I spend lots of time trying to hold on to the time I’ve spent in Italy. From day dreaming to doing research on places to visit to trying to recreate dishes from my travels. It’s an obsession I’m happy to have.
I have more cookbooks than I care to admit and a good portion are on Italian food. One of my favorites is Dolce Italiano-a book on Italian desserts by the incredibly talented pastry chef Gina Di Palma, who unfortunately passed away much too young in 2016. Gina’s simple Italian desserts helped make Babbo in Greenwich Village one of Manhattan’s most popular restaurants.
I tend not to buy books by restaurant chefs. So many times they are complicated and require ingredients that are not on hand. Not so with this book. Everything I’ve baked has been delicious and the recipes straightforward. This may be the first book that I may actually bake my way through every recipe.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, separated
Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups blanched, sliced almonds
In a bowl whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg yolk, followed by the lemon zest and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the dry ingredients on low speed to make a stiff dough. Remove the dough from the bowl, flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill until it is firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment (or butter them). Place the almonds in a bowl. In another shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg white with a fork until frothy.
Divide the dough into three equal pieces. Work with 1 piece at a time, keeping the others wrapped and refrigerated. Roll the piece of dough into a narrow log 1/2″ in diameter. Cut the log into cylinders about 1-1/2 ” long. Roll each cylinder into egg white and then into sliced almonds to coat. Place on prepared sheets, spacing them about 1/2″ apart. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake the cookies until they are firm and the almonds are lightly golden brown, 14-16 minutes, rotating the sheets 180 degrees halfway through the baking time. Allow the cookies to cool on sheets for 1-2 minutes, then use a spatula to remove them gently to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust the cookies generously with confectioners sugar.
Store between layers of parchment in airtight container. Yield: about 4 dozen
Panini Girl In Lucca September 2020-contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to reserve a spot
September 29, 2019 at 10:40 pm
Birds of a Feather – one of my favorite books as well however I have not tried this recipe. Thank you for posting, I will add it to my holiday backing this year.
October 7, 2019 at 12:20 am
Paula-I just love her recipes and just spent an hour going through the book and deciding what to bake next. I think it’s going to be the apple crumb tart-the perfect fall dessert!