The recipe for the Italian sesame cookies comes from my mother, where she got is unknown. These cookies may also be known as Biscotti Reginella or Regina or just Giuggiulena. It’s a basic cookie dough with the addition of a tablespoon of Crisco to it and, if course, sesame seeds. I purchase organic hulled sesame seeds in the Nature’s Place section of Wegmans. They are sold as a bulk item for approximately $4.99/lb., which is more economical than purchasing it pre-packaged.
The recipe for the knots came from my late neighbor Lucy Mayo. These knot cookies come out like little cakes, soft and a hint of lemon from the icing. My mother said that my fraternal grandmother’s could bounce off the wall. Not Lucy’s, her’s has a 1/2 pound of cream cheese in them.
The last cookie that I’m baking for the christening our Italian wands. Some people may know them as Italian cenci or galani. The preparation of this dough is rather easy, however, while you can use a rolling pin to roll this dough into a thin sheet, my mother used a pasta machine to get her sheets paper thin. For her wands, my mother took long strips of dough and would tie them as if to make a bow. The wands were then fried in hot oil; once cooled, you would dust the cookies with powdered sugar. They are a delicate, light cookie; one that you could and eat before realizing how many you had.
I recall the recipe yielding many delicate cookies. My mother use to store the wands in tall aluminum tins that she would be from the pastry shop where my aunt worked. Since I don’t have tall tins, I’ll make these cookies later in the week.
Also, the cookies I’ve baked for the christening, will be little placed in cellophane bags tied with a white ribbon as a thank you for the guests. I’ll also place some of the cookies on the dessert table at the christening reception.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.