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 01/31/07 Pignoli Cookies from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Salve e Bentornati!" Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Pignoli Cookies
  -Dolce di Mandorle
  -Torta di Castagne e Cioccolata

Try the popular and classical "Dolce di Mandorla"; crunchy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside. Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       


 Recipe: Pignoli Cookies

Pignoli Cookies

Ingredients:

12 ounces almond paste
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup confectioners' sugar
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups pine nuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 F (165 C). Line 2 cookie sheets with foil; lightly grease foil.

Mix almond paste and granulated sugar in food processor until smooth.

Add confectioners' sugar and 2 egg whites; process until smooth.

Whisk remaining 2 egg whites in small bowl.

Place pine nuts on shallow plate. With lightly floured hands roll dough into 1 inch balls. Coat balls in egg whites, shaking off excess, then roll in pine nuts, pressing lightly to stick. Arrange balls on cookie sheets, and flatten slightly to form a 1 1/2 inch round.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned.

Let stand on cookie sheet 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Yields 36 servings.

That's it!


 Recipe: Dolce di Mandorle

Dolce di Mandorle
Almond Cookies

This classic and traditional Sicilian cookie is very chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside.

Ingredients:

2 lbs almond paste
1 cup all-purpose flour
8 egg whites
2 cups white sugar
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 cups sliced almonds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Grease cookie sheets.

In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together the almond paste, flour, egg whites, white sugar and confectioners' sugar until well blended. The mixture will be very sticky.

Place the sliced almonds into a small bowl.

Scoop out rounded teaspoonfuls of the dough and drop them into the almonds. Roll until completely coated. Place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown.

Cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Yields 72 servings.

That's it!


 Recipe: Torta di Castagne e Cioccolata

Torta di Castagne e Cioccolata
Chocolate and Chestnut Cake

Ingredients:

1 ounce plain white or Italian type 00 flour, plus extra for dusting
8 ounces chocolate with 70% cocoa solids
4 ounces unsalted butter
4 large range eggs, separated
11 ounces canned, sweetened chestnut puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 ounces caster sugar
Icing sugar, for dusting

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Grease and line a 8 inch deep round cake tin. Dust with flour.

Break the chocolate into a bowl and add the butter. Place over a saucepan of simmering water and heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Take care not to overheat. Remove from the heat.

Sift the flour into a bowl, add the egg yolks, chestnut puree and vanilla extract and whisk together. Stir in the chocolate mixture.

Whisk together the egg whites and cream of tartar until they just hold their shape, then gradually whisk in the sugar until stiff. Do not overbeat.

Add a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then the remaining whites.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer, inserted into the center, comes out moist but not sticky. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. It will have risen and then dropped slightly in the center.

When cold, turn out and dust with sifted icing sugar before serving.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news resources in Italy. Each story is slapped with our wild, often ironic, and sometimes rather opinionated comments. And now, for your reading pleasure, a sample of today's edition:

Italians Discover the Brain Metronome

Rome - January 16 - Italian researchers say they have found brain 'metronomes' that help musicians to play concerts and dancers to strut their stuff.

A team led by Carlo Caltagirone of Rome's Santa Lucia Foundation located two time-keeping areas in the brain.

A site in the cerebellum apparently regulates extremely short tempos, in the order of milliseconds - while its sister in the frontal cortex drums out longer intervals, lasting seconds.

The group's research has been published in the latest edition of the prestigious international scientific journal Experimental Brain Research.

"Oh! La mia povera testa!" It's obvious these researchers have not clicked on the TV lately. You have to see these Italian variety programs. The music and dancing borders on criminal.

Prime time Italian TV is strictly for brains without metronomes or any other type of cerebral activity.

There is a simple production formula for any popular Italian TV show:
1. Get a large studio.
2. Fill it with chairs.
3. Invite a studio audience from the public to put their backsides in those chairs.
4. Schedule two or three minor celebrities
5. Hire a compere (master of ceremonies) and a troop of dancing girls in bikinis.
6. Let the celebs sing while the girls dance and between numbers let the audience ask as many questions as they like to the celebs through the compere.

The Italian researchers should elaborate more on their magnificent findings, for example, why bad performances from untalented celebs could be the result of brain 'metronomes' banging up against their skulls.

"Only In Italy" Subscribe for free and day in and day out, 5 days a week, you'll have laughter, tears and intelligent commentary all blaring at you from your stupid little monitor. Click Here to Subscribe!



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