Photo of a bakery window in Monreale, Sicily, birthplace of my Sicilian grandmother Rosaria DeNicola (1900-1996).
(Thanks for asking, Maren.)
Other family recipes for Sicilian cookies:
My Father's Biscotti
and Tu Tu Cookies
or Biscotti di Monreale
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1/2 pound (2 sticks) salted butter
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4-5 cups flour
Either dip the raw cookies in sesame seeds before baking,
or frost with powdered sugar glaze (powdered sugar mixed with milk to be fairly runny) after baking, when they are cool.
1. Cream butter and sugar together thoroughly.
2. Beat eggs, stir in vanilla and almond extract, and add to butter mix. Blend well.
3. Sift baking powder and cinnamon into 4 cups flour. [There is no salt in this recipe--the salted butter adds enough.]
4. Stir 2-3 cups flour into butter mix. Slowly add another 2-3 cups, for total of 4-5 cups. Dough will be dry.
5. Roll a ball of dough in your hands into a "snake." Shape the snake into an S or an O.
6. If you are using sesame seeds, dip each cookie in the seeds before you place them on a cookie sheet.
BAKE for 15-20 minutes in 350 degree oven. (I like mine pale and soft; my auntie likes hers brown and crisp.)
Remove from cookie sheets and frost when cool.
These cookies keep well, even getting better as they age. When dry, they especially are good for dipping in coffee or red wine.