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Monday, July 17, 2017

Infasciadedde (Sicilian Twists)

Renee Comet for The Washington Post


These old-fashioned cookies were a specialty of Nick Malgieri's great-aunt, Elvira Pescatore Basile. She wasn't Sicilian but learned the recipe from a Sicilian friend. Malgieri believes an older version of these cookies had the dough wrapped entirely around the filling ("fasciare" means to wrap or bandage in Italian).

Before garnishing the cookies, store them between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container for up to 10 days, or freeze, well wrapped, for up to 1 month. To serve, bring to room temperature before garnishing with honey and almonds.


6 ounces/168g (about 1/1/2 cups) whole almonds, preferably unblanched
1/2 cup/340g honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 batch pasta frolla, chilled (see separate recipe)
Flour, for rolling the dough
Honey, for drizzling
1 1/2 ounces/42g (about 1/2 cup) toasted sliced almonds, for garnish

Pasta Frolla

For the filling: Place the almonds in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the honey and cinnamon and pulse just to mix. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

For the cookies: Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Transfer the chilled dough to a lightly floured work surface. Squeeze and knead the dough to make it malleable again, but not soft. Shape the dough into a fat cylinder and divide in half. Re-flour the work surface and one of the pieces of dough, flattening it into a rough square. Roll out the dough, moving it frequently and adding pinches of flour under and on it to keep it from sticking, to a 12-inch square.

Use a pizza wheel to cut the dough into 8 equal strips, each 1 1/2 inches wide.

Spray your hands with cooking spray or rub with butter, then take about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the filling and roll it between your hands while stretching until it becomes a 12-inch rope.

Lay the filling in the middle of one of the strips of dough. Fold the dough over the filling lengthwise, but don't press together.

Cut the cylinder into three 4-inch lengths and twist each one once or twice (they should look like barber poles) before placing on one of the prepared pans.

Repeat with the remaining strips of dough and filling; repeat the process with the second chilled piece of dough. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, until light golden in color. Slide the papers from the pans to wire racks to cool the cookies completely.

When ready to serve, arrange the cookies on a platter. Drizzle them with honey and sprinkle with some of the sliced almonds.

Nick Malgieri

Tested by Joe Yonan.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per cookie: 81
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 4g 6%
Saturated Fat: 1g 5%
Cholesterol: 14mg 5%
Sodium: 29mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates: 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 2g

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