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.
MAKES 4 DOZEN
Mostaccoli is a cookie originally made with mosto or grape must. Some say the word derives from mustache because when you eat these they get on your mouth.
9 ounces honey
9 ounces sugar
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached, All-purpose flour
3 1/2 ounces cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest of two oranges
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the eggs and the honey well, then add the sugar and beat thoroughly. Mix the dry ingredients together and then add the zest. Slowly add the dry mixture to the bowl and mix well.
Divide the dough in half and work with one half at a time, keeping the rest covered. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8 to 1/4—inch thickness. Use a diamond-shaped cookie cutter to make uniform cookies and place them 1/2-inch apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake for 15 minutes.
Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on a cooling rack set over waxed paper to catch any drips. Then use a pastry brush to cover them in chocolate glaze while they are still warm. Let the cookies stand for at least an hour before storing them in layers separated by waxed paper in airtight containers. Store in a cool, dry place to insure that the chocolate glaze doesn't soften up.
4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped finely
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Heat water in the bottom of a double boiler until boiling and then remove from the heat. Add the chocolate pieces and oil to the top of the boiler, put the cover on, and let sit for 5 minutes. Then stir the mixture well and brush over cookies. Leave the top of the double boiler over the bottom to keep the mixture soft enough to spread while you are frosting the cookies. If the mixture gets too thick to spread easily with the brush, reheat just the water, take it off the heat and put the top of the boiler back on and allow a minute or two for the mixture to soften again.