I Monaci di Nonna Rita

I Monaci... traditional Christmas cookies from Puglia as made by Nonna Rita originally from Mola di Bari.


I Monaci di Nonna Rita

Ingredients

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
 
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Directions

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  1. For the Monaci:
    1. 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.
    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 minutes.
  2. Nonna Rita Tribuzio
  3. Prepare the Icing:
    1. Once all the cookies have been baked and cooled off you can put icing on them.
    2. In a bowl, add all your icing ingredients and mix them well.  The icing will be very soft.
    3. With a brush or your finger, put some icing on each cookie and let them dry.
    4. Once they all dry, they are ready to be served.
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Reviews

5
Thursday, 14 December 2017
This recipe comes just in time for Christmas! Thank you nonna Rita! - Nonna Antoinette


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