Spaghetti alla chitarra al pesto di pomodori secchi e mandorle

E’ arrivata l’estate e allora si festeggia portando a tavola piatti colorati e pieni zeppi di verdure! Adoro adattare le mie ricette secondo la disponibilità della verdura di stagione pertanto non c’è nulla, per me, che urli estate come dei bei pomodori maturi e del basilico fresco!

Monitoro il mio orto da oramai più di un mese e mezzo e benché il tempo, quest’anno, non sia stato fra i più favorevoli, comincio piacevolmente a raccogliere i primi frutti. I primi cespi d’insalata, le prime zucchine e non potete capire la mia gioia quando ieri ho trovato il primo piccolo peperoncino!  I pomodori dell’orto però, sono ancora troppo verdi per poterne fare un qualsiasi utilizzo, allora son riuscita a soddisfare la mia voglia d’estate con una piccola scorciatoia.

Ho creato un pesto veloce ma davvero strepitoso con gli ingredienti che avevo in casa: pomodori secchi sott’ olio, mandorle, parmigiano e un po’ di olio d’oliva buono e in pochissimi istanti son riuscita a preparare un primo piatto dal risultato davvero soddisfacente. Una rivisitazione della pasta al pomodoro più cremosa e più gustosa grazie a questo pesto! Perfetto non solo con la pasta ma anche da spalmare sul pane o perché no? Anche come sostituto della semplice passata su una pizza o una focaccia rustica. A voi la scelta!!

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Per 4 persone:

320 g spaghetti alla chitarra di semola di grano duro

220 g pomodori secchi

30 g mandorle pelate

20 g parmigiano grattugiato

qualche rametto di timo

4-5 foglie di basilico

peperoncino fresco (facoltativo)

sale e olio evo q.b.

1) Salate abbondantemente l’acqua della pasta e una volta raggiunto il bollore, fate cuocere gli spaghetti per il tempo indicato sulla confezione.

2) Per il pesto, versate le mandorle e il parmigiano nella ciotola del mixer, azionate il robot per pochi istanti, poi aggiungete i pomodori sgocciolati, una presa di sale e le foglioline di timo e di basilico ( precedentemente lavate e asciugate). Se volete e se vi piace, potete aggiungere anche pochissimo peperoncino fresco, privato dei semini interni ( darà uno sprint maggiore al vostro pesto). Frullate ancora versando l’olio a filo fino ad ottenere la consistenza cremosa di un pesto.

3) Conservate una tazza di acqua di cottura e scolate la pasta al dente. Fate saltare la pasta in padella a fiamma medio-alta con 2 cucchiai di pesto a persona e versate l’acqua di cottura avanzata poco a poco, in modo tale da legare il sugo alla pasta. Servite con qualche foglia di basilico fresco.

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GUITAR SPAGHETTI WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATOES AND ALMONDS PESTO

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Italian food lovers around the world here’s the meal of your dreams, a real taste of Italy and of summer too!

This recipe is a nice twist on a classic Italian dish, namely pasta with tomato sauce. In fact there’s no tomato sauce in these spaghetti, still you get all of the wonderful flavours of tomatoes and basil in this pesto.

Since the freshly homegrown produce of my vegetable garden is not quite done yet I’ve found a loophole to get the same creaminess and yumminess of a tomato sauce with the very few ingredients I had at home. Some sun-dried tomatoes, some almonds and some parmesan and I got a pretty satisfying result, ending up in serving a delicious meal to my family! Try this pesto on some bread or some crostini, it works just as well!

For 4 people:

350 g spaghetti

220 g sun-dried tomatoes

30 g pealed almonds

20 g parmesan

a few sprigs of fresh thyme

4-5 basil leaves

some fresh chilly ( only if you like it)

salt and extravirgin olive oil

1) Add salt to a large pan of boiling water and cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions.

2) Meanwhile prepare your pesto: in a mixer grind the almonds and parmesan together, then add the sun-dried tomatoes, a large pinch of salt, some thyme, some basil leaves and some fresh chilly after removing the internal seeds (leave the chilly out if you want). Blend evething for a few minutes adding enough olive oil, bit by bit, until you get the texture of a pesto.

3) Save a cup of your starchy pasta water and drain the spaghetti “al dente” and toss it in a frying pan with a generous spoonful of pesto for each person. Add some of the pasta water and give it all a good stir, coating the pasta in the lovely sauce. Serve with a little grated parmesan and garnish with some extra basil leaves. I ensure you guests will appreciate! Buon appetito!!

If you liked this recipe, don’t forget to leave a comment below and follow me on  social media, by clicking in the upper right-end corner of my home page. See you there!

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Asparagus tortelli

Pasta is a staple, here in Italy. And learning how to make it has been on my to do’s list for quite some time. My mum tought me how to make the dough and now I’m having fun reproducing the several different pasta shapes existing

Making homemade pasta is a true art, to me.  Every single shape is linked to a specific region of Italy.  Each different shape has its own story behind. This is what fascinates me. Pasta is part of our culture.That’s why I want to keep alive the tradition and make my own pasta.

This recipe in particular, is about a stuffed kind of pasta which was born in Emilia Romagna. I filled them with fresh asparagus because they’re in season but there are plenty of different fillings you could use. Let’s see how to make them!

For 4 portions ( about 40 tortelli):
For the pasta dough:
  • 2 large free range eggs,
  • 100 g durum flour;
  • 100 g plain flour.
For the filling:
  • 190- 200 g asparagus;
  • 4/5 tbsp breadcrumbs;
  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese;
  • salt and pepper to taste,
  • olive oil.

 

1) Peel the asparagus and remove the final ends, then cut them into small chunks and boil them in plenty salty water.

2) Once cooked, drain the asparagus and pop them into a food processor, fitted with steel blades, then add the parmesan, a good splash of olive oil, the bread crumbs ( add some more bread crumbs just in case your asparagus absorbed too much water, in order to get a mixture neither too dry nor too soft). Finally season the filling according to your taste. Put the filling aside and make the pasta dough.

3) For the pasta dough place your flours on a large clean surface, make a well in the centre and break  2 eggs. Start combining the ingredients with a fork, then go on kneading with your hands until you form a dough. Cover it in cling film and let it rest for 15 minutes, so that the gluten can relax.

4) Roll out your pasta dough with a pasta machine or with a rolling pin. You make tortelli by cutting squares out of your rolled pasta dough. Place a teaspoon of filling in the centre of each square, fold each one into a triangle, seal the edges pressing down with your fingers and finally bring the two corners together.

5)Boil them in plenty salty water until they are ” al dente” and toss them in a pan, in which you’ve previously melted about a tablespoon of butter with some sage’s leaves. Serve your tortelli with some freshly ground pepper and a good sprinkle of parmesan. Bon Appétit!

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If you liked this recipe and you’d like to see many more Italian typical dishes, sign up to my website and follow me on social media by clicking in the right upper corner of my home page. The best is yet to come!

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Ricotta and spinaches easter pie

Hi bakers,

wondering what to prepare for the upcoming Easter lunch? Here I am with answers! Here’s the ultimate recipe for an Easter savoury pie that will make your guests gasp!

It’s super easy to make, it can be made ahead of time and it tastes… de-li-cious!!! This makes the best appetizer you could ever dream of. Everybody will ask you how you relized such a funny pattern, even my grandma remained astonished!

The only flaw it has is that it won’t last that long so I suggest you to make two at least, if you have loads of guests.

For about 10 people: 
  • 500 g puff pastry ( feel free to make your own);
  • 500 g frozen spinaches;
  • 300 g ricotta;
  • 100 g grated parmesan cheese;
  • a splash of olive oil;
  • salt and pepper for seasoning;
  • a few basil’s leaves;
  • 2 cloves of garlic;
  •  a beaten egg;
  • sesame or poppy seeds to decorate.
Method:

1) In a large frying pan gently fry your garlic with a generous splash of good olive oil, then add the washed spinaches and cook them over a low heat for about 10 minutes, covering the pan with a lid.

2) Once cooked through, remove the garlic’s cloves and transfer the spinaches into a food processor, add your ricotta, the parmesan, a good drizzle of oil and the basil. Pulse the mixture until nicely blended and season the filling to taste with salt and pepper.

3) Roll out two circles of puff pastry with a diameter of about 30 cm. Set aside one layer of puff pastry, then take the other one and spread the filling with a spatula as you can see in the pictures below. Brush the empty spaces with the beaten egg to make the other layer of pastry stick. Now gently cover with the second layer and press with your fingers in the empty spaces.

4) Cut the pastry in 4, then in 8 , then in 16 and finally in 32 slices (as you can see in the photos). Rotate each slice 90° so that it resembles a sunflower’s petal and make the same for every slice.

5) At the end you should get a nice savoury pie that looks like a flower; brush the pastry with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle some sesame seeds in the middle, if you like. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 392°F and bake it for about 25 minutes. Serve it warm!

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Gluten-free pizza muffins

Hi muffins lovers out there,

how does pizza muffins sound to you? It sounds mouthwatering to me, that’s why I think these savoury muffins won’t let you down! You’ll see that I’m right because they won’t last long in your house. They’re just perfect as cocktail snacks or even better as a bag lunch for the upcoming outdoors spring picnics!

I took inspiration from a nice video by ” in cucina con Meg”  but I’ve changed a bit the recipe, according to my taste and I decided to use cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil to make them taste as pizza.

Furthermore these yummy muffins are totally gluten-free, which means they’re perfect even for those who can’t eat wheat flour. Don’t worry if the ingredients’ list is a bit long but we’re gonna need several things to recreate the structure of plain flour. Now let’s get started!!

For about 12 muffins:
  • 170 g potatoes (boiled and mashed) ;
  • 180 g chickpea flour;
  • 60 g fine corn flour;
  • 70 g buckwheat flour;
  • 1 tsp salt;
  • 100 ml vegetable oil or olive oil;
  • 150 ml milk;
  • 2 large free-range eggs;
  • 10 g baking powder;
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds ( for the texture);
  • 1 tbsp mixed sesame and poppy seeds;
  • 1 tbsp basil pesto;
  • 100 g cherry tomatoes;
  • origan;
  • some fresh basil’s leaves;
  • a celery stick;
  • a finely chopped shallot;
  • 3 tbsp of grated Parmesan;
  • 125 g mozzarella cheese;
  • sunflower and pumpkin seeds for decoration.

 

Method:

1) Boil and peel your potatoes, mash them into a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool down completely.

2) Finely chop your celery and shallot and gently sautè them with a splash of olive oil in a small frying pan until they’re cooked through.

3) Cut  the cherry tomatoes in quarters and season them with salt, black pepper, origan and fresh basil.

4) Add  two eggs to the mashed potatoes and beat the mixture with a whisker, then add the oil, milk, salt, pesto, the chia seeds, the sesame and poppy seeds and the grated Parmesan. Stir everything together and then add in also the celery with the shallot and the cherry tomatoes. Finally sift in all of your dry ingredients and stir again with a wooden spoon until you get a rustic thick batter.

5) Cut out some 10×10 cm parchment paper’s squares and arrange them into your muffin tray( squares will be used as muffin cases but you can use plain cupcake cases, if you prefer), then scoop half of the batter into the muffin cases. Place a cube of mozzarella cheese in the centre of each muffin, then cover them with the rest of your batter. Finish them off with half cherry tomato, a piece of mozzarella, a good dust of origan and a sprinkle of sunflower and pumpkin seeds on top of each one.

6) Preheat your oven to 374°F/ 190 °C/ gas mark 5 and bake your savoury muffins for about 30 minutes. Serve them when they’re still warm and enjoy them!!!:)

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I really hope you liked this recipe and if you did, don’t forget to sign up to my website and to follow me on my Facebook page and on my Instagram account (@gloriaturetta19)!

 

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Monoportion blueberries and white chocolate cheesecakes

Hi bakers,

I can garantee you that today’s recipe will please even the fussiest of eaters. Recently, I’ve been testing recipes for a food contest and I was given 5 ingredients to build a dessert on. Then, all of a sudden, I came up with the idea of this quick no-bake cheesecake in a glass.

It’s easy to make, it takes just 90 minutes and it’s the perfect dessert for the upcoming mild spring days, thanks to its delicate and balanced flavour. My sister approved it pretty quickly and I’m sure your family or your friends will too. I really hope you’ll give it a go!!!

For 4- 5 portions:
For the lemon and almond crumble:
  • 100 g plain flour;
  • 100 g corn flour;
  • 100 g finely ground almonds;
  • 100 g caster sugar;
  • 100 g cold butter;
  • a pinch of salt;
  • the zest of an organic lemon;
  • 1 egg yolk.
For the ricotta mousse:
  • 350 g Italian ricotta;
  • 160 g full-fat cream cheese;
  • 2 tbsp vanilla yoghurt;
  • 100 g white chocolate;
  • 50 ml whipped double cream.
For the blueberry’s compote:
  • 200 g fresh blueberries;
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar;
  • juice of 1 lemon;
  • 1 tsp corn starch,
  • a splash of water.
To decorate:
  • 50 g fresh blueberries;
  • fresh mint;
  • white chocolate curls.
Method:

1) To begin with, place your plain flour, corn flour, ground almonds and the butter in a food processor ( don’t worry,if you want to, you can make the dough by hand) and pulse for a few seconds, then add the zest of the lemon, a pinch of salt, sugar ad finally the egg yolk. At the end, the dough must resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Pour your crumbs in a cake tin, lined with greaseproof paper, and bake it in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F for 30-35 minutes ( the surface must be golden-brown). Once baked, remove from the tin and let it cool down on a wire rack.

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2) To make the compote, wash your fresh blueberries and pop them in a large frying pan, add 3 tbsp of caster sugar, the juice of a lemon and a tsp of corn starch, previously stirred in a splash of water and let the mixture gently simmer over a medium heat for 5 minutes or until the blueberries have broken into pieces.

3) For the cheesecake cream, melt your white chocolate over a double boiler and let it cool down a bit. In the meantime stir your ricotta with the cream cheese and with 2 large tbsp of vanilla yoghurt. Now stir in also the melted chocolate and finally gently fold in the whipped cream.

4) Now scoop 1/3 of the cheese mixture in a small bowl and add 2 spoonful of the blueberry’s compote. Stir until nicely blended.

5) Assemble your dessert in a wine glass or in a small jar: place the crunchy crumble on the bottom, followed by a thin layer of blueberry cheese mixture, a thick layer of white chocolate mixture and finish it off with the blueberries’ compote.

6) Decorate your cheesecake with a few fresh blueberries, some fresh mint and some white chocolate curls. Let it rest in the fridge for an hour before serving.

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With this recipe I take part in the food contest “Neff your soul”! Wish me luck!!!

I hope you liked this recipe and, if you did, don’t forget to sign up to my website and follow me on my Facebook page and on my Instagram account ( @gloriaturetta19). See you very soon!!!

 

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Chocolate and hazelnut kisses

Hi bakers,

Saint Valentine’s day is getting closer and closer and maybe you’ve wondered what you could give as a present to the loved ones in your life. Luckly I have the perfect thing to suggest you.

These easy and quick chocolate kisses were invented in the first decades of the last century by a famous Italian woman, Luisa Spagnoli, who used to sell them wrapped up with a love message. These chocolates became so famous that they spread all over the world and now they’ve become the most perfect gift for St. Valentine’s day! Today I’m going to show you how to make them in 3 easy steps.

I suggest you to arrange the kisses in a nice box, decorate it with a pretty ribbon and a label and get ready to have the most amazing Saint Valentine’s present ever. Your partner is gonna love it!

 

For 15 chocolate kisses:
  • 60 g milk chocolate,
  • 10 g butter;
  • 60 g hazelnut chocolate spread;
  • 60 g finely chopped tosted hazelnuts;
  • 15 whole hazelnuts;
  • 200 dark chocolate;
METHOD:

First step: melt the milk chocolate and the butter on a double boiler; once melted, remove from the heat and stir in both the hazelnut chocolate spread and the finely chopped hazelnuts. Combine all of these ingredients with a spoon, then cover the bowl with some cling wrap and place it in the fridge for an hour or in the freezer for 20 minutes, if you want to speed the whole thing up.

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Second step: once the mixture has turned pretty solid, scoop out small amounts of it and form small balls with the palms of your hands. Arrange these balls on a tray, lined with some greaseproof paper and top each ball with a whole hazelnut, pressing it gently on the surface of the mixture. Allow your chocolates to cool down completely in the fridge for half an hour.

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Third step: melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler and dip the cold kisses in. When nicely covered in chocolate, pull them out with a couple of forks and place them on a cooling rack. You’ll soon start seeing that the dark chocolate sets pretty quickly because of the thermal shock, due to the direct contact with the cold mixture.

Store your chocolates in the fridge before wrapping them up.

EASY CHOCOLATE’S TEMPERING TECHNIQUE:

  1. In order to have a beautifully tempered chocolate you need to melt 150 g of finely chopped dark chocolate and bring it to a temperature of 48-49°C ( you definitely need a chocolate thermometer).
  2. Then remove the chocolate from the heat and add 50 g of coarsely chopped chocolate ( in this phase you want to slowly melt the chocolate , that’s why pieces of chocolate are bigger than before) and check when the chocolate’s temperature lowers to 28-29°C.
  3. Finally transfer the chocolate back to the heat and warm it up until it reaches 30-32°C, which is the ideal chocolate temperature.

Tempering chocolate is essential when you deal with this fantastic ingredient because this specific procedure makes sure the chocolate doesn’t modify its own chimical structure and it makes chocolate easier to work with.

Thanks to this technique you’ll have wonderfully smooth, silky and professional-looking chocolates.

 

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If you liked this recipe, feel free to sign up on my website and to follow me on my Instagram account (@gloriaturetta19) and on my Facebook page. See you soon!:)

 

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Italian vanilla and lemon frittelle

Hi bakers!

In Italy, on this period of the year, we do celebrate Carnival, a crazy festivity which looks a bit like Halloween with the only difference that Carnival lasts days! Children wear funny and colourful costumes and masks, people gather outside to attend stunning parades with floats both representing cartoon characters and satirical giant-sized mock-ups of polititians.

On Carnival we stick to a traditional and reliable sweet treats’ menu too and this recipe is on it!

“Frittelle alla crema”, as we say here in Italy, are made of a lemon batter, enriched by sultanas, which is fried and filled with a lot of vanilla crème pâtissière, a thick and creamy custard. It’s hard for me to find a proper translation in English but I can tell you that they look like fried cream puffs.

If you’ve never neither tasted frittelle nor been to Venice’s Carnival, I suggest you to try them because they’re scrumtious and I bet you’ll fall in love with this recipe!

FOR ABOUT 40 SMALL FRITTELLE:
For the batter:
  • 250 ml water;
  • 50 g butter;
  • a pinch of salt;
  • 150 g plain flour;
  • 50 g corn or potato starch;
  • zest of one organic lemon;
  • 50 g caster sugar;
  • 5- 6 large free-range eggs;
  • 8 g baking powder ( about a tbsp);
  • 100 g sultanas;
  • 1/2 a cup of rhum or marsala wine for soaking;
  • sunflower oil for frying;
  • icing sugar to decorate.
For the crème pâtissière:
  • 1 litre milk;
  • 8 egg yolks;
  • 45 g plain flour (about 2 tbsp);
  • 45 g corn starch (about 2 tbsp);
  • 175 g caster sugar;
  • 1 vanilla pod.
METHOD:

FOR THE PASTRY CREAM:

Pour the milk in a large saucepan, add the vanilla seeds and the vanilla pod as well and warm the milk on a medium heat just until a gentle simmer.

Meanwhile whisk the yolks with sugar until pale yellow and creamy, then whisk in the sifted corn starch and plain flour. Gradually pour the hot milk into the yolk’s mixture, stirring countinuosly to prevent scrambled eggs.

Transfer it back into the saucepan and cook over medium low-heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Once it has a smooth and silky texture, transfer the pastry cream into a heatproof bowl, remove the vanilla pod, sprinkle with some caster sugar and press a piece of cling film directly onto the surface of the creme pat. Let it cool at room temperature, then transfer it into a piping bag, fitted with a medium round nozzle and set aside in the fridge.

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FOR THE BATTER:

In a large pan combine water, butter and a pinch of salt and bring it to the boil over a high heat. Once boiling, remove from the heat and stir in, all in one go, your flour and potato starch, previously sifted to prevent any lumps and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough is formed. Return to the heat and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan. Transfer into a clean bowl and let it cool down for 5 minutes.

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Now add sugar, zest of the lemon and the eggs, one at a time ( you must be sure the previous egg has been completely absorbed before adding the next one) and continue stirring until the mixture is glossy and has a soft dropping consistency ( the number of eggs vary according to the consistency you get: if you have small eggs use 6, if you have large eggs use just 5 of them).

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Add the baking powder just when the batter has cooled down completely and stir in also sultanas, previously soaked in rhum for half an hour.

Scoop the batter with two teaspoons and fry your frittelle in plentiful boiling sunflower oil, which must reach and keep a steady temperature of 175-180°C  throughout the frying (make them small because they’ll swell a lot!). When they’ll be golden- brown( as you can see in the pictures) carefully pull them off and drain them on some kitchen paper.

Make a hole on each one, fill your frittelle with a generous amount of crème pâtissière and dust with a lot of icing sugar. I’m sure you’re gonna love them, as much as I do!

 

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I hope you liked this recipe and if you did, don’t forget to follow me on my Facebook page and on my Instagram account (@gloriaturetta19) !:) Bye!!

 

 

 

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Vanilla pretzel cookies

Hi bakers,

today I want to share with you a really easy shortbread recipe!

I must confess you a secret: I’m a cookie cutters addicted, which means that every time I go shopping, I look for new items to join my already huge collection! Recently, I’ve found the pretzel shape and I was looking forward to trying it!

So, I made these crumbly, tasty, cute biscuits that are ideal to serve with a good cup of tea when you have guests in the afternoon or when you just need some sugar to cheer you up after a busy day!

For about 35-40 pretzel cookies:
  • 250 g plain flour;
  • 125 g cold unsalted butter;
  • 80 g caster sugar;
  • 1 whole egg;
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract;
  • 1 pinch of salt;
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder;
  • cane sugar for decoration.
Method:

First of all, you need to sieve all of your dry ingredients, namely flour, salt and baking powder. Then chop the cold butter into tiny cubes and rub it into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Now add the sugar, the vanilla extract and finally the lightly beaten egg and knead just until all the ingredients come together and you get a smooth dough ( don’t overknead this pastry otherwise the cookies will be tough and not crumbly, as they are supposed to be!). Wrap the pastry in cling film and let it chill in the fridge for a quarter of an hour.

Once yor dough has chilled, roll it out with a rolling pin and cut the pretzel cookies out ( if you don’t have a pretzel cookie cutter, don’t worry! You can use any cookie cutter you prefer). Lightly brush each cookie with a bit of egg white and sprinkle the cane sugar on top of each. Arrange your little vanilla pretzels on a tray, previously lined with some parchment paper.

Preheat your oven to 350°F/ 180°C and bake them for about 10-12 minutes until golden-brown on surface. Let them cool down a bit before serving them or store them in a air-tight container.

These cookies are best enjoyed with a cup of warm tea and they keep for up to 1-2 weeks but I’m sure they won’t last that long!:)

For other recipes , sign up on my website and  follow me on my Facebook page and my Instagram account!:)

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Chocolate chip nutella cookies (English version)

Dear readers,

I love cookies and everything else coming out of an American bakery! If you’re not afraid of calories, you’re ready for this ultimate chocolaty gooyness! I found this recipe, searching the net and the only thing I can say is that I’ve fallen in love with it, ever since I tried it.

Chocolate chip cookies are gorgeous and than I thought….what if I filled them with nutella? The result? A match made in heaven: the flavours of dark chocolate and nutella combine perfectly together!

Furthermore this is an easy peasy recipe that you can make just in half an hour! Let’s see how to make it!:)

For about 20 medium cookies:
  • 250 g plain flour;
  • 100 g soft unsalted butter;
  • 100 g caster sugar ( or if you want 50 g caster sugar plus 50 g brown sugar);
  • 2 medium eggs;
  • 1 tbsp baking powder ( 5 g);
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda;
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract;
  • 1 pinch of salt;
  • 125 g dark chocolate chips;
  • 50 g roughly chopped hazelnuts ( optional);
  • nutella q.b.

 

Method:

Whisk together butter and sugar with an electric whisker until creamy ( you could do this with a free-stand mixer too!), then add the eggs, one at a time and continue stirring until well incorporated.

Aside, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Place all of your dry ingredients into the wet ones and add the vanilla extract. Stir with a wooden spoon until you get a soft dough.Last but not least add also the chocolate chips and your hazelnuts and blend the mixture evenly. Now cover your dough in cling film and let it chill in the fridge for about half an hour.

Once your dough has chilled, make 20 small balls and flatten each one with the palm of your hand, giving it a circular shape. Now place a large teaspoon of nutella (be generous with the filling) in the middle of the cookie dough and close the ends, forming a ball again. Arrange your cookies in a tray, lined with baking parchment, leaving some room between each other because they’ll spread.

Preheat your oven to 350°F/180°C. Just pop the tray inside and bake for about 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

Let them cool down and serve them, still warm or store them in an airtight jar. These cookies are a real treat, they’re crisp on the outside and moist on the inside, just as American cookies should be!

I hope you’ll give this recipe a go and if you do, don’t forget to leave me a comment below or on my Facebook page! SEE YOU SOON!<3

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Tear ‘n’ share savoury bread

Happy New Year to all of you!!!:)

Today’s recipe is something absolutely gorgeous; a super soft and fluffy milk bread, perfect for any occasion. You just have to arrange small buns one next to each other in a large cake tin; once baked through your guests will only have to tear their own piece up and enjoy it. I served this to my family on New Year’s Eve and they have been delighted.

I love this recipe because it’ s really versatile: since it’s a stuffed bread, you can fill it with whichever ingredient you like the best: I’ve chosen a good Italian mozzarella cheese, ham, mushrooms and origan but you could choose other types of cheese, basil pesto or even grilled vegetables.

This bread is a real treat for your eyes and for your mouth too! The smell is so good that it seems it has just come out of a bakery’s oven! Try it and tell me if I’m wrong!:)

For about 10 people
For the dough:
  • 550 g strong white bread flour;
  • 230 ml milk;
  • 20 g caster sugar;
  • 2 tsp salt;
  • 1 medium free-range egg;
  • 50 ml olive oil;
  • 5 g dry yeast ( the one which comes in satchets but if you can’t find it, feel free to use 16 g of fresh yeast).
For the filling:
  • 100 g ham;
  • 2 mozzarella cheese;
  • 50 g canned  mushrooms;
  • origan.
For the brushing:
  • 1 egg yolk;
  • a splash of milk.
Method:

In a large mixing bolw put the sifted flour, the sugar,  the salt on one side of the bowl and the yeast on the opposite side, otherwise the salt will deactivate the yeast. Now pour in the milk (which must be warm, about body temperature), the egg and the oil and stir all the ingredients with a spoon or a fork to combine. Once your dough starts coming together, transfer it on a clean work surface, which you will have previously lightly greased with a splash of oil to prevent sticking, and start kneading it until you get a smooth and elastic dough.

Place it in the bowl again and cover it in cling film. Now let it rise for at least 2 hours ( it seems a long time but the yeast needs to do his job!) in a warm place. Meanwhile prepare your filling: dice both the ham and the mozzarella cheese, put them in a small bowl and add mushrooms and a sprinkle of origan in order to season the whole thing. Stir the filling gently.

Once your dough has doubled in size, divide it into 20- 25 pieces. Roll each one out with a rolling pin, giving it a circular shape, and  place in the middle a spoonful of your filling. Then, make a small ball, pinching the dough at the bottom of the ball. Arrange the buns in a lined cake tin with a diameter of about 28-30 cm. Cover the tin with a damp tea towel and prove it for 1 hour. Beat the egg yolk with the milk and brush the bread with this mixture in order to have a polished and golden-blown colour at the end.

Preheat your oven in a convection mode at 160°C/320°F and bake your tear ‘n’ share bread for 25-30 minutes.

Here you have it! A delicious appetizer for any dinner or party!:)

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