In 2013 I spent a month in southern Sardinia, Italy, learning how to make traditional sweets. Ciambelle is one of the first recipes I learned; they're easy, delicious, and last for a long time (if you can keep people from eating them).
Step 1: TOOLS & INGREDIENTS
INGREDIENTS (makes about 40 cookies)
- 500g of Flour + some for dusting working surfaces and tools
- 4 egg yolks
- 200g Sugar
- 200g Butter/Lard/Shortening
- 16g Baking powder
- 16g Vanilla flavor
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 175g of Peach or Cherry jam
- ½ cup of Villacidro Liquor (substitute with Limoncello)
- Icing sugar for dusting
- 3 cookie cutters.
- Two of the cookie cutters need to be the same shape but different sizes. Traditionally the shape used is like a 6 petaled flower but for this instructable I used hearts. You can also use circles with different diameters.
- The third cookie cutter doesn't have to be an actual cookie cutter but just needs to be something that can create a hole in the center of your smaller cookie. For this instructable I used the top to a tiny alcohol bottle.
Step 2: DOUGH
- Zest your lemons.
- Combine your flour, eggs, butter/lard/shortening, vanilla flavor lemon zest and baking powder into a dough.
- Roll your dough into a sausage, wrap it with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for as little as 10 minutes and up to a day.
Step 3: MEANWHILE...
While your dough is resting you can take this opportunity to...
- Mix together the filling that will hold your little and big cookies together by incorporating your jam and liquor.
- You can also use this time to clean up the mess you've been making in your kitchen ;)
Step 4: ROLL & CUT
Now that you've waited some time for your cookie dough to rest...
- Remove your cookie dough from the fridge
- Take a quarter of your cookie dough and roll it 3-4mm thick.
- Use your cookie cutters to create big cookies and smaller ones with holes in them.
- Place your cut cookies on the baking tray.
- Roll and cut the next quarter of the cookies dough, placing the finished forms on the tray.
- Repeat this process until you have finished all of the dough.
* Note: it is very important that you end up with equal amounts of large and small cookie forms.
Step 5: BAKE
- Bake the cookie forms in the center rack of a preheated oven at 175°c/350°f, until they are slightly browned or golden brown on top.
- Move them from the baking tray to cooling racks.
Step 6: MATCH
Hopefully you have cut, rolled and baked an equal number of big cookie forms and little cookie forms.
Now in the time where you can match up the small and the big. Even though we're using cookie cutters to stamp out our cookie forms, they will not all be created equally so in order to make the best looking cookies possible, you should lay them out before hand to mach them up in their best pairs.
Step 7: ASSEMBLE
- Remove the first of the little cookie forms from the big.
- Take a 1/2 tsp of the jam/liquor filling you mixed up earlier and drop it onto the center of the big cookie form.
- Place the little cookie form back in it's place so that the filling glues the two cookies together.
- Repeat until you have filled all of your cookies.
Step 8: DUST
The last step before you can eat your Ciambelle Sarde is you will have to dust them with confectioner's sugar. I like using a tea ball for this because it makes it easy to scoop up the confectioners sugar and then by hitting it against my hand it evenly distributes the sugar over the cookies.
...but you can use just your hand, or a sieve, or some cheese cloth...whatever works for you.
Step 9: ENJOY!!!
Now you have a pile of Ciambelle Sarde; a traditional cookie from a lovely island, with lovely people, sitting isolated in the center of the Mediterranean.
Enjoy them and if you want to see more traditional Sardinian recipes, you can see them at http://futurefantasmi.weebly.com/
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will respond to the best of my abilities.