Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
SERVES 20 TO 25
Graziella and Gaetana make the most of what is in season in the Spannocchia vegetable garden and larder and they are equally as enterprising when it comes to creating something sweet for hungry farm hands. They can take a box of plain cookies and turn it in no time at all into a classic Tuscan no-bake cookie they call salame dolce, or chocolate salami. These refrigerated logs have the appearance of salami when sliced. They are delicious and keep well in the refrigerator for weeks but I can guarantee you that they will not last longer than a day or two.
1 pound plain tea cookies such as Lorna Doone or Danish Butter Cookies
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa (Droste)
1/2 cup sweet cocoa (Ghirardelli)
3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa (Hershey's or similar)
1 1/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 extra large egg yolks, slightly beaten
3 to 5 tablespoons Vin Santo or brandy as needed
Granulated, coarse, or turbinado sugar
Reduce the cookies to fine crumbs in a food processor or in a paper bag with a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a large mixing bowl and mix in the cocoas, sugar, and almonds.
Mix the butter with the egg yolks and stir into the cocoa mixture.
Mix everything well with your hands adding a tablespoon at a time of Vin Santo or brandy until the ingredients are wet enough to hold together without crumbling.
Cut a piece of plastic wrap at least 16-inches long. Spread the mixture along the middle of the wrap. Fold up one long side to start forming a 12 or 14x2-inch salami-shaped log. Bring the opposite side of the wrap up and compress the mixture into a log shape. Twist the ends to seal the log and re-shape it with your hands so it is even looking. Refrigerate several hours.
Spread a thick layer of sugar over a work surface. Unwrap the salame and roll it in the sugar to coat it well.
Rewrap the log and refrigerate it for several hours to make it easier to slice.
To serve, cut the log into 1/4 to 1/2-inch slices.
Note: To get a perfect cylindrical shape, try using an old wax paper or aluminum paper tube and place the plastic-wrapped log inside. Roll it around on the counter to conform to the tube shape. Refrigerate then slice as directed.