I’d almost forgotten about these seasonal cookies that show up this time of year in Italian bakeries and I admit, this recipe is a work in process. I’ll be fiddling with it until I get it right. The recipe I used was from an Italian website, hence the metric measurments. The result was good, but not quite as good as I remembered them. One thing for sure, out of the two batches I made, one in the gas oven due to clouds and the other in the Sun Oven, the latter was far superior. These cookies should be moist and chewy, the gas oven batch was too dry.
Pan dei Morti
150 grams (about 5-oz or 3/4 cup) raisins, set to soak in warm water
250 grams (about 9-oz) Italian lady fingers (savoiardi)
80 grams (about 3-oz) blanched almonds
150 (about 5-oz) all-purpose flour
150 grams (5-oz) sugar
20 grams (about 1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
100 grams (about 3.5-oz) dried figs
50 grams (about 2-oz) pine nuts
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
About 1/4 cup sweet white wine or water
Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line baking racks or sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats.
Use a food processor to to grind the ladyfingers to a fine meal and transfer to a large bowl. Grind the almonds in the same processor and add to the ground lady fingers. Mix in the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon baking powder. Use the processor to chop finely chop the figs and add them to the bowl. Drain the raisins, squeezing out excess liquid, and add to the bowl along with the pine nuts. Use your hands to mix in the egg whites and slowly add the wine until the dough forms, it should have the consistency of rolled cookie dough. Break off golf ball sized pieces of dough and flatten the into an oval shaped cookie on a lightly floured work surface. Bake the cookies in the Sun Oven 20 to 30 minutes. Cool on racks. Store in airtight containers. Dust with powdered sugar before servings.
Makes about 18 cookies.