Little Bird Cookies
These Little Bird Cookies were a typical Easter dessert when I was growing up. Well, Easter was different this year due to COVID 19 so we’re having them in August. My Aunt Vicky’s family was from Abruzzo where these cookies originated. When she made them, they really did look like little birds. Some of ours resemble chickens and others look more like fish but they still taste good.
- 16 oz. all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup white wine:
- 3 tbs. granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
Put the flour in a large bowl and add the liquids, sugar, and salt. Mix and knead to form dough. Cover and let it rest for at least 1 hour.
- 5 oz. blanched almonds, toasted and ground
- 2 oz. grated dark chocolate
- Zest of 1 orange
- 10 oz. Montepulciano grape jam (not so easy to find – I used raspberry preserves)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tbs. dark rum
Dried currants for eyes
Place the almonds in a dry frying pan and toast on medium heat until they lightly color. Grind them in a food processor to a coarse powder. Chill the chocolate in the freezer for 15 minutes to make it easier to grate. Put all the filing ingredients in a pot and heat on low for 15 minutes. Let it cool before using it.
Pre-heat the oven to 340 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Roll the dough out into a thin sheet. Use a bowl or glass to cut circles. Re-knead and roll out the scraps. The bowl I used was 4 ½ inches in diameter and I got 15 cookies.
Put a teaspoon of filling in the center of a circle. Fold it in half and press the edges to seal. Shape a head and make a triangular cut for a beak. Use a current for an eye. Poke a few holes where the wing should be to let the steam escape and cut a few lines to represent feathers in the tail. If you’re artistic and take your time it should look like a little bird. If not, just shape it into a half moon. Bake for 20 minutes, let cool and serve.