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Sicilian Chocolate Spice Cookies

Rame di Napoli are spicy, chocolate Sicilian cookies prepared especially for the Day of the Dead, on November 2nd and are given to adults and children as a gift in memory of their deceased relatives.   MAKES ABOUT 2 DOZEN


1 cup plain butter cookies, ground into coarse crumbs

Milk as needed (approximately 1 to 1-1/2 cups)

4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon orange marmalade

7/8-cup unsweetened cocoa

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1-teaspoon baking powder


1 cup dark chocolate

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups finely minced pistachio nuts


Put the cookie crumbs in a medium bowl, and just barely cover them with milk. Allow them to sit and soak until the crumbs have absorbed the milk, then stir well until the mixture reaches a creamy consistency.

In a separate large bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients. Add the milk-soaked crumbs to the mixture and combine well. At this point add more milk into the batter, a little at a time, and using a wooden spoon stir until the mixture reaches the consistency of a thick paste, like that of pastry cream. The amount of milk you add will depend on the type of cookie crumbs used, but the amount will likely be approximately 1 to 2 cups. Look for a somewhat loose and creamy consistency that still holds its shape and is not runny or liquid. Let the batter rest for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.  Use a 1/4-cup measure or scoop and form the batter into rounds, spacing them one inch apart on the baking sheets.

Bake for 10 to 20 minutes or until the cookies are firm to the touch. Remove them from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack.  Begin making the glaze only when the cookies have cooled and are ready to frost.

For the Glaze:

Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over low heat, stirring constantly.  Once the chocolate has completely melted and the consistency is a thin liquid, remove it from the heat and pour it into a bowl.  Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze, coating the surface evenly, and place them on cooling racks to dry.  Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with some of the pistachio nuts while the glaze is still warm.  Then cool the cookies completely.

This recipe is featured on show 2820 – Sicilian Supper.


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