Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pignoli Cookies

Ready to go in the oven...

Old Italian Wives' Tale: If pregnant woman craves something and asks you to make it and you don’t, the baby will be born with a birthmark resembling the food she craved. Yikes! So when my daughter Danielle, who is pregnant with my third grandchild, asked me to make pignoli cookies, I had no choice but to make a big batch. The recipe comes from my friend Doreen.  I tell everyone that it’s such a process but really it’s not; I just want them to put me on a pedestal when I show up with the cookies.  They’re always a big hit. And now I can rest easy knowing my grandchild won't have a birthmark that looks like a pine nut!Lisa

This recipe makes 3 dozen cookies. I always double it.

You'll need:
12 oz almond paste
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
4 egg whites
1 ½ cups pine nuts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with foil and coat lightly with Pam cooking spray.

In a food processor, mix the granulated sugar and almond paste until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar and 2 egg whites. Process until smooth.

In bowl, whisk the remaining 2 egg whites. Place the pine nuts in a shallow dish.  Flour your hands lightly and roll the dough into one-inch balls. Coat the balls in the egg whites, shaking off the excess, and roll in the pine nuts. Put the balls on the cookie sheets and flatten them slightly to about 1 ½ inches.

Bake for about 18 minutes or until they are lightly browned. Let cool and transfer to a wire rack.  Sprinkle the cooled cookies with some additional confectioners' sugar. 

When your all done baking, sprinkle some flour on  your face to make it look like you’ve been slaving in the kitchen all day, then serve.

Buon Natale!

The finished product! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hilary's Tzatziki Sauce

You'll need:
1 container (8 ounces) plain Greek yogurt. The brand Fage is recommended.
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 large seedless cucumber, peeled and diced 
1 tsp chopped dill
Juice from ¼ of a lemon

Combine the cucumber, yogurt, garlic, EVOO, dill and lemon juice in food processor. Add a pinch of salt and pepper for taste and blend.

Remove from processor refrigerate to chill. Makes 4 servings.

Hilary's Tzatziki sauce is perfect in chicken wraps!