Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Frollini, the cookies of my childhood

Sometimes the best discoveries happen by mistake.

When I was in elementary school my mom used to bake a delicious pear and chocolate tart. It was the perfect winter treat: the pears were in season, sweet and plump, and the gooey dark chocolate complemented them both in texture and flavor. But what was even better was the crust.

Buttery and crumbly, this version of “pasta frolla” (a type of dough every Italian kid loves) was especially good when dunked in milk.

So, when on one occasion my mom made too much dough for the tart, she decided to turn the extra into cookies — and named them “frollini” (small “frolla” cookies). Ever since then — even though she doesn’t make the tart quite so often — she always makes extra dough, on purpose, so we can treat ourselves to milk and cookies.

They are perfect to snack on while decorating the house and the Christmas tree, which reminds me that I have to get my beloved boyfriend to take the tree down from its hiding space in the garage and I have to dig out the ornaments from wherever I stuffed them last January. Something tells me I'll definitely be needing cookies. And most likely crutches.

FROLLINI:

2 1/4 cups white, all-purpose flour

3/4 cups sugar

1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3 egg yolks

Grated peel of 1/3 a lemon

A pinch of salt


Place the flour on your work space and make a well in it. Add all the other ingredients in the well and kneed the mixture with your hands until it forms a ball of dough.

Divide the dough in two equal parts. Place the first half on a sheet of parchment paper and roll it with a rolling pin until it’s less than 1/2 inch thick. Cut the dough with cookie cutters. Repeat with second half of dough.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until done.

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