Monday 13 May 2013

Torcettini di Saint Vincent-Yeasted cookies

Crash down!!!
That is what happened to my External Hard disk, a few days back. In one split second I lost all my precious stuff, mainly my daughter Vaanya's pictures and videos. I had very diligently stored all the wonderful memories of her growing up days from the very first month. In fact, I had made separatete folders for each month which stored all her pictures and videos. Imagine losing all that, one fine day. I could do nothing but curse myself for not creating a back up. 
The other thing which I lost, were all the pictures taken to be put on the blog, including today's post. Thankfully I had put up these 2 pictures on our Facebook group from where I could retrieve them.
We tried our best to retrieve some data from the hard disk for a couple of days and eventually went to the concerned company's service center where we were told that the hard disk is beyond any repair. All my hard work in attempting to store Vaanya's amazing growing up days went straight into the drain. We were so heart broken, but found some solace in the fact that we can retrieve some pics and videos from Facebook where I have been regularly posting, thanks to my Mother-in-law.
The baking challenge for last month's We Knead to Bake was these sugar crusted Twisted cookies from Valle d' Aosta, a small mountainous region in North-Western Italy. Since I had lost my pics and was waiting and hoping to retrieve, this post comes a few days late.
The recipe is adapted from Nick Malgieri’s A Baker's Tour

Ingredients: I halved the recipe
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tsp Instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder(for the chocolate ones)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest & orange zest
  • 20 gm unsalted butter, cold and cut in small pieces
  • 4-5 tbsp sugar for rolling the cookies
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and keep aside.
Take a bowl and mix flour and salt. Add butter pieces and mix till the mixture looks powdery.
Take 2 bowls and in each, put half of the flour-butter mixture. 
To one, add lemon zest and half of the yeast mixture and mix till it comes together as a ball.
To the other, add cocoa powder, orange zest or 1/4 tsp instant coffee powder and the remaining yeast mixture. Mix well till it forms a ball.
Place both the dough balls in separate well oiled bowls, turning to coat it well. 
Cover with a damp muslin cloth and let it rise for an hour. The dough should look puffy in an hour and the inside, after pinching, should resemble a bit like honeycomb. 
Press down the dough and deflate, wrap in a clingfilm and refrigerate for 1 hr or upto 24 hrs(for later use)
Take both the dough out and roll in 3'' square shape, separately. Cut each into 2 strips of equal width and cut each strip into 3. Finally you will have 6 pieces of white dough and 6 pieces of brown dough. 
Roll 3 pieces of white and 3 pieces of brown dough to a pencil thick rope. Sprinkle sugar on your work surface and roll the rope on it so that the sugar coats the dough. Make a loop with the dough crossing it over at the end. These will yield the traditional and chocolate variants.
I experimented further to get a half&half by attaching half of each coloured dough and a marble effect by mixing the dough and then rolling it.
Place on a baking sheet and leave for 20 mins. 
Bake at 160 degree Celsius for 25 mins or till golden brown.

The cookies stay best on the same day after which they might get a bit chewy. 
All in all, it was a very different bake with yeast in cookies!!
Check out what the others members have created here 

Happy Cookie eating


  1. Amrita, I can understand the pain of loosing the precious pictures. Taking a lesson from this unfortunate crash down, i think we should keep developing the pictures even if storing the albums is cumbersome. Uploading in the facebook is a good idea.
    The yeasted cookies look so fabulous. Specially the ones that have chocolate strips.

  2. Uhhh noo.. so sorry abt losing ur precious pictures! I can so feel the pain. Lets make sure to backup every now and then going forth. Probably write intoa cd or so. And dont worry, baby Vaanya is going to create more and more precious memories to give u a chance to record them all :) Lovely cookies, esp the combo cookies :)

  3. Lovely looking cookies... and am so sorry to hear abt the loss. i havent created a backup too but definitely gonna do one soon

  4. So sorry about ur pic i can understand ur pain...keep backup at all the times...i think this FB helps u very much...Cookies looks wonderful...



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