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Cookies without Nuts
Biscotti di Gelsommini
Biscotti di Gelsommini (cookies flavored with jasmine marmalade)
Originated from: Naples, Campania, Italy
Occasion: Any time & special times
Contributed by: Taken from "Cucina Teorico-pratica" by Ippolito Cavalcanti (1839).

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Spoonful of jasmine marmalade? (in Italian, marmellata di gelsomino)
1 pound very fine sugar
8 egg yolks
10 egg whites beaten stiff
8 ounces of flour, sifted

Equipment needed:
paper baking cups

Original Italian text
cucchiajo di marmellata di gelsomino
otto rossi d'ovi (conservando separatamente le chiara)
una libra di zucchero ben polverizzato
le otto chiara d'ovi
once otto di fior di farina ripassato per sciaccio
zucchero per ghiacciarli


Take a spoonful of jam, place in a pan with eight yolks (having reserved the egg whites) and a pound of very fine sugar, cream the mixture.

Afterwards take the eight clear whites, with two others, and beat them till they are sift.

When they are stiff, combine with 8 ounces of flour that has been sifted (keep creaming the mixture).

Mix everything together, and make cookies in the regular way, using paper containers that have been greased, and that are used for this style of biscotti.

Sprinkle sugar on the cookies.

Bake in a slow oven.

Original Italian Text

Prendi un cucchiajo di marmellata di gelsomino, che porrai in una casseruola, con otto rossi d'ovi (conservando separatamente le chiara) ed una libra di zucchero ben polverizzato, batterai il tutto facendo che s'incorpori; dipoi prenderai le otto chiara d'ovi, con due altre, che batterai separatamente all fiocca, e giunta a perfessione la spuma, la mescolerai con l'atra dose, e quando sara utto bene unito, ci porrai once otto di fior di farina ripassato per sciaccio, pero fara, che vi cada a poco, a poco, e colla mescola rivolterai. Prendi de fogli di carta unti di butiro, e su di essi porrai la pasta come tauti biscotti, e sopra ciascun di essi ci spolverizzerai del zucchero per ghiacciarli, e poi li farai caoere a lento forno.


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. I tried this recipe and had some difficulties. As I had no idea what "gesommini" was I looked it up in Italian-English dictionaries and the word was translated as jasmine. As far as I know jasmine marmalade is not available in Montreal, the city I live in. So to make this recipe I used orange marmalade. Whether this was a good alternative is hard to say (A number of other recipes in Cavalcanti's cookbook call for orange marmalade, suggesting that in the 19th century this was a popular flavoring). In any case following the directions of the recipe I came up with a very soft batter, more like a cake batter, than a cookie batter. For those who might consider doing this recipe, the use of baking cups might help. Comments and photo: Mary Melfi.

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