Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bocca di Nona

Bocca di Nona
(Gandmother Kisses)
makes 28 cookie sandwiches
These are delicious, delicate and lacy cookies from the neighborhood panetterias of the Brooklyn of my youth.  Similar to lacy Florentines, this version is filled with a luscious Bergamont flavoured ganache derived from Earl Grey tea bags . . . to make these even more elegant make extra ganache and dip 1/2 of each cookie sandwich in it.


2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups finely ground blanched almonds
Earl Grey Ganache ( see recipe below)

Earl Grey ganache:

1/3 cup whipping cream
4 Earl Grey tea bags
4 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped


prepare the cookie batter:

In a small bowl, stir together flour and cocoa powder to thoroughly combine; set aside.   Beat the softened butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds in a large bowl. Add the sugar and the vanilla and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Beat in the ground almonds.  Add the flour and beat in until mixture is just combined.  Cover and chill dough about 1 hour or until it is easy to handle.

 Preheat oven to 350° F.

bake the cookies:

Prepare one or more cookie sheets by lining each with parchment paper and set them aside. Working quickly, shape the chilled dough into 56 1-inch balls and place the balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet gently pressing each ball to flatten slightly.  Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until firm. Cool the cookies while still on the cookie sheet.  Construct the cookie sandwiches by removing a cooled cookie from the cookie sheet, and holding it with flat side up, spread it with about 1 teaspoon of the Earl Grey ganache, top with the remaining cookie, flat sides down and place on a serving plate.  Continue until all the cookies and ganache are used.  

Earl Grey ganache:

After the cookies have been baked, create the ganache.   Bring 1/3 cup whipping cream to boiling in a small saucepan. After the cream comes to a boil remove from heat. Add the Earl Grey tea bags to the hot cream, cover and allow to seep for 15 minutes. After the cream/tea has seeped for 15 minutes remove the tea bags squeezing each tea bag as it is removed to  release any residual liquid in it. Return the pan containing the cream to the stove and return it to the boil.  When the tea infused cream returns to a boil remove it from the heat and immediately add the finely chopped milk chocolate. Stir until chocolate completely melts and mixture is shiny and smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature before using.


Serve the Bocca di Nona in the Italian way accompanied by a demitasse cup of espresso coffee spike with a splash of Anisette liquor.

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