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Cookies without Nuts
Biscottini di Confetture
Biscottini di Confetture (Neapolitan cookies flavored with peach jam and citrus fruit)
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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4 ounces of citrus, placed in a mortar and crushed
A bit of "melarancio" [Apple/orange marmalade?]
2 tablespoons of peach jam
3 ounces fine sugar
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites, beaten stiff

Fine Sugar

Original Italian text
once Quattro di cedro sciroppato***
pochi fiori di melarancio
due cucchiai di marmellata di percoche
tre once di zucchero fino
quattro torli d'ovi freschi
quattro chiara d ovi battuti alla fiocca distenderai
zucchero fino

*** The word "cedro" is sometimes translated as "candied cedar" and sometimes as "citrus" by various Italian cookbook translators. Both citrus fruit (which is neither an orange or a lemon, but a fruit in its own right) or candied cedar seems to be available in North America.


In a mortar crush four ounces of citron with a bit of "melarancio" and add two tablespoons of peach jam, 3 ounces of fine sugar, 4 egg yolks, mix everything, then using a wooden spoon fold in 4 egg whites beaten stiff.

Place the batter on a cookie sheet lined with paper, making the cookies in the usual manner.

Sprinkle fine sugar on the cookies.

Cook in a slow oven.

Original Italian Text

Pesterai in un mortaio once Quattro di cedro sciroppato con pochi fiori di melarancio; ci unirai due cucchiai di marmellata di percoche, tre once di zucchero fino, e Quattro torli d'ovi freschi; mescolerai tutto, e lo passerai per la stamigna, che fortemente premerai con un cucciaio di legno; dipoi ci unirai Quattro chiara d ovi battuti alla fiocca distenderai in una tortiera un foglio di carta Bianca, su della quale, ci adatterai tanti uchiai di quella composizione; per ghiacciarli li cuocprirai con zucchero fino, e li farai cuocere lentamente al 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. This recipe was almost impossible to try out as the ingredients asked for are not available in North America. "Cedro" -- which could be translated as "candied cedar" or "fresh citrus" (a fruit on its own, different from lemon, lime and orange) are certainly not within reach. As for "melarancio" it might or not be available, I don't know because I have no idea what it is. I was unable to find the word, "melarancio," in any Italian-English dictionary. It might mean "apple/orange." If one googles images for "melarancio" what pops up is very interesting, but not useful. One image shows an apple and orange held together with safety pins. Other images have similar themes. The word, "melarancio," also comes up as names for Bed and Breakfast outfits in Italy. Only one website, www.spaziopiante.com, seems to suggest that the word might refer to a specific type of orange grown in Portugal. Even if all the ingredients for this recipe were available it still would be difficult to do. The recipe does not include any flour, so whatever batter or paste one comes up with is very soft, more like a cake batter than a cookie one. The directions don't indicate that the batter should be cooked in baking cups, but that's what I did. The cookie I came up with rests on a dish on which is written "Priere de la Cuisiniere." This French kitchen prayer pleads: "Benis ma petite cuisine, Seigneur/Et ensoleille-la de Ton amour/De Ta celeste demeure/AIDE-MOI A PREPARER MES REPAS/Par Ta presence, benis nos repas/Et rechauffe-les de Ta grace./Veille sur moi quand je travaille/Lavant assiettes, pots et plats./Ce que j'essaie d'accomplir/C'est de rendre ma famille contente/ Mes humbles efforts,/Seigneur, designe benir/Et rends-les dignes de Ton Ciel." Translated it says: "Bless my little kitchen, my Lord. And give me your love and help me with the preparations of my meals. By your presence bless our supper. Watch over me as I wash the dishes and plates. What I am trying to do is make my family happy...." Help is always appreciated in the kitchen, whether it's from divine sources or from one's internet neighbors. Comments and photo: Mary Melfi.

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