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Staccadenti (or Quaresimali): Toasty Little Almond Nuggets



So buy a kitchen scale already. Or pull yours out and use it. No scam against cooks has been as widespread as the need for measuring cups.  Weight is much more accurate. These are great little cookies or biscuits. They could not be easier to make, but they also keep remarkably well in a hermetic jar. Originally baked only for Lent, as the name Quaresima (‘lent’ in Italian) suggests, you can now find these all year long. And try that favourite cantucci practice, dipping these little dreamboats in some sweet liquor.




250 grams of cake flour


200 grams of sugar


300 grams of shelled, but not peeled, whole almonds


4 eggs


25 grams ground cinnamon


Some liqueur, such as Frangelico or Strega


Dash of salt


Olive oil, for the pan






Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl, by hand or with a mixer. Mix well. Oil generously a very shallow, wide oven pan and pour the mixture into the pan. Place in hot oven (200 C or 350 F) and bake until a cake-like surface begins to take shape, or around 15 or 20 minutes. Grab your favourite fork, slip some Nirvana into the stereo and turn it up. Then just really go crazy with the fork – tearing up the cake and scramble into bite-size pieces, breaking it up as much as possible. Place the pan back into the oven and bake until tooth-crack stage. Pull from the oven and cool. Sweet dipping wine and Nirvana are optional when serving.


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