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Quaresimali, Florentine cookies for Lent

Course Cookie
Cuisine Tuscan
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Author Giulia

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites at room temperature
  • 200 g 1 cup - 7 oz of sugar
  • 50 g 1/3 cup, whole - 1,7 oz of hazelnuts, finely ground to a paste
  • 150 g 1 1/5 cup - 5,3 oz of flour
  • 50 g 3/5 cup - 1,7 oz of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • Seed from half a vanilla pod
  • Zest from a whole organic orange
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and keep on whipping until it becomes a glossy meringue. Add the hazelnut paste and stir into the egg whites.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and fold gently into the meringue. Add now the vanilla seeds, orange zest and cinnamon. The final texture of the dough should be quite firm but still soft enough to be used with a pastry bag.
  3. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper and draw many alphabet letters with the pastry bag. Keep them spaced enough as they tend to expand while baking.
  4. Let sit at room temperature for a few hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 140°C (275°F - gas mark 1) and bake the cookies for about 15 minutes. Let them cool down on the baking sheets before removing them, as at the beginning they'll still be quite soft.
  6. Keep them in a closed tin or in an airtight container.