Papassinas

Sardinian Iced Cookies

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    10 to 12

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

These deliciously nutty, fruity little cookies are another speciality of picturesque Sardinia and go perfectly with a glass or two of local Moscato wine or some strong black coffee. They contain a tasty mix of walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, raisins and candied peel, and are traditionally coated with pure white icing, topped with pretty coloured sugar sprinkles. Throughout Sardinia you will find these local sweet treats on sale in all good bakeries and cake stores.

Ingredients

  • 500 g/1 ¼ lb/4 ¼ cups plain/all-purpose flour
  • 5 ml/1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 150 g/5 oz caster/superfine sugar
  • 200 g/7 oz/generous 1 cup lard or white cooking fat, softened
  • 250 g/9 oz/2 ¼ cups chopped walnuts
  • 250 g/9 oz/2 ¼ cups blanched chopped almonds
  • 250 g/9 oz/scant 2 cups raisins or sultanas/golden raisins, soaked for 20 minutes in warm water and drained
  • 200 g/7 oz/scant 2 cups pine nuts
  • 115 g/4 oz/2/3 cup finely chopped candied orange peel

For the Icing

  • 300 g/11 oz/generous cups caster/superfine sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp coloured sugar sprinkles

Method

  1. First, begin to make the icing. Place the caster sugar in a heatproof bowl with 45 ml/3 tbsp cold water, and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir continuously until the sugar has dissolved completely, then remove the bowl from the simmering water and set aside to cool a little.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4, and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and stir in the eggs and the sugar with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  4. Gradually mix in the lard or white cooking fat, nuts, soaked raisins or sultanas, pine nuts and candied orange peel. Work this dough with your hands until it is compact and even.

  5. Shape the dough into sticks 1cm/½in wide and 6cm/2½in long and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet.

  6. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, or until they are lightly golden. Transfer them to a cooling rack while you finish the icing.
  7. Put the egg whites into a clean, grease-free bowl and whisk until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold them into the cooled sugar syrup until you have created a shiny, glassy icing.
  8. When the baked cookies are cooled, brush them with the icing, then sprinkle them with the coloured sugar sprinkles. Allow the icing to set, then serve.