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Author Notes: The original recipe comes from Tenuta Il Poggione, a wine estate in Montalcino (in Italy's Tuscany region) that is best known for their Brunello. The recipe included here is my adaptation for an American kitchen, and it has a balance to it. One cup sugar. One cup olive oil. One cup wine. It also offers a range of texture experiences, like stirring sugar into olive oil and rolling out non-pasta dough into spaghetti-like ropes. The aromas, too, are unique and diverse: notice the fragrant white wine, heated just to lukewarm, then blended with the olive oil. —Cathy Huyghe
Makes 30 cookies
cup olive oil
cup white wine
cups pastry or all-purpose flour
teaspoons baking powder
Sugar or superfine sugar to finish
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix the sugar and olive oil in a bowl. Heat the wine until it is lukewarm in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the wine to the sugar-olive oil mixture and stir gently to blend.
- In a large bowl, blend the flour and baking powder. Slowly add the liquid mixture, stirring as you pour. Then use your hands to gently knead and gather the dough into a solid mass that has the consistency, roughly, of chocolate chip cookie dough without the chips.
- Flour a work surface and turn the dough onto it. Divide it into ten equal pieces.
- Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough into a “spaghetti” rope, about ten inches long and ¼ inch thick. Cut the roll into thirds, and shape each piece into the tarallo shape. It looks like an oval with feet on the bottom, which could look like the Greek letter Omega or, to my sons’ eyes, the shape of the pink breast cancer ribbon!
- Sprinkle each tarallo with sugar or superfine sugar. Using a thin spatula or your hands, transfer each individually to a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until lightly brown. They are meant to be baked thoroughly, partly I think so that they’ll keep to the next day.