13.3.13

Taralli Dolce nidi con Mandorla Uovo di Pasqua (Sweet Taralli nest with Almond Easter Eggs)

It was Simply Food's event  Flavors of Italy  hosted at Divya's Culinary Journey that got me addicted to Italian cooking... and for the past one and a half months whenever i have been in the mood for something special I have wandered the Italian route.. so naturally for Easter  I wanted to cook/bake  something Italiano. and my search yielded a cookie and a cake, two sweet recipes that i really wanted to try. the first one was Taralli Dolci di Pasqua and I'll tell you more about the second once its baked...

Back in February I had baked a version of Sweet Taralli. It was without eggs and it had tasted nice and delicate. but the techniques involved in making those were slightly different. For instance, that recipe did not call for boiling the dough before baking it. so i was keen to try this version out just to see how different these taste... and what i found was that, taste-wise the two do not strike any resemblance. the textures are completely different. the merely baked ones are more cookie like, while this one has a different but lovely texture all together. something that you'll love with your afternoon tea or coffee.. 

Though I usually tend to use egg substitutes in baking, for this set of Taralli I simply followed the ingredient list. Because a note following the recipe said, "eggs are a symbol of fertility and rebirth and so are often present in Easter feast day dishes" and it felt wrong to meddle with the symbolic traditions. and I am actually glad that i did that. the only place where i wandered away from the recipe was in including some fennel seeds in the dough and shaping the Taralli. The fennel seeds were actually a nice touch but I wish I would have followed the instructions for shaping the Taralli. For after boiling some of my Taralli cookies looked pretty deformed, something that you might want to avoid.  

Now over to the recipe of Taralli Dolce nidi con Mandorla Uovo di Pasqua and some snaps that I hope will tempt you to try these out sometime soon....
Adapted Recipe of Taralli Dolci is from here. 
ingredients
3 cups all purpose flour 
1 teaspoons baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
3 large eggs 
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
1/8 cup Cooking Marsala Wine
1/2 cup sugar 
2 tablespoons of Fennel Seeds

for the lemon glaze
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

what i did
  • Along with the baking powder and salt, I sifted the flour and kept the mixture aside on a dinner plate.
  • then in a glass bowl I began beating the eggs. 
  • next i added the oil to it and whisked the 2  together.
  • after the eggs and the oil was well combined I added the Marsala Cooking Wine and whisked some more. 
  • i then added the sugar and fennel seeds to the liquid mixture and whisked.
  • once all the ingredients in the bowl were well combined i gradually folded in the flour a little bit at a time. when the mixture became more dough-like i transferred it to the plate containing the rest of the flour and gradually kneaded it in. I then continued kneading the dough until it was smooth. the recipe asked to knead until the dough was smooth and shiny.. but even after kneading for quite sometime my dough did not look very shiny. so i assumed that the dough should look as "shiny" as mine did and proceeded to the next step, which was to shape the dough into a log, wrap the log in a plastic wrap, place it in a container and let the container rest at room temperature for an hour covered it with a towel.
  • after an hour, i boiled a large pan of water , removed the dough from the container, placed it on my wooden dicing board and cut out 1/2 thick slices of the log. then rolling the dough on the floured wooden board i made long ropes of different thickness. and after shaping the ropes into circles by pinching the ends, i placed 3 taralli  at a time in the boiling pan of water.
  • once the taralli floated up to the surface of the water, i removed them and placed them in a tray while i dropped in another 3 taralli loops in the boiling water and continued the process till all the taralli were boiled. i then moved the boiled sweet taralli into a dry tray and let them air-dry over night. at this point the boiled taralli looked like this...
  • next morning, i preheated the oven to 375 degree F, and in a well greased baking sheet baked the sweet taralli for 25-27 minutes, until they were golden brown. and after cooling them on the baking sheets for a while, when i served the taralli on the table they looked like this..
  • since Mr MN wanted them a little sweeter, so later that day I made a lemon glaze combining the listed ingredients and dipped one side of the Taralli in the glaze and set them to dry for half an hour before chomping one in :)

notes and confessions.
  • in the recipe they had asked to roll the dough slices into 3/4 inch thick, 9 inch long ropes. but i thought deviating a bit would not matter so i did.  but it mattered. so if you are planning to make these try sticking with the recipe at this point.
  • according to the recipe it is sufficient to leave the boiled taralli to air-dry for an hour before baking them. but since it was late and the recipe gave the option of leaving them to air-dry over night I grabbed the later.
  • well, i told you that i liked the fennel seeds in it. but Mr MN thought otherwise. so you can reduce the amount you put or opt it out if you like. some versions of sweet taralli include it and while others don't. so its up to you whether or not the include the fennel seeds.

the Almond Easter eggs..

the almond eggs were an afterthought to make up for the appearance of the Sweet taralli. but they turned out quite well.. so if you like, you can quickly whip up some of these to fill up some tiny gaps in your Easter table... i am sure your family and friends will enjoy these very much..

ingredients
30 Almonds
1/4 cup Nestle Premier White Morsels 
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons of milk
1/3 cup coconut powder 
food coloring (1 used Wilton's blue, red and green Icing colors)

what i did
first of all i spread the coconut powder on a quarter plate and microwaved the morsels along the sugar and milk for 40 seconds. then stirred it with a spoon to make a smooth paste of the morsels, divided the paste into 3 small bowls and added the 1 icing color in each bowl with a toothpick. once the color was uniformly mixed in the morsel paste, i allowed the paste to rest on the counter for about 10-15 minutes. after that i dipped the almonds in them and scooping the color coated almonds with a spoon, put them on the plate with coconut powder. since it was not easy to dredge the coated almonds with the coconut powder immediately, i let them rest on the plate for about 5-7 minutes before rolling them over in the coconut powder and shaping them like eggs. After all the almonds were coated with morsel paste, dredged in coconut powder and shaped like eggs, i let them rest on a plate till they hardened (about 30 minutes) and were ready to be popped in ! 

Hope you enjoyed both recipes as much as i enjoyed presenting them for you... do fill me up with your notes and suggestions. i'll love to hear.

Happy Baking and take care...
nap-time creations



18 comments:

  1. Love these, thanks for joining us at Saturday Dishes. Paula www.callmepmc.com

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  2. This looks so nice and interesting, Tanu.. Perfect treat for easter

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  3. yummy! These look really different and tasty! Thanks for linking up to Tasteful Tuesdays at Nap-Time Creations....You are being featured tomorrow at my spring projects round up. I would love for you to put my featured button on this post :o)
    http://www.nap-timecreations.com/2013/03/springprojects.html

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  4. These look really good Tanu. And the eggs are so beautiful!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Priya. even I like the eggs a lot.

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  5. What great recipe, so fun and colorful!!! By the way, I'm hosting a Link-Up party and would be thrilled if you decided to participate!!!
    http://dcinstyle.com/

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  6. Those look really good............Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!


    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

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  7. Newest follower here! I found you through the blog hop. You have a super cute blog, I can't wait to read more. You can find me at meandmr.com

    -Melanie @meandmr.com

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  8. Delicious sweet easter eggs Tanu. Thanks for sharing Hearth and Soul blog hop.

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  9. Cute treat for Easter.. Lovely colors

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  10. Just wanted to let you know your recipe is featured recipe in Friday Food Frenzy. My grandmother made these every easter had to pick it.... http://www.stayingclosetohome.com/2013/03/spring-has-sprung-in-kitchen-friday.html

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  11. Another interesting techinque that I didn't know Italians used.

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  12. This is a beautiful post and fabulous recipe, you always make everything look delicious! So glad you are on the tour of Italy with Foods of The World. Hope to see you next month when we go to Ireland.
    Happy Travels!
    Miz Helen

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  13. I am book marking this recipe .
    Thank you for sharing and travelling with us to Italy .
    We are going to Ireland next month on 11th .
    Do link your Irish dishes next month .

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  14. never heard of this - one I definitely must try. Pinning it

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Thanks for stopping by. It was nice having you here. Have a good day.

Take care and come back soon.
Best, Tanusree

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