This year I would like to focus more on the ingredients and recipes of my place, Bologna, and surroundings.
As you may know my city offers a lot speaking of good food and I want to share it, especially the less known preparations like the one I am posting today.
Zuccherini are small biscuits, the size and the shape (more or less) of a wedding ring.
They were given out at weddings like now it’s used with confetti ( sugar coated almonds) as these ones were very expensive in the past.
The custom was: few days before the weddings all the female friends and relatives of the bride met and kneaded all together the cookies.
The bride wasn’t allowed in: it would have caused misfortune!
Of course each family had its own recipe and of course it always was the best one around!
To be considered well made zuccherini had to be not too big, not too small, light gold and not brown colored ( pay attention while baking!), the hole in the middle had to be open.
Children usually were involved, they had to get rid of the discarted zuccherini! 😀
The basic quantity kneaded at once was about 20 lb of flour: this quantity here was called ” paìs” ( peso, weight) so you can imagine what a big work it was!
This tradition is still alive around Bologna but the preparation is usually delegated to the bakeries which still prepare them ( upon request, usually).
You can prepare them with almond extract, lemon zest or aniseed liquor: lemon zest is my favourite flavour so you will find it in the recipe.
Quantities of course are scaled for a home treat, if you want to knead zuccherini for a wedding you have to increase doses to your necessity!
Let’s jump to the recipe: trust me they are very good, no matter if you are getting married or not!!
Zuccherini bolognesi, typical wedding sugar cookies from Bologna.
- 17.6 oz plain flour
- 9 oz caster sugar
- 7 oz potato starch
- 3 eggs
- 3.5 oz butter
- 1.7 oz vanilla flavoured icing sugar
- 1 bag baking powder
- 1 lemon, zest only
- 1 pinch salt
- Mix flour, starch, caster sugar then sift in icing sugar and baking powder.Add lemon zest and salt, mix and then add butter, mixing until you have a crumbled mixture.Add eggs, one at time, knead until you have a smooth and quite solid dough.
- Let it rest in fridge for about 30 minutes wrapped in cling film.
- Take small pinches of dough, roll them between your hands until you have a short cord.Close it as a ring and put it on a baking tray lined with parchment.
- Do it with all the dough and bake at 360°F for about 10 minutes ( check them very closely, they have to stay light gold!).
- You can store them once cooled in a tin box for up to a week.