Umbria, a region of Italy that boarders it’s most famous cousin, Tuscany, is called the country's green heart. It is known for its medieval hill towns, dense forests and local cuisine, particularly foraged truffles, and wines. My husband Matthew & I have visited Umbria on two occasions and have both times stayed in the small walled town of Montafalco. We had wonderful times there; Truffle hunting and then
drinking Prosecco and eating omelets made with fresh eggs, homemade pecorino cheese and truffles, right in the forest where we found them. Drinking many glasses Sagrantino wine (Montafalco is the only place where this grape is grown) and of course tasting and consuming lots of delicious Umbrian Extra Virgin Olive Oil with grilled crusty bread.
All good stuff and if you are considering a trip to Umbria and want a “real deal” experience, I highly recommend you contact Mac & Francesca of Wild Foods Italy.
You will get an experience like no other with their truffle hunts, lodging, food, and close family atmosphere. To this day it is one of the best experiences we have had in all of our travels.
During one of our visits to Umbria it did snow a little. And the dusting on the ground and on the olive trees does remind me of the powdered sugar kiss these cookies get after baking. Although they are called a “biscotti”, technically they are not as they are not twice baked, or log shaped. Because they get lots of crunchiness from the cornflakes inside and outside the cookies, they have the biscotti type texture/crunch. I think the biscotti reference comes from that.
These cookies have a wonderful crunch and just the right amount of sweetness. So good you won't want to make them just around the holidays!
Umbrian Snowflake Cookies
These cookies call for chocolate chips. I like using the mini chocolate chips, but you can use whatever type you would like. Also, adding some chopped dried cranberry instead of or in addition to the chocolate chips would be delicious too!
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 cups of cornflakes (2 cups lightly crushed and 4 cups whole)
2 tablespoons O’Live A Little’s Italian Fig Dark Balsamic Vinegar
¾ cups chocolate chips or chopped dried cranberries or a combination of both
Confectioners’ Sugar for dusting
Heat over to 350 degress
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine
In a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar till fluffy.
Add eggs, one at time beating well until incorporated.
Add dry ingredients and mix until dough forms
Mix in Fig Balsamic Vinegar
Add chocolate chips and or chopped cranberries and mix till incorporated
Add the 2 cups of slightly crushed cornflakes.
Mix till just incorporated
Using a #40 scoop, scoop dough into approximately 35 balls.
Take each ball and roll and press into remaining 4 cups of corn flakes
Space 1” apart on parchment lined baking sheet
Bake for approximately 20 minutes (until golden and crisp)
Let cool and then dust with confectioner’s sugar. These cookies can be frozen.