Sunday, March 31, 2013

tarrale--Italian Easter Cookies

This is a recipe from Andy's family, the Cervasio and Sorace families. They immigrated from Calabria.
Andy said his mother and his grandmother made these cookies every Easter.

1 1/4 sticks of butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Mix. When creamed, add 6 eggs, two at a time.

Sift together and add:
5 1/4 cups white flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix, then turn onto counter and knead for a bit.
Mound then cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Pull off a piece the size of a small egg. Roll into a rope between your palms, then place on parchment lined baking sheet, coiling the dough.
Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Remove from sheet and let cool on rack.

When cool, ice with powdered sugar mixed with either lemon juice or water with a drop of vanilla.
I like to ice twice to give a thicker coat, and sprinkle with a bit of lemon zest if doing the lemon, or with nonpareils if using the vanilla icing.

This makes about 50 cookies, or 40 if Andy keeps sneaking the dough.

I love these portraits--taken in New York during the Mad Men days of the 1960s

Andy's grandmother, Catherine Sorace Cervasio. Born in New York City. Worked as a bookkeeper. Our Eve Catherine is named for her, as were Andy's mother and sister.
Andy's grandfather, Andrew Cervasio. Born in Italy, emigrated to New York at age seven. Served in WWI as a coal tender on troop ships. Attended the University of Michigan for engineering and became a construction estimater. Andy is named for his grandfather.