Showing posts with label Italian Cookies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italian Cookies. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How to Make ANGINETTI - Italian Lemon Cookies for Easter by author Cleo Coyle

In my big Italian family, these light lemony cookies with a sweet glaze often made their appearance during the holidays. With colorful sprinkles added, anginetti make wonderful cookies for Easter. The bright lemon flavor is perfect for welcoming spring, and because the dough can be formed into many traditional shapes, the cookies are fun to make with children. Even the littlest ones will be able to add the colored sprinkles...

FYI - These colorful sprinkles (nonpareils) are what make these cookies especially popular for Italian weddings. And if you've ever been to an Italian wedding, then you know about the cookie table. In my family, those tables were always piled high with homemade specialties from cousins, aunts, mothers, and grandmothers of the bride and groom.

As for the anginetti, the sprinkles evoke the longstanding wedding tradition of giving guests almonds coated with hard-sugar shells as favors. Because almonds have a bittersweet taste, they represent the truth of married life, but the sugarcoating represents the hope that the newlyweds' life will be more sweet than bitter. 

May these cookies add
little sweetness to your life...

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
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Cleo Coyle's Anginetti
Italian Lemon Cookies

This recipe is very close to one made by my beloved late aunt Mary. I've mentioned Aunt Mary on this blog in other recipe posts. She was born in Italy, and she helped my mother raise me and my sister, Grace.

For years, I was her little assistant cook, and I always think of her with love whenever I make a recipe she taught me.

My beloved aunt,
Mary Capaccio

Buona Pasqua, Aunt Mary, 
I miss you and love you!

May you all have a

happy Easter season...

~ Cleo
CLICK HERE to download this
recipe as a 
free PDF document
that you can 
print, save, or share.

Cleo Coyle's Anginetti
(Glazed Italian Lemon Cookies)

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup white granulated sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest (grated from rind, no white pith)

1/8 teaspoon table salt (about two pinches)

3 large eggs (lightly whisked with fork)

1/4 cup whole milk

4 teaspoons baking powder

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 

Step 1 – Make your dough: Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in the vanilla and lemon extracts, lemon zest, and salt. 
Add the eggs and beat for a full minute until light and fluffy. Add the milk and baking powder and beat for another 30 seconds. Finally, blend in the flour, but take care not to over-mix at this stage or you will develop the gluten and your cookies will be tough. The dough will be soft and sticky. Be sure to chill the dough at least 1 hour—cold dough is easier to work with. AND use flour-dusted hands when working with the dough. If storing overnight, take out dough, pat into a disc and tightly wrap in plastic.

Step 2 – Bake: Preheat your oven to 350 F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon sheets or lightly coat surface with non-stick spray. Use floured hands to work with your sticky dough. Break off pieces and form into one or more of these classic shapes. 

For lemon drops, simply roll pieces of dough into 1-inch balls. 

For love knots, roll pieces of dough between palms to form ropes. Tie the ropes into small knots. Again, be sure to pre-chill the sticky dough and use flour-dusted hands when working with it.

For rings, form the ropes into circles instead and press ends together. If needed, use a drop of water to act as glue.

Bake about 10 to 15 minutes.

NOTE: Do not overcook. The cookies will not brown on top, so look for a light golden browning on the bottoms. See my photo. Baking time of 10 to 15 minutes will vary, depending on your oven. For mine it's 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool before glazing and decorating.

Step 3 – Make the glaze: 
Into a bowl sift 2 cups powdered sugar. In a separate, small bowl place 4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (you should be able to extract this from 1 large lemon). Add 2 teaspoons pure lemon extract and 2 teaspoons water

Add the lemon juice mixture to the sifted confectioners’ sugar. Fork-whisk until the glaze reaches the consistency you wish. If the glaze is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar. If too thick, add a bit more water and blend until smooth.

(See my photos to help you gauge how
 the glaze on the cookies should look.)

TO GLAZE COOKIES: Dip the tops of cooled cookies into the glaze, turn once or twice, then lift, letting the extra glaze drip off. Allow the cookies to sit on a rack undisturbed until the glaze sets (about 15 minutes). Sprinkles must be added while the glaze is still wet. Again, allow the glaze to dry before serving.
download this recipe as a
free PDF document that you can
print, save, or share, and...

Stay Cozy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How to Make ANGEL WINGS aka ITALIAN BOW TIE COOKIES by Cleo Coyle #ChristmasCookies

These delicious, crunchy-sweet cookies, widely known as Angel Wings, brought back many fond memories for our readers when I first posted about them. With Christmas only a few weeks away, please enjoy this re-post of one of my favorite holiday recipes.

* * * * * * * * *

Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries
Many cultures have a version of these crunchy-sweet fried cookies whether they're dusted with powdered sugar or finished with a drizzle of warm honey. The Polish version is called chrusciki. In Hungary, they are called csöröge. In France, bugnes lyonnaises. In the Ukraine, they're called verhuny.

In Italy, they are known by many names, depending on their region and their shape. In Piedmont, they are bugie (lies); in Lombardy chiacchiere (gossips); in Rome frappe; in Veneto galani or crostoli, and in Tuscany they have three different names cenci (rags); guanti (gloves) and fiocchetti or fiocchi (bows).

My Aunt
Mary Capaccio
While these cookies are traditionally enjoyed during Carnivale in Italy, here in the United States, my family and many other Italian-Americans enjoy them at Christmas and Easter. We also make them for weddings; and if you've ever been to an old-school Italian wedding, then I don't have to tell you about the mountains of cookies on trays provided by cousins, aunts, and grandmothers.

As a little girl, I felt very special when my beloved aunt Mary allowed me to help her with the "bow tie" making process in our family basement. Aunt Mary is gone now, and I miss her very much, but I think of her often, especially when I make these cookies. The smells, tastes, even the sounds bring back our time together in that chilly basement and the warmth of her spirit as she lovingly taught me how to fry up these festive treats.

And so this post is for her...
and for you!

May you cook with love 
and eat with joy, 
~ Cleo

Cleo Coyle's

Italian Bow Tie Cookies 

(aka Angel Wings)


To download this recipe 
in a PDF document 
(with step-by-step photos) 
that you can print, save, 
or share, click here.

Italian Bow Tie Cookies
"Angel Wings" by Cleo Coyle

Makes about 4 dozen cookies


1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (+ ½ cup more for kneading and rolling) 
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt (or 1/8 teaspoon table salt) 
2 large eggs 

4 tablespoons water (*see my note below) 
6 tablespoons butter melted and cooled
  (the melted butter must cool a bit or you'll cook the eggs)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract (or 2 teaspoons lemon zest) 
1 egg white for "gluing" the bows

*Note on the water: While my family uses water in this recipe, some bakers use alcohol instead. If you like, you can replace all or part of the 4 tablespoons of water with alcohol. Options include grappa, wine, brandy, Marsala, rum, anisette, and whiskey. 


Step 1 – Make the dough: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and water very well. Add the melted (and cooled!) butter and whisk again. Finally whisk in the pure vanilla extract and lemon extract. (The lemon extract may curdle your mixture a bit, but continue whisking and you should be able to blend it smooth.) Now stir in the flour mixture that you set aside, a little at a time until a dough forms. 

Step 2 – Knead the dough: At this point, the dough should be formed but very wet and sticky. Using your hands, knead in the remaining ½ cup of flour, a little at a time, to rid the dough of stickiness. You want the dough to be soft and smooth and relatively dry, but be careful not to over-knead it. After a minute or two of kneading, you should be ready to roll—literally! (Note: I find a short resting period for the dough makes it easier to work with. If you have the time, allow it to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. You can use the time to clean up your kitchen. :))

Step 3 – Roll out the dough: On a well-floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to a thin layer—the thinner your layer, the crispier your cookies! You can even use a pasta rolling machine to do this job if you have one. 

Step 4 – Slice dough into ribbons: After the dough is rolled flat, you’re ready to cut. A fluted roller is traditional, and although I have one, I’m using a pizza cutter in my photos because most US kitchen have one. First neaten up the edges of the ragged dough by creating a large rectangle. Then slice the dough into long strips 1-1/2 to 2-inches wide. Slice these strips crosswise to get ribbons of about 4-inches in length. 

FYI - This rectangle of 24 ribbons represents half the amount
of the entire recipe. In other words, roll out a second rectangle
of another 24 ribbons and you've got your 4 dozen cookies.
OR you can wrap the other half of the dough in plastic
and save it in the refrigerator for another day.
Step 5 – Form ribbons into bows: Place a bit of egg white in the center of each small strip—this will act as glue. Pinch the centers together to form a bow. To really secure it, I fold that pinch over one more time; otherwise, it may release during frying. 

Step 6 - Fry the bows in hot oil (see a few tips below). Use a slotted spoon to scoop them out and allow them to drain on paper towels. While still warm, generously dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar on both sides, or drizzle with warm honey.

Cleo's tips for frying: 

* Rather than a deep pot, I like to use a large skillet for frying the cookies. I fill it with only about 1-1/2 to 2 inches of oil, and this works wonderfully (see my photos). Using the smaller amount of oil allows me to change the oil more often during the cooking process. Keeping the oil clean is important to the taste and look of the final cookies.

* Be sure the oil is hot enough before you begin frying. A small drop or two of water should sizzle and dance on the oil. If it doesn’t, keep heating. 

* Test the oil with a small piece of the cookie dough. The dough should not sink for more than a few seconds. It should very quickly inflate in the oil and rise to the top. If it does not, again, your oil is not hot enough. Continue heating or turn the heat up a bit.

* You are watching for the cookies to puff up, float to the top of the oil, and fry up to a light golden brown and not dark brown. This distinction makes a big difference in taste and texture. Flip them once or twice. Don’t overcook them. * When the oil begins to turn brown and shows lots of sediment, it’s time to change it. Dispose of all the oil, wipe out the pan, begin a new batch with completely fresh oil and...

* * * * * * * *

Free recipe PDF
Click here to download
the free PDF of this recipe.

* * * * 

Photo Strip for Pinterest

* * *

Eat with joy! 

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
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