'ovi, battuti alla fiocca

*** Technically, the word "cedro" can be translated as "cedar" or as "citrus." Sometimes Italian cookbook translators decide that the word "cedro" is calling for "candied cedar" rather than citrus peel or candied citrus/citron. In this recipe citrus peel makes more sense than edible cedar bark. In any case, both products: citrus fruit (which is neither an orange or a lemon, but a fruit in its own right) and candied cedar are almost impossible to find in North America.


Take two ounces of rice flour, passed through sieve, then place in a bowl with half a pound of fine sugar, to four egg yolks, and a little green shredded citrus peel, beat together for 1/4 of an hour.

Then add eight egg whites beaten stiff.

Place the dough into molds that have been greased with butter, and then bake the cookies slowly in a low heat in the oven.

When they are ready, cool, and then remove the cookies from the molds.

Original Italian Text

"Prendi due once di farina di riso, passata per setaccio, la porrai in una terrina con mezza libbra di zucchero fino, quattro rosi d'ovi, ed un poco di corteccia di cedro verde triturato ben fino, batterai tutto bene per un quarto d'ora, e poi ci aggiungerai otto chiaro d'ovi battuti alla fiocca: aggiustera la pasta in tante piccole forme dicarta unte di butiro, e coso farai cuocere li biscottini lentamente nel forno; quando saran ben coloriti, li le verai dal forno, e dalle forme ancora."


The recipe in this entry was taken from the book, "Cucina Teorico-Pratica" by Ippolito Cavalcanti (Naples: Di G. Palma, 1839). For the complete copyright-free Italian cookbook visit www.archive.org. P.S. Possibly, the name of this biscotti, "la Saint-Cloud" might indicate that it was served on the Feast Day of Saint-Cloud, but that's hard to say as the cookbook author does not say it was. Alternatively, the name might indicate that the biscotti was originally made in St. Cloud, France. In the mid-19th century Neapolitan cuisine was highly influenced by the French. In any case, I tried out this recipe thinking I would not like it as I have never tasted a cookie made with rice flour that I enjoyed. Surprisingly enough, because these cookies use just a bit of rice flour, and they get their flavor from eggs, the resulting product is quite pleasant. For anyone who is looking for cookies that don't include wheat flour and enjoys the look of cookies made in cookie molds, this might be a nice recipe to try. As fresh citrus fruit is generally not available in most parts of North America, candied citron or lemon zest can be used to flavor these cookies. Lime could also be used for those who like it, but as I don't, I avoid its use.... Comments and photo: Mary Melfi.

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