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.
These twisted and fried cookies, which look like wrapped pieces of candy, are a favorite Christmas giveaway. I developed it using leftover pieces of dough and a few teaspoons of ground walnuts that were on hand after making a sweet rotolo. Everyone loves these, and the dough is very easy to work with.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
In a bowl, mix the flour and butter together with your hands or a fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add the water and mix until a ball of dough is formed. Do not over mix. (Alternatively, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a ball of dough is formed.) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
In a small bowl, mix together the walnuts and 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Set aside. In another bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a square, and trim it to an even, 10-inch square, reserving the scraps. With a pastry wheel, cut the dough length-wise into 5 strips, and cut each strip into 5 squares.
Lightly brush each square with the melted butter. Place about 1 teaspoon of the walnut filling in the center of each square, and roll each one up like a small jelly roll. Pinch the seam closed and twist each end. Place the caramelle on a clean towel. Gather the
dough scraps together and reroll to make more caramelle.
In a deep-flyer or a deep heavy pan, heat the oil to 375° F. Fry the caramelle, a few at a time, until golden brown. With a slotted spoon, transfer to brown paper to drain.
While they are still warm, roll each caramella several times in the sugar and cinnamon mixture.