So far in the autumn of 2016, I have made the typical recipes (apple crumble, buckwheat banana loaf) for the season plus something new inspired by my recent trip to Siena, Italy.
Ricciarelli almond shaped, almond flavoured cookies were amazing. I love the gluten free aspect and the richness of almonds. I found this recipe from Juls Kitchen to help me replenish my long gone box of ricciarelli I purchased from Nannini.
The almonds on top are not necessary. It was my mom’s insistence for decoration. As you can see I only permitted a few to be (un)enhanced. I also reduced the amount to powdered sugar. I suggest reducing the sugar. It can be quite overwhelming and as always, my grandmother, aunt and mother will remind me to cook with less sugar. If you are not already familiar with the chinese and their desserts, they don’t like it too sweet. Although I do think it’s their feeble attempt to keeping their figure and to passive aggressively to tell me to watch my growing muffin top.
Here’s how they actually do look out of the box from Siena. So I’m sure any true connoisseur of these cookies are shaking their finger at me for bastardizing my amount of sugar. For this I apologize and hope they can understand that it’s for reducing my tendency for muffin top growth and appeasing my elders.
One thing I couldn’t quite get addicted to was the panforte. I was drawn to these prettily packaged confections. Not knowing what exactly they were, I bought one anyways. I like all things (most) sweet and went for it. Oh my adventurous gluttonous self couldn’t help it! I saw them cut up on display and assumed the dark pigmentation was just dense chocolate with nuts and fruits. I was mistaken. It is the most dense fruitcake of many spices which was made during the renaissance period for the elite and clergymen as these ingredients (dried fruit, nuts, spices…up to 17!) were precious and afforded only by the rich.
It tastes good if paired with a tea along with a few other items after a big meal. I can imagine it to be quite pleasant but I haven’t had the occasion to truly appreciate it as it should be. I will give it another try but other sweets take priority.