Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Torcettini di Saint Vincent ~Sugar Crusted Twisted Cookies from the Valle d’Aosta | We Knead to Bake # 4

Torcettini di Saint Vincent
I was a bit amused and happy when I saw this month's bake at 'We knead to bake!'.It was not a bread but a cookie which involved the same process of baking a bread-yeasted dough,rising and prooving but a cookie,not a bread.As always,this almost seems like a pattern now,I was among the last ones to try it in the group.I don't know why I kept delaying,this is one easy recipe and a delicious one at that too.

Torcettini are smaller versions of Torcetti (meaning small twists), and these pear/ teardrop shaped twists are made of a dough of flour, yeast and butter which are shaped and then rolled in sugar before being baked. These biscuits are synonymous with the town of Saint Vincent in Valle d'Aosta, a small mountainous region in North-Western Italy, even though they’re well known throughout the Piedmont region as well.(source Aparna)
I chucked the food processor this time and made the dough with hand since the quantity was little.The dough came together very well,silky smooth and shiny and puffed up quite well too.I baked two batches simultaneously in the Microwave as well as the OTG and the only visible difference is the colour.The ones in the OTG have crisped up and browned well than the ones in the MW.I love the taste of the browned cookies with an extra bite to it,so kept the MW batch in the OTG on the broil mode for 2-3 minutes and voila,got the same look and texture.

The cookies are a bit puffy with a soft interior and a lovely brown crust.Reminded me of those little heart biscuits though these are way less sweet.They pair well with cold milk,hot chocolate,coffee or tea are a delicious served warm.
Torcettini di Saint Vincent
Torcettini di Saint Vincent
Recipe source - Aparna ; (Adapted from A Baker’s Tour by Nick Malgieri)


Ingredients

1/2 cup warm water, about 110F
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or 1 tsp instant yeast)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp lime/ lemon zest (replace with orange zest for the chocolate version)
40gm unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
about 1/3 cup sugar for rolling the cookies


Preparation


Torcettini di Saint Vincent 
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, in a small bowl and keep aside.
Torcettini di Saint Vincent 
Put the flour and the salt in the food processor bowl (or a largish regular bowl if kneading by hand) and pulse a couple of times to mix. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the butter is well mixed and the flour-butter mixture looks powdery.
Torcettini di Saint Vincent 
Add the lime zest and work into the flour using your fingertips.
Add the yeast-water mixture and pulse till it all comes together as a ball. Do not over process or knead. Place the ball of dough in a oiled bowl, turning it so it is well coated with the oil. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise quite a bit.
Torcettini di Saint Vincent 
This dough does not really double in volume, but it should look “puffy” after about an hour or so. When you pinch off a bit from the top you can see the interior looking a bit like honeycomb. Press down the dough and deflate it, wrap it in cling warp and refrigerate it for at least one hour or up to 24 hours.
Torcettini di Saint Vincent 
When ready to make the cookies, take the dough out and lightly roll it out into an approximately 6” square. If the dough feels sticky, scatter a little sugar on it. Using a pizza wheel cut the dough into four strips of equal width. Cut each strip into 6 equal pieces, by cutting across, making a total of 24 pieces. The measurements are not very critical in this part because this just makes it easier to have 24 equal sized bits of dough, as compared to pinching of bits of the dough.
Torcettini di Saint Vincent 
Roll each piece into a pencil thick “rope” about 5” long. Sprinkle a little sugar on your work surface and roll the “rope” in it so the sugar crusts the dough uniformly. Form the “rope” into a loop crossing it over before the ends.
Place the Torcettini on parchment lined baking sheets, leaving 1 1/2" between them. Leave them for about 20 minutes or so till they rise/ puff up slightly. Torcettini di Saint Vincent 
Don’t worry, they will not “puff up” much.
Bake them at 160C (325F) for about 25 minutes till they’re a nice golden brown. Cool the cookies completely, on a rack. Store them in an air-tight container at room temperature. This recipe makes 24 biscuits. 
Torcettini di Saint Vincent
Yeastspotted

Crispy and crunchy cookies which taste great on their own,If you like chocolate flavored torcettini,remove 2 tbsp all purpose flour and add 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder and proceed with the recipe.Skip the lemon zest and add oranze zest along with instant coffee powder for added flavor.


12 comments :

  1. Cookies look simply delicious and mouthwatering. Excellent preparation.
    Deepa

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  2. Even when I saw the pic first, thought it was a bread recipe, but when I read the write-up, it is just amazing. is it crunchy or soft? looks too good. very very nice clicks.

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  3. Super cute cookies ! Loved the shape !

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  4. Ohh my.....these are luking just like Brittania "Little Hearts"....I'm drooling..!!!

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  5. Ohhh my....these are luking just like Brittania "Little Hearts"....yummm...I'm drooling!!

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  6. Wow, so tempting, loved the sugar sprinkle on top, yum yum :)

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  7. Beautifully done, torcettini looks damn attractive.

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  8. Absolutely delicious. Looks amazing!

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  9. This receipe looks very delicious, I had myself tried this receipe twice. But only problem is that the top layer doesn't brown at 25 mins. I had to keep it further for baking for another 20 mins to brown these cookies. Can you please let me know what would have gone wrong ?

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  10. thanks for sharing this amazing recipe. the cookies came out prefect.

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Love,
Divya.

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