Archive for April, 2012


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My best friend, Franny, periodically reminds me about her love for Italian almond cookies and most things Italian.  In years past her mother reminded me on occassion.  Franny’s mother liked the Italian almond cookies with pine nuts pressed into them.

This past fall while exploring a small town, Nicolosi, in Sicily we spotted a pastry shop; ‘pastry shop spotting’ is one of my favorite past times while touring (any city)!  Nicolosi is in the foothills of our primary destination for that day, Mt. Etna.  With a small population of just 5,000 and a pretty dense shopping area, all challenges related to finding pastry shops was minimal!

From our B&B, Alfio Tomaselli, we followed Via Giovanni Verga down to the first light, turned left, covered a few more blocks and at the corner of a crook in the road sat the pastry shop for the day.

once inside, the buzz included a harmony of chatting and expresso steamer.  the action was sorted between the coffee and pastry counters.  we, due to our mission of sampling all sicilian pastries, nudged our way into the front of the pastry counter.

The rustic, traditional almond cookies always get our eyes through the protective glass.  After devouring a small bag of cookies, Franny looks at me and says, ‘you need to make these’! She has two or three types that she especially likes; some with pine nuts, others shaped like an ‘S’.

I started today; to spend the rest of my life perfecting traditional Italian almond cookies. My first try wasn’t too bad, though I can definitely improve in a few ways (which I’ll describe as I write out the recipe).

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