Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Italian Sesame Cookies

Yes, I know I have the wrong holiday! These Italian Sesame Cookies are also known as Biscotti Di Regina and are usually served at Christmas time. But I wanted another quick and easy cookie recipe and I also wanted to use some of the sesame seeds I had and not yet used so...this is it.
I watched the video of this recipe being made and decided it looked like a good choice.

The way in which it's put together is a bit unusual, placing the dry in the mixing bowl first, then adding the butter and vanilla. Seemed a bit backwards, but it did come out fine. Had I not watched the video, I would have had my doubts!
I made the first batch of cookies the way it was shown in the video but then I decided to make another batch forming the cookies in more of a log shape, which to me are more typical of this type of cookie.
I also found I had to bake them longer than the recipe said, although this may have just been my oven.( But I'm convinced I'll always have oven issues!). I took the first batch out too soon and they were a little too soft inside so let them get a nice golden brown on the bottom.
One last thing, I think they could have used a little more flavor so next time I'd put some almond extract in there, although a little more vanilla may have helped.( There already is quite a bit of vanilla for this small batch).
Add the dry ingredients to your mixer bowl and mix just to blend it all together.

Add the vanilla and butter on low speed and mix til nicely combined. The mixture will seem crumbly at this point.

Add the milk and then it will all come together and form a nice dough.

Scoop small pieces of dough and form into balls. Then roll between your palms to form a log shape. ( The photo below is the first batch I made, in case you're wondering why it's still a ball shape!).
Roll in the sesame seeds and place on parchment lined baking sheets.

Still showing the first batch, (below). The original recipe says to shape into a ball, then coat with seeds, then flatten the center with your finger, but I didn't like this shape, once baked.
Bake at 350 for 18 to 20 minutes.
Italian Sesame Cookies ( a.k.a., Biscotti di Regina)
Makes about 18 cookies ( depending on the size you make).

2 1/4 cups AP flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, cut into pieces.
3/4 cup untoasted sesame seeds
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.-
1. Add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to mixing bowl and mix to blend.
2. Add vanilla and butter and mix on low til it's all nicely incorporated.
3. Add milk and turn speed to medium and mix til dough comed together.
4. Scoop small balls of dough about 1 1/4" and roll between your palms, then form into a log shape ( if you want this shape.) You could also leave them in the ball shape, too.
5. Roll in sesame seeds and place on baking sheet leaving a few inches apart. They don't increase in size too much.
6. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or til golden brown on bottom and a light golden on edges.
7. Cool on wire rack.

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