I Monaci di Nonna Rita
I Monaci... traditional Christmas cookies from Puglia as made by Nonna Rita originally from Mola di Bari.
For 5 Dozen(s)
External Chocolate Dough:
- 1 pound all purpose flour
- 3 1/2 ounces sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 tablespoon bitter cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 lemon zested
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon clove powder
- 1 1/2 cups Vin Cotto
Internal Pasta Reale:
- 1/2 pound raw almonds
- 1/4 pound sugar
- 1 lemon zested
- 1/4 teaspoon anise extract
- 2 egg whites
- pinch cinnamon
For the Icing:
- 1/2 pound powder sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 2 drops anise extract
- For the Monaci:
- As a first step, prepare the Internal Pasta Reale. Boil the almonds and remove the peel. Once the almonds are cold and somewhat dry, put them in a food processor or a blender and chop them finely.
- Put the chopped almonds in a bowl, add the lemon zest, a pinch of cinnamon, the sugar and the egg whites. Mix until the egg whites dilute the sugar and the mixture becomes a paste. Set aside.
- Now prepare the External dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer, put all the ingredients of the external dough and mix them all very well.
- The ball of dough you obtain will be rather soft, so add a little flour to help you remove it from the mixer and put is aside.
- On a wooden board, take a chunk of the external dough and with a rolling pin, flatten it longways about 2 1/2" wide and 1/4" thick. Cut around the edges to make the dough straight and even on all sides.
- Deposit at the center a line of the internal dough of about 1" wide and 1/2" thick. Enclose the internal dough with external dough so that it looks like a tube. Flatten the dough with your hands and with a sharp knife, cut it diagonally every 1" to get your cookies.
- Put all your cookies on a baking sheet and bake them at 350F for 20 minutes.
- Nonna Rita Tribuzio
- Prepare the Icing:
- Once all the cookies have been baked and cooled off you can put icing on them.
- In a bowl, add all your icing ingredients and mix them well. The icing will be very soft.
- With a brush or your finger, put some icing on each cookie and let them dry.
- Once they all dry, they are ready to be served.
This recipe comes just in time for Christmas! Thank you nonna Rita! - Nonna Antoinette