As the weather getting colder each day, I forced to stuck inside the house. I suppose I can just sit down and do nothing, but I always prefer to be busy in the kitchen. In fact, I use this weather to excuse my self for a good self indulgence. I thought I'd make some cookies, not just any cookie, but something unique and I never eaten or made before. I thought of something Italian, or that part of the world. So, I grabbed "Sweet Sicily" book by Victoria Granof, that my husband gave me as a gift. Apparently I bookmarked quite a few recipes that I wanted to try. Since my mind was already set for cookie, I tried to really focus and not letting myself to easily distracted for other recipes (read, cakes). I found TETU, that was it!. The name alone already sounded intriguing. I also like how to say it, pretending that I really know how to pronounce it. I like the fact that it's only 4 letters to name a cookie, T ... E ... T ... U.... And then, the ingredients, which has chocolate and cloves, how unique, right? According to Victoria Granof, Tetu are traditional cookies for All Souls' Day called, I Morti, or Day of the Dead which fall in the first week of November. And it is much celebrated especially in the Western part of Sicily. Well, it's rather confusing, because while I was searching on the internet to get more info about this cookies (which aren't too many), I also found out that some people also bake it for Christmas, some even call it Sicilian Christmas cookies.
Granof's recipe only use chocolate glaze for this cookies, but I wanted to have a bit of variation, so I glazed some of them with simple lemon glaze made of confectioner's sugar and lemon juice. I also glazed my cookies with simple chocolate ganache (just chocolate and heavy cream) instead of using her chocolat glaze recipe.
Recipe adapted from Sweet Sicily, The Story of an Island and Her Pastries by Victoria Granof
makes about 3 dozens
1 cup whole roasted almonds, grind to a powder
4 cups unbleached all-purposed flour
8 tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup water
12 oz unsweetened chocolate - roughly chopped
2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
In a large bowl add ground almond, and flour. Mix - set aside
Place milk, butter, and chocolate in a sauce pan. Set the pan over medium heat, whisk until butter is melted. Add sugar, whisk to blend. Remove from the heat, cool to luke warm. Once the mixture is lukewarm, whisk in ground cloves, baking soda, salt, vanilla, and egg. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients, and mix just to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least an hour, or until it is easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Take a pinch of cookie dough (about a tablespoon), roll in between your palm into a ball. Arrange on a baking sheet about 2 inch apart. Bake for 15 minutes, or until puff but still slightly soft in the center.
Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a medium sauce pan, bring sugar and water to a boil, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, whisk in chocolate until melted. Add confectioners' sugar, continue to whisk until smooth.
While the cookies are warm, immerse them in a warm glaze, a few at a time. Transfer to cooling rack set over baking sheet to catch the drips. Let cool before serving.