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Cooking with Nonna Dinner at Gran Caffe L'Aquila - Philadelphia


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I Monaci di Nonna Rita

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Created by Nonna Rita,
Average User Rating (out of 4)vote imagevote imagevote imagevote image / 4 1 Users Voted

I Monaci... traditional Christmas cookies from Puglia as made by Nonna Rita originally from Mola di Bari. your social media marketing partner
Related Recipes:
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Key Ingredients
Difficulty Level
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60 cookies
  • Key Ingredient: Vin Cotto (Get some HERE!)

  • External Chocolate Dough:
  •  1 Lb Flour
  • 3 1/2 Oz Sugar
  • 1 Tbs Olive oil
  • 1 Tbs Milk
  • 1 Tbs Bitter Cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Baking powder
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp Clove powder
  • 1 1/2 Cups Vin Cotto
  • Internal Pasta Reale:
  •  1/2 Lb Raw almonds
  • 1/4 Lb Sugar
  • Zest of 1 small lemon
  • 1/4 Tsp Anice extract
  • 2 Egg whites
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Lb Powder sugar
  • 2 Tbs Cocoa powder
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2-3 Drops of Anice extract


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  1. As a the 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Put all your cookies on a baking sheet and bake them at 350F for 20 Mins.
  8. Prepare the Icing:
  9. Once all the cookies have been baked and cooled off you can put icing on them.
  10. In a bowl, add all your icing ingredients and mix them well.  The icing will be very soft.
  11. With a brush or your finger, put some icing on each cookie and let them dry.
  12. Once they all dry, they are ready to be served. your social media marketing partner
Additional Tips
Review by Nonna Antoinette , Saturday, 15 November 2014 vote imagevote imagevote imagevote image
This recipe comes just in time for Christmas! Thank you nonna Rita! your social media marketing partner