Some of my favorite baking comes at Easter. My mom, sister and I all like to get together and recreate some of the decadent recipes that were handed down throughout the generations. This year Emma will be helping me bake, decorate AND eat the cookies. I love my Italian heritage and family and I am so glad I can pass this on to my daughter. Here are just two of my Easter Recipes.
Pupa di Pasqua (Dolls of Easter Cookies)
8 oz vegetable oil
6 oz milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
12 oz sugar
8 teaspoons baking powder
1 lemons zest
2 cups of flour (more might be needed tomake dough pliable)
2 cups of confectioner’s sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Form a well out of flour on table surface; add baking powder to well walls as well as sugar.
In the centre of well whisk together oil, eggs, milk, vanilla and lemon zest.
Gradually add in parts of the flour well until you get a pliable dough.
On a floured surface shape dough into dolls, flowers, bunnies etc.
Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350 until lightly browned. (Bake time may vary depending on dimensions of cookies.)
When cookies are done, remove from oven and while still hot glaze and decorate.
These cookies have a light lemony taste to them. We devour them with glasses of cold milk and love to watch as the colourful sprinkles that fall off as we dunk turn the milk into a rainbow of colour.
For pastry crust:
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
Enough Flour to make pliable, but still soft dough.
2 cups Romanello Cheese, grated
2 cups Parmesan/Romano cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 egg yolk, beaten
For Crust: In a bowl whisk together oil, eggs, wine and salt. Add a cup of flour at a time to the wet mixture, work into a soft dough. (If the dough is too soft, add a touch more flour; if it’s too hard, add more wine.) Shape the dough into a ball, cover and let rest while preparing filling.
For the Filling: Beat the eggs. In a large bowl, mix the beaten egg with the cheeses. Add pepper. Mix well.
To make the Fiadone: Using rolling pin roll out the dough so that it is about 1/8 of an inch thick. Using a rolling pin, roll out the rested pastry dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out circles (I use a wine glass 3 ½ inches in diameter). Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of the circle. Seal the pastry pockets with a fork. Brush the tops of the fiadoni with egg yolk. Make a small slit in the middle of the pastry (This will enable the steam to come out while baking, and give it that or “puffed up” look).
Bake in a 350° F pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the fiadone are a golden color.
These cookies are savory, and one of my favorites. They can also be made into little pies instead of ravioli like pockets.