A simple cookie flavored with brandy and a touch of orange and vanilla. The crisp, dry yet tender texture is perfect with a cup of tea as you plan your spring garden and pour over seed catalogs. Not too sweet, you’ll find yourself thinking of your Nonna’s  Easter cookies dipped in a bit of sherry for the grownups.  This forgiving dough also lends itself to many different shapes so you can create your own traditions.

What You Need!!!

  • 4 cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brandy (or apple juice)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon Orange Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

Vanilla glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk, to form a glaze consistency


Make it!!!

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper or spritz with cooking spray.

Place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds to incorporate. In a liquid measure blend the brandy (or apple juice), water, vegetable oil and Extracts. Pour the liquid ingredients onto the dry and blend on medium speed for 2 minutes or until a soft dough forms.

Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes. Break off the dough in pieces, each about the size of a large walnut. Roll each piece into a rope. From here you may form rings, or simple coils and knots.

To form a crescent horn, take two ropes and gently twist one over the other about 4-5 times to form the twist. Curve the twist until the two ends nearly meet and place on the baking sheet with about 1 inch between cookies. These do not spread much, so can be spaced fairly close together.


For the glaze, blend all ingredients in a small bowl to a medium thin consistency with no lumps. The glaze should be the consistency of heavy cream or melted ice cream.
Bake the cookies for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. The interior of the cookie should be quite dry at this point. Break open one cookie to check the interior. If the cookies still seem doughy inside, return to the oven for an additional 6-10 minutes or until done inside. Remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool.

When the cookies are cooled, prepare the glaze and dip the top of each cookie to coat. Sprinkle with freshly grated orange zest or candied peel if desired.


Buon Appetito Always~ Mangia!!!!

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