Soft and delicious Italian Christmas cookies made with fig wine must and covered with dark chocolate, the Italian Biscuits Mostaccioli are a delicious desserts typical of the All Saints and Christmas period, perfect as a snack but also for breakfast.
The Origins of Italian Biscuits Mostaccioli
Already appearing in Roman times, today’s mostaccioli were called “Mustacei” or “Mustaceum”, derived from the Latin word “mustum” or must, they were sweets given to guests at the time of farewell. Also mentioned by Catone in “De Agricoltura”, they were prepared with wine must, anise, cumin, fat, cheese and laurel bark, then mixed, spread out to give the shape and finally cooked on laurel leaves.
The ancient recipe survived over time, spreading to various regions of Italy, changing and adapting. Many ingredients disappeared and others were added such as cocoa, chocolate, almonds and hazelnuts according to the region. The most faithful are those from Abruzzo where flour, honey and cooked wine must be used, while for those the Apulian mostaccioli, fig must be used instead. Depending on the ingredients used, you can obtain those with a soft or hard dough.
Initially produced in the period of the end of the harvest, in November they became typical sweets during the feast of All Saints and also at Christmas. Nowadays, they are present in pastry shops all year round, and since the ingredients are easy to find and inexpensive, they are easily prepared at home whenever you want.
Mostaccioli Wine Biscuits Recipe
Mostaccioli Italian Biscuits are delicious soft biscuits, which don’t require leavening. They are flavored with a mix of spices called pisto, this recipe also includes apricot jam, tangerine and orange zest. The dark chocolate coating makes them even more delicious and mouth-watering. Delicious eaten like this or dunked in hot milk, they are perfect for breakfast on Christmas morning but also during the rest of the year!
The soft chocolate biscuits in this recipe, are those from Puglia because they require the use of cooked fig must wine, usually darker and denser than the wine must used to prepare those from Abruzzo. Once ready they can be kept for a long time thanks to the chocolate coating, however I recommend keeping them in a biscuit jar or in a bag with an airtight seal in order to preserve their freshness and their aroma.
How Chocolate Biscuits Mostaccioli Are Made
For the preparation of this italian wine biscuits it’ s necessary to have or prepare some Pisto. Pisto, is a mix of flavourings, in this case in powder form, which will give the Italian Biscuits Mostaccioli their typical and delicious flavour. To prepare it you will need cinnamon, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, star anise and coriander seeds all in powder.
Once the mix of spices has been created, pour the flour into a bowl (which you can toast for a few minutes in the oven if you wish), add the pisto and the other aromas and yeast, leaving cooked wine, jam, olive oil and honey for last. Mix everything into a homogeneous mixture and let it rest covered for 1 hour.
Put the dough on a sheet of baking paper, flatten it a bit and cover it with another sheet of baking paper and roll it out with the help of a rolling pin. With a rhombus-shaped mold, create the different biscuits and place them on a pan lined with baking paper. Cook them for 6/8 minutes at 180 °C. Once cooked, let them cool completely, in the meantime melt the chocolate and once they are cold, dip them in the chocolate and let it solidify. Once the chocolate will be solidified, they are ready to be served.
Here are more sweet ideas for Christmas: Polish Christmas Bread Makowiec or
Italian Biscuits Mostaccioli With Chocolate
- 15 g Cinnamon powdered
- 5 g Black Pepper powdered
- 2 g Cloves powdered
- 5 g Nutmeg powdered
- 2 pieces Star Anise powdered
- 2 g Coriander Seeds powdered
- 1 kg Pastry Flour
- 31 g Pisto
- 150 g Honey
- 300 g Vincotto from wine fig or wine
- 3 peel Tangerine grated
- 3 Orange Peel grated
- 250 g Caster Sugar
- 500 g Almonds chopped
- 1,5 g Vanillin
- 100 g Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 60 g Baker’s Ammonia
- 150 g Olive Oil
- 140 g Apricot Marmalade
- 300 g Dark Chocolate
- Mix all the powdered spices.15 g Cinnamon, 5 g Black Pepper, 2 g Cloves, 5 g Nutmeg, 2 pieces Star Anise, 2 g Coriander Seeds
- Chop and toast the almonds in a pan and then toast the pisto for a couple of minutes.31 g Pisto, 500 g Almonds
- In a bowl put the flour, which you can toast for a few minutes. Add the pisto, citrus peels, sugar, almonds, vanilla, cocoa, and ammonia for cakes, mix everything.1 kg Pastry Flour, 31 g Pisto, 3 peel Tangerine, 3 Orange Peel, 250 g Caster Sugar, 500 g Almonds, 1,5 g Vanillin, 100 g Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, 60 g Baker’s Ammonia
- Once you mix the dry ingredients add the honey, the cooked wine, the oil and the jam, mix everything until you get a smooth and compact dough, and let it rest for 1 hour.150 g Honey, 300 g Vincotto, 150 g Olive Oil, 140 g Apricot Marmalade
- Take the dough and lay it on a sheet of parchment paper, crush it a little and cover it with a second sheet, spread it out with a mattarelo until you get a 1 cm thick pastry.
- Pre-heats the oven to 180 ºC.
- With a robo shaped stencil creates cookies and lay them in a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Knead the cuttings again and repeat until you get all the cookies possible.
- Bake the cookies for 6/8 minutes.
- Once cooked, let the biscuits cool completely, meanwhile melt the chocolate in a double boiler and once the biscuits are cold, dip them one by one in melted chocolate. Place the biscuits on baking paper lightly brushed with oil, so that they can be easily removed once the chocolate has solidified.300 g Dark Chocolate
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