I wish there was a pasticceria down the street. Somewhere that I could stroll to and come home with a neatly wrapped package tied with ribbon, perfectly packed with little bites of pastry. A shop where I could walk in and be totally befuddled as to what to order as the choices are astounding. Piles of little cookies, tiny tartlettes piped with chocolate or hazelnut cream, layers of flaky pastry enveloping fluffy ricotta. Do I need to go on? I’m sure you get the picture. Maybe you are lucky to live in a city where you can find authentic Italian pastries. If so, I’m jealous of your good fortune!
So what do I do to take care of my daily need to have a little something to go with my morning cappuccino? I head to the bookshelf and pull out Gina Di Palma’s Dolce Italiano and start baking. This week I had an urge for anything with hazelnuts. Initially I had hoped to try a new recipe, but then I remembered a cookie that I had already tried and loved. Gina’s description of her inspiration for them brought a smile to my face “this recipe is my attempt to duplicate some wonderful cookies I sampled froma Roman bakery near the Campo de’ Fiori. On the last morning of a visit to the Eternal City a few years ago, I bought a bagful and took them to the train station with me. By the time I got to Florence, they were gone…”
How could I not bake these Hazelnut Cookies?!