Biscottini da Te’ al Cacao e Nocciole
Italy’s Langhe region, in the heart of Piedmont, produces some of the finest wines in the world. However, to many foodies, Langhe is first and foremost synonymous with nutty and chocolaty treats. The local hazelnut, “Tonda Gentile”, is in fact considered the highest-quality hazelnut in the world, and the jewel of the Italian production. Even the famous food writer David Lebovitz writes, “I do not like to speak in superlatives, so when I say that the hazelnuts from Piedmont are really the best I’ve ever tasted—believe it”.
The pure, fresh air of these vine-covered hillsides does seem to work some kind of magic on both the flavor and texture of the nut. And magic it could well be: the Langhe hills, topped by medieval churches and often wrapped in a mysterious fog, which fades the natural colors into soft purples and muted greens, inspired in the past many superstitions about witches’ gatherings! Of course, after the Piedmontese confectioners came up with Torrone (Italian honey nougat) and then with Gianduja (chocolate with hazelnut paste) , everybody figured out that those mysterious witches they feared must in fact be good fairies.
My personal Langhe fairy was my mother’s friend Matilde. Matilde, an elderly Piedmontese piano teacher with a formidable gift for baking, was solely responsible for turning my sugar-hating self (I did not eat dessert until age 10) into the cookie monster, and all with this easy recipe below.
A FEW MORE IDEAS FOR COOKIES BY SOME OF MY FAVORITE BLOGGERS:
Brutti ma Buoni by AglioOlio&Peperoncino
Nutella Cookies by SundayAtTheGiacomettis
Amazing Sugar Cookies by CouldntBeParve
Margarita Cookies by SmittenKitchen