MAKES 5 DOZEN
This recipe was given to Rosetta Genzale, the Head Chef at the Filberti Restaurant in Benevento, by her grandmother from Avelino. This cookie is a good keeper, but only if you hide them well!
4 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
3 1/2 cups sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 3/4 cups almonds, toasted and finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour 2 large cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
You can make this dough in a fontana, just as you would make pasta dough, or mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the zest, eggs, vanilla and butter and mix until you have a dough which you can knead into a ball that holds together well. Divide the dough into 8 pieces.
Roll each piece under the palms of your hand until a 12-inch rope is formed. Carefully place the ropes on the cookie sheets and bake for about 20 minutes. The rolls should be firm to the touch, but not so hard that slicing them will be difficult.
As soon as the ropes come out of the oven, use a sharp or serrated knife to cut diagonal cookies about 3/4 of an inch wide. Spread the individual cookies on the cookie sheet and bake them for 5 additional minutes.
Cool the cookies on wire racks and store in layers separated by wax paper or plastic wrap in a tightly sealed tin.
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