Intorchiate

Intorchiate

recipe by Rosetta Costantino

reprinted with permission of publisher



makes 36 cookies (I got 64)


3 3/4 cups (500 g) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar, (I would use 1 cup next time since I'd like them a bit sweeter) plus more for coating cookies

1 T. baking powder

1/4 t. kosher salt

1/4 cup (56 g) unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 cup (180 ml) white wine

about 3/4 cup (115 grams) blanched almonds for decorating


Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter, oil and wine and process until the mixture forms a sticky dough that balls up around the blade. (I added a little more oil and some water to the dough to get the right consistency.) Alternatively, you can mix the dough by hand, but it will require longer kneading to bring the dough together. Transfer to a flat surface and knead briefly to form a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. (177 degrees C) with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Divide the dough into thirty-six approximately equal pieces; they will weigh about 3/4 ounce each (actually I got 64 cookies each weighing 3/4 ounce each). Roll a piece of dough with the palms of your hands against a flat surface to make a 10-inch rope that is about 1/2 inch thick. Fold the rope in half, then twist the two ends around one another to form a twist, with the dough strands crossing twice and meeting at the bottom to form three spaces. Press the ends together at the bottom to seal them. Space the cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Continue forming the twists until you have filled one sheet with eighteen cookies. (You will make the second half while the first ones bake.)

Put about 1/4 cup sugar in a shallow bowl. Take one cookie at a time and press the top side into the sugar. (I pressed both top and bottom in the sugar. If you can find a larger granulated sugar, it looks prettier.) Return the cookie to the baking sheet sugar side up. After coating all of the cookies, press three blanched almonds into each cookie - one in each space - facing the pointed ends of the nuts running down from the top to the bottom of the cookie.

Bake the cookies on the bottom rack for 15 minutes, then rotate the pan and transfer it to the top rack until the cookies are light golden all over, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

While the first sheet bakes, form the remaining cookies on the second sheet. Bake the second sheet in the same manner after pulling the first from the oven.

Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.