Sunday, December 22, 2013

A New Recipe for Me - Pasta Frolla

OK, well it's not completely new, I've made Pasta Frolla before but always used the recipe from the Il Fornaio Baking Book.  Of course most of my cookbooks are packed away, including this one and Michael wanted some apricot jam pockets(faggotini di Albiccoca).  We love the little pockets of tender sweet dough stuffed with a bit of apricot jam.  Not wanting to disappoint him(or myself for that matter), I found a recipe for Pasta Frolla online on the Washington Post's website.  I just mixed up 1/2 a batch (2 lbs. of dough is too much!) and it's resting in the fridge for about 1 hour or so until it's ready.  I'll cut out 2 1/2 inch biscuts from the rolled out dough then place a small dab of jam in the middle of each one, brush some beaten egg around the edges and fold over to make a half moon shape.  Then, I'll brush the half moons with some more beaten egg on the top and bake for 10 minutes or so at 375F.  We'll see how they come out.  I have great hope for this recipe, it may even work as the dough in my Mom's lost recipe for Italian Pineapple Nut Cookies, we shall see.  Here's the recipe as found from chef Nick Maligieri -

Pasta Frolla

This is the basic dough you can use to make four other recipes: Chocolate and Vanilla Sandwich Cookies, Dulce de Leche Crumb Bars, Holiday Cutouts and Infasciadedde (Sicilian Twists); see separate recipes.

Italians use pasta frolla to line pans for baking a variety of pies, sweet and savory, and to make simple sugar cookies and all sorts of elaborate filled cookies. Using it as a base for bar cookies is simply an extension of its pan-lining capabilities.

The dough is best made in a food processor, but you can also make it by hand, rubbing in the butter and incorporating the eggs with a fork. You'll have to knead handmade dough a little to get it smooth; just don't overdo it. Pasta frolla can be made and refrigerated 3 to 4 days in advance.

Yield: 2.2 pounds of dough

·                                 4 cups flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
                     2/3 cup sugar
·                                 2 teaspoons baking powder
·                                 1 teaspoon salt
·                                 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
·                                 4 large eggs
·                                 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (may substitute 1 teaspoon each vanilla and lemon extracts)
·                                 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon or orange zest

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Pulse 3 or 4 times to mix. Add the butter and process 10 to 15 seconds or until it is finely mixed into the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and zest. Pulse a few times, until a ball of dough forms. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Form the dough into a fat cylinder and use immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the faggotini di albicocca, roll the dough out 1/4 inch thick, cut out 2 1/2 inch circles, place of dab of apricot jam in the middle, paint the edge of the circle with beaten egg and seal tightly to form a half moon.  Do this with each 'biscut'.  Arrange cookies on greased cookie sheet or parchment paper on cookie sheet giving them at least an inch between cookies.  Brush the tops of the cookies with beaten egg before baking 10 minutes in a 375F oven.  Watch the cookies to ensure they do not burn.  Let cool a minute on the pan then remove to a cookie rack to complete cooling.  You may dust them with confectioners sugar before serving or just enjoy as is. 

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