For the taralli dough ("Egg puffs")
1/2 pound (about 2 1/8 cups) pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/4 ounce (about 1/2 tablespoon) Sherry
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
For the Lemon Icing
4 ounces (about 1 cup) icing sugar
1/2 tablespoon butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon warm water
To make the taralli
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Keep aside.
Using an electric beater, beat eggs.
Add Sherry to the beaten eggs and mix well.
Add oil and mix well.
Mix in flour, working into a malleable soft dough (If it's too soft add a touch more pastry flour; if it's too dry, add a touch more oil).
Form dough into a cylinder.
Wrap with clear plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Let it rest for 1/2 hour.
Preheat oven to 425 F. degrees.
On a lightly floured wooden board, slice a small piece of dough, and then using the palms of your hands, form a taralli style log -- about 6 inches long and 1/2 inch wide.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, 1 inch apart.
Bake until light brown -- about 20 minutes.
To make the icing
Mix sugar and butter.
Add lemon juice and finely grated lemon zest, beat briskly.
Add warm water, beat, until you have a thick but spreadable icing (Add more water if it is too thick, more icing sugar if it is too thin).
Brush the icing on the taralli.
Allow to air dry.
Store in an appropriate container.
Keep in fridge till needed.
Serve at room temperature.
The recipe in this entry was adapted from one published in the cookbook, "Italian Cookbook for Quantiy Service, Authentic Professional Recipes" by Harry Caleva (New York: Ahrens Publishing, 1956). The cookbook can be borrowed for free from the on-line public library, www.openlibrary.org.... Harry Caleva's recipe for "taralli" might be the very first one ever published in North America! His cookbook, which was published over half a century ago, long before Italian cuisine became popular in North America, includes all the classic, traditional Italian dishes. A truly amazing feat.... Comments and photo: Mary Melfi.