Monday, August 26, 2013
My sister Robin is visiting us in Todi this week, with her husband Phil and her two daughters Clementine and Scarlett. Scarlett, like most 9 year old girls, is totally obsessed with One Direction. (It’s a boy band. I didn’t know either).
But unlike most other 9 year old girls, she also has another obsession: Melissa Clark. Yes, that would be my friend Melissa who writes for the New York Times. No, Scarlett is not some precocious tween who reads the Times before heading off to camp. She gets her Melissa fix through the videos that appear in the Dining Section each week.
I think she’s watched them all. And not just watched them, but memorized them.
For instance, the other day, when I was making Cacio e Pepe, which I’ve been making forever, Scarlett asked why it didn't have fave in it. I told her that I don't do that, and anyway, they weren't in season in the summer. Her response: Well, Melissa puts fave in hers.
And when Sophie was having trouble finding the jar of mayonnaise in the fridge for a sandwich the other day, Scarlett chimed in: Melissa would just make hers from scratch.
You know how some kids stay up to watch just one more cartoon? One more music videos? Scarlett, instead, puts off bed time just so she can watch 'one more Melissa video.'
So, the other day, when the rest of the family took a day trip to Florence, and Scarlett and I decided to stay at home, there was really never any question of what our activity for the day would be.
“Can we make a video? Like Melissa’s?”
So here is Scarlett’s debut cooking video. Since Domenico has been jamming up a storm this summer, we decided to make biscotti di crostata. This is a classic crostata recipe, but in cookie form. Brilliant, right? You get all the goodness of a buttery crostata, but without the hassle of pushing out the dough into a pan. Plus, the crust to jam ratio is higher in favor of crust, which is always a good thing. The biscotti turned out (to quote the star) scrumptious!
And the video? Equally so.
biscotti di crostata
Preheat oven to 180C/350F
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
7 tablespoons butter (125 grams) softened
2 egg yolks, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1 jar of jam
Put flour and salt in in big bowl, and make well in center.
In a small bowl, put butter, yolks and sugar. Mix the wet ingredients well with your fingers.
When it is well mixed, add the wet ingredients to the flour. Just use your hand, and eventually the heel of your hand to mush it all together until it forms a ball. This only takes a few minutes.
Let the dough rest for 20 minutes in the fridge.
Cut the dough into 1/2 inch strips. Cut each strip into 1 inch pieces. Using your fingers and thumb, make an indentation in each cookie. Fill each dent with a teaspoon of jam and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
Place on middle rack of oven and bake for about 20 -25 minutes.
Let cool completely before serving.