Friday, December 30, 2011


The end of the year, WOW!!!!.....It's been cold outside and I thought I would make Taralli.  They go great with wine as a munchie and are so easy to make.  You will need a scale for this recipe.  These are very typical from Puglia, Italy,and other regions as well.   They are in most bakeries in Italy.  You can make these with hot pepper, black pepper or fennel seeds.

You will need:

A scale that does metric
Oven paper (parchment paper)
500g Farina '00'(this is Italian flour), if you can't find this, use all-purpose flour
200 ml dry white wine
125 ml extra virgin olive
10 g salt
2 sheet pans (cookie sheet)
clean dish towels
Large pot of boiling water

You can add black pepper or red pepper or fennel seeds


1.  Preheat oven to 400F (200C).
2.  Mix the flour, olive oil, wine and salt in a stand up mixer.  Mix till it forms a nice ball.
3.  Remove and work the dough just a little, then place into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes.
4.  Cut a piece off the ball and roll it into a log, then cut into small pieces.  Roll the pieces out then fold and pinch the ends together into rounds and place onto the sheet pan with the clean dish towel.
5.  As the water is at a simmer, almost a boil, add about 10 of the taralli's when then float remove and place on the towel, continue till they are all done.  
6. Place the taralli's onto the parchment paper and place into the oven, bake about 30 minutes, you want them a little brown.

These are wonderful with wine.  Taralli's are the Italian version of pretzels


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cherry Tomatoes stuffed with Chèvre Cheese

I have been playing with different ideas for appetizers, and when I saw these Tomatoes in the Market, I just did it!  I have stuffed smaller tomatoes, but when I saw these, I thought this is it.
Really easy  and any cheese will do, I used chèvre with a little extra virgin olive oil and chives. YUM!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies with Almonds

It's the holiday time of the year and time to make cookies and things.  So, I decided to try some peanut butter cookies, found this recipe and decided to make them.  I usually don't bake that often except for my Mom's Pizzelle's, however, these are wonderful and easy to make.  You will need a scale to weigh out the ingredients.

Here is what you will need.

Non-stick oven paper (parchment), sheet pans (cookie sheet pan)
100 g unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
140 g peanut butter, use the natural peanut butter with nothing but peanuts for an ingredient
220 g brown sugar
1 egg
185 g all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon carbonate of (baking soda), sifted
whole almonds, for decorating

Preheat oven to 180 C.  Put the but softened butter, peanut butter, vanilla and brown sugar in a mixer and beat for 8 - 10 minutes or until well combined.  Add the eggs and beat till pale and fluffy.  Add the sifted flour and bicarbonate of soda and beat until smooth.  Get two pieces of non-stick parchment paper, and roll out the dough to 5 mm (0.2 inches), refrigerate for about 30 minutes.  With a 7 cm (3 inch) round cookie cutter, cut out about 20 cookies.  Place the cookies on lightly greased parchment, leave room for the cookies to spread.  Place almonds on top of the cookies to decorate and bak about 14 min, or until the edges are golden.
Cool on wire racks.   Makes about 20 -22 cookies.....YUM!!!