Italian cookies are difficult to make. If you have an Italian grandma, you know. It’s labor intensive, sometimes can take many, many expensive ingredients, but man o man, the outcome are delicious little pieces of heaven!
One of my favorite Italian cookies are called TuTu’s. They originate from Sicily. Many times the cultural and food influences of Sicily combine influences of Greece, Arab and Roman cultures– bringing together an amazing blend of tastes in Sicilian foods. In TuTu’s it combines dark cocoa, string espresso, cinnamon, and nuts to make these little round bites of perfection.
Here is a recipe that comes very close to something you will find in the bakeries throughout Sicily!
2 sticks of butter 1/2 cup of brown sugar 1/ t of baking soda 3 eggs, beaten 1 tsp vanilla 4 cups of flour 1/4 cup of strong brewed coffee 3/4 cup of white sugar 1 t of baking powder 1/4 t salt 1/2 cup of cocoa 1/2 t cinnamon 1/2 cup of finely chopped nuts– I like walnuts.
1. Cream butter and sugars 2. Mix in the eggs and the vanilla, then the coffee 3. Combine 1 cup of the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cocoa. Stir into the butter-sugar-egg-coffee mixture. 4. Add the rest of the flour and nuts slowly, stirring after each addition until you have a tacky dough. Usually about 3-3.5 cups is about right. 5. Make walnut sized rounds with your hands and place on cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes– Do not over bake! 6. Frost with the chocolate frosting (recipe below) Chocolate Frosting: 1. Combine 2.5 cups powdered sugar and 1/2 cup cocoa. 2. Add vanilla (1/2 t to 1 t) and stir in enough brewed coffee and/or hot water to get frosting to the consistency you like. Less liquid makes a fudgier frosting; more liquid makes a thinner glaze.