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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Tourrigini - Italian Almond Cookies

This weekend I'm doing my baking for the Troops overseas - I belong to Operation Baking GALS, where, once a month, members send baked goods, candies, etc. to our soldiers in the Middle East. So this month I thought I would try some Italian Almond Cookies or Tourrigini. They are really a soft, sweet biscotti. They should travel well, which is always something to consider as it's so hot over there - no chocolate or delicate crumbly cookies.

They are easier than biscotti as there is no "twice baking" procedure, just forming logs and baking them for 20 minutes at 375 degrees F. Very delicious too, nice and sweet but not jaw breakers like biscotti. I'll wrap them in saran wrap and pack them, ready to go early in the week. I'm also making an old favorite, Molasses Cookies, to go with them. These always turn out very well shaped as they are made with Crisco, which apparently stops the cookies from spreading on the baking tray.

That should fill the box. I hope the troops really enjoy them.

Here are the recipes:

Tourrigini (Italian Almond Cookies)

1 c. brown sugar (packed)
1 c. white sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
4 tsp. water
1/3 c. oil
3 c. toasted almonds (unsalted)

Mix all ingredients together in large mixing bowl. (This batter will be very thick.) Roll into 6 equal strips, approximately 6 inches long by 2 inches wide. Use your hands to form strips on ungreased cookie sheet. Only two strips on each cookie sheet. Leave enough room between each one for growing. Brush each strip with egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool and cut in bias strips about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide.

Molasses Cookies

Heat oven to 350 F. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet.

3/4 cup Crisco (shortening gives a much better shaped cookie than butter in this recipe - I have tried both)
1 cup sugar
1 egg whisked
1/4 cup Grandma's Molasses
pinch of salt (less than 1/4 tsp.)
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves

1. Combine dry ingredients.
2. Cream together Crisco and sugar (about 3-4 mins.) with stand-alone beater.
3. Lightly whisk egg and add to creamed mixture - mix in until just blended.
4. Add molasses.
5. Slowly add dry ingredients.

Use Tbs. cookie scoop (level) and drop batter in balls onto cookie sheet.

Bake for 11-12 minutes - cookies must look a nice bronze/ginger color. Remove from oven and leave on baking sheet for a couple of minutes. Remove to wire cooler.