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 5 DOZEN
These sweet tortelli (ravioli) cookies have an unusual filling of ground chickpeas and mostarda di frutta, various whole candied fruits preserved in syrup, which usually accompanies boiled meats. The contrast of the bland chickpeas with finely diced fruit provides a nice flavor balance that is not too sweet. These cookies are a special treat at holiday time.
2 2/3 cups (11 ounces) King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
5½ tablespoons butter
5 ounces granulated sugar (scant 1 cup)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
4 ounces Mostarda di frutta or candied fruit
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons raspberry liqueur, or as needed
CONFECTIONERS' SUGAR TO FINISH
Lightly butter two baking sheets and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. In a medium-size bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg and liqueur. Stir in the lemon zest.
Mix the butter mixture into the flour mixture and, with your hands, combine the ingredients into a dough. Remove the dough to a work surface and knead it for a few minutes, adding a little flour to the board if the dough is sticky. Do not make the dough too dry or it will be hard to roll. Let the dough rest, covered, while you make the filling.
In the bowl of a food processor, puree the chickpeas into a paste. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Spray or oil a chef's knife and finely mince the candied fruit. Add the fruit to the chickpeas, stir in the cinnamon, and blend the ingredients well. If the mixture seems dry, add up to 3 teaspoons of raspberry liqueur. The mixture should have a paste consistency. Cover the filling and set aside.
Divide the dough into quarters and work with one quarter at a time, keeping the others covered. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle. With a ruler and a butter knife, carefully measure out five rows of six 2-inch-square indentations. Do not cut through the dough. Place a generous teaspoon of the filling in the center of each square. Roll out a second piece of dough to the same dimensions and carefully place it on top of the filled squares.
With your hands gently press between the rows to seal the dough, then cut the squares with a pastry wheel and crimp the edges together with a fork dipped in flour. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bake the tortelli until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the tortelli to a cooling rack and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar when cool.
Store in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks.
Note: If making the tortelli ahead, do not powder them with sugar until ready to serve.
Note: For a really special presentation, dust the tortelli with half confectioners' sugar and half sweetened cocoa powder. To create the design, place a small triangular piece of wax paper diagonally on top of each tortello. Sprinkle the uncovered half with plain confectioners' sugar, and the other half with the cocoa powder.