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Dolcetti di mandorle

Almond biscuits from Puglia.
Makes approx. 36
 
These biscuits are a real family favourite – here in the UK and in Italy! They are known as a Christmas and Easter treat but are eaten all year round! 90% of the almond orchards in Italy are found in Apulia and Sicily so it’s no wonder we have the most incredible almond recipes and this is one of the best and easiest!

At this time of the year people start preparing the dolcetti (the small biscuits), for the holiday season. My auntie Silvia makes the best ones and I bring back kilos of them for our family! These delicious little cakes are slightly crisp and cracked on the outside with a soft inside.
This recipe is very quick and simple; you only need to be careful while baking, but follow our instructions and the result will be spectacular.
 
Ingredients:
500 grams ground almonds
300 grams caster sugar
zest of one un waxed lemon
4 egg whites
coffee beans, candied fruits and almonds with skin for decoration
 
 
Preparing the dish:
Beat the egg whites until white (not stiff – just lightly whipped).
Mix the ground almonds, caster sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl.
Add the beaten egg whites.
Then mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
Using your fingers, knead the mixture until the dough is soft and sticky.
Prepare a baking tray by lining it with greaseproof paper (2 sheets).
With your palms gently roll a quantity of dough – the size of a walnut into a ball, then put it on the baking tray – allow space for it to spread slightly.
Continue to roll all the mixture into small balls. Alternatively you can make the biscuits by using a piping bag.
In the middle of each ball make a pit with your finger and put one coffee bean, a piece of candied fruit or an almond on it.
Bake at 150° for about 10 - 15 minutes or until they are lightly gold on the top and little darker at the bottom.
 
To serve:
Serve the biscuits with a glass of wine, a coffee or with any drink. They also make an excellent gift!
Buon Natale and buon appetito!
 
Top tip:
Keep them in an air tight container and they will last a couple of weeks (if you can keep away from them!)
Do not let them get too dark or they will be dry inside
Serve with a bottle of our fabulous Terre Di San Vito Apeneste white wine.