MAKES 3 TO 3 1/2 DOZEN
Whenever anyone in our family got married, my Grandmother Saporito did three things: She made a bedspread for the happy couple, said the rosary, and baked these orange-scented knot cookies because two people's lives were about to become entwined.
3 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
4 to 5 tablespoons evaporated milk or half-and-half
1 teaspoon almond extract
Green or red food coloring, optional
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the orange zest and juice. Beat in the dry ingredients gradually, and beat well to mix. The dough will be soft; wrap it in waxed paper and refrigerate it for 1 hour to make it easier to handle.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets.
Place the dough on a well-floured surface. Pinch off small egg-size pieces of dough and roll each piece into a rope about 7 inches long and the width of your middle finger. Tie into a loose knot and place 1 inch apart on the greased cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool slightly. Frost when still slightly warm.
To make the frosting, in a bowl, combine the sugar and 1/4 cup of the milk and beat until smooth. Add more milk if necessary to make a thin frosting. Beat in the almond extract. Add food coloring if desired.
Dip the top of each cookie into the frosting, shaking off the excess. Place them on racks and sprinkle with colored sprinkles. Let the frosting dry before storing. These will keep in an airtight container for up to a week; or freeze them for up to 3 months.
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