BY MARIANNA SANTANGELO VITALE
I love this time of year when winter ends and spring begins. There is such a sense of renewal and hope. It has warmed up earlier than normal many plants are in full bloom and the spring flowers are opening every morning.
Easter is just around the corner. Every year I have an Easter cookie tradition that is a pleasing reminder of days gone by, baking pupa con l’uovo. It can be a sweet yeast bread that is braided around colored eggs or it can be a cookie dough braided around the egg. My Sicilian mother made these every year.
It is a wonderful combination that smells so good and tastes great. My favorite part is icing the cookies and topping them with various sprinkles, such as little chocolate eggs, marshmallow bunnies or nonpareils.
Pupa Con L’Uova
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 sticks of butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
Moisten with about 1/3 cup of milk
Blend butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. slowly add the flour and baking powder and milk to bring the dough together. Let dough rest in the fridge for an hour.
1 c. powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp anise, almond or lemon extract…..optional
In mixer combine butter and sugar. add the eggs. Combine flour, baking powder and add one cup at a time until you have a soft dough that is easy to handle. Break off a baseball-size piece of dough and form into a disk; then form a double twist with the ends and wrap around egg. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes until firm and pale golden, but not brown. Cool on rack. Combine icing ingredients and whisk until smooth. Use a silicon pastry brush to brush cookies with icing, then sprinkle with non-pareils. You can adjust the flavor of the dough with combinations like almond and orange, or lemon and vanilla if desired. Makes about 12 cookies