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Biscotti di Regina

March 3, 2010

*Regina really means queen in Italian, so sometimes these are also called Queen’s Biscuits

My husband’s mother (my kids’ Noni) ate these as a child.  Her first generation Sicilian mother used to make them, but a few years ago when I was putting together a family cookbook, she could only find a partial recipe.  We searched around and found another recipe (in the Soprano’s Cookbook), which we think is pretty close to the original.  These cookies are a traditional Sicilian treat, often eaten with coffee.

My daughter recently had a chance to share a little bit about her heritage at school (as part of the penpal project) and we decided to make these.  I was a little surprised, but all the kids seemed to  like them–even covered in sesame seeds.  Maybe I think kids are pickier then they are!  Just in case you’d like to try them, I’ve included a recipe below.  I made them in more of a crescent shape, but I guess long finger looking ones are more traditional.

Biscotti di Regina

½ cup milk

2 cups unhulled sesame seeds

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature.

3 large eggs,  room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract (or vanilla or orange extract)

Preheat oven to 375◦ F. Butter and flour 2 large baking sheets or use parchment paper.

Pour the milk into a shallow bowl. Spread the sesame seeds on a piece of wax paper or in another shallow bowl. Set both bowls aside.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter and sugar together.  Add each egg, 1 at a time, and mix in between briefly.  Add vanilla and mix.  Add dry ingredients (you may sift together before adding, if desired).  Stir until well blended.

Pinch off a piece of dough the size of a golf ball and shape into a log 2 ½ inches long and ¾ inch thick.  Dip the log in the milk, then roll it in the sesame seeds. Place on a prepared baking sheet. Continue with the remaining dough, placing the cookies 1 inch apart.

Bake 15-25 minutes, or until well browned. Let cool on the baking sheets for ten minutes, and then transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

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