Pizzette – not a word I knew two weeks ago. Bad Italian, aren’t I? In case you are too, I have new knowledge to share. Pizzette are traditional Italian Christmas cookies that I first encountered in One Sweet Cookie, a cookbook Dave and I got for Christmas this year. I’ve never encountered Christmas cookies like these before, though. Chocolate. Almonds. Coffee. Cinnamon. Cloves. Wow. Think cakey biscotti without the bother of double baking and the added decadence of a smooth icing glaze. Clearly I couldn’t wait until next December to try them out. A movie night at Ciara’s was all the prompt I needed – Ciara had the venue, KP supplied the movies, and I brought a tupperware of pizzette.
Notes: This recipe makes a lot of cookies. Prepare yourself to feed a crowd and make new friends.
Dave likes these better without icing, which is, to be fair, the healthier choice. If you’re on the same page as him, tuck the icing recipe away for future decadent treats – vanilla cupcakes, for example, or your next chocolate buttermilk cake, if you want it a little dressed up. The icing’s too good to neglect completely.
They also have my stamp of approval as an acceptable early morning snack. A girl’s got to start the day right.
from One Sweet Cookie
2 1/2 tbsp butter
9 oz semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup sugar
squeeze from 1 lemon
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa powder
4 cups flour
8 oz almonds, toasted and finely chopped
2 tbsp instant coffee
1/4 cup boiling water
1 oz semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1lb icing sugar
1. Place the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth and combined. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
2. In a large bowl, beat sugar with the eggs until smooth, thickened and light yellow. Stirring to combine after each addition, add: butter chocolate mixture; lemon juice & milk; and cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, cocoa & flour. Gently fold in almonds.
3. If dough is sticky to the touch, oil your hands lightly before handling the dough. Tear off a small portion and roll it into a rope about 1.5 inches thick. Press it gently with your fingers to flatten it slightly. Use a knife to cut the rope on an angle into pieces 1-inch wide. Repeat with remaining dough.
4. Arrange cookies onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Place on a wire rack to cool.
5. While cookies are cooling, make the icing. Add the instant coffee to the boiling water, stirring to combine. Set aside. In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until combined. Remove from heat. Add cocoa, coffee, and icing sugar, stirring until smooth. Use a spoon to smooth icing over the top of each cookie. If it becomes too thick to spread easily, stir in a teaspoon of water and continue.