This weekend was highly productive. We set out on a mission to bake up a batch of Stef's favorite Sardinian sweet: the papassini. And oh boy, does he take this very seriously. The process started out a month ago while we were in Sardinia. We had to go to this special store in Sassari called a drogheria. (I just looked it up and it means 'grocery store'). This place looked about 100 years old, and inside we picked up some special 'secret' ingredients that can't be found outside of Sardinia. It just so happened that when we arrived in Sassari that afternoon, we found all the shops closed for the afternoon until 5pm. It was too far to the beach and so we ended up sitting on a bench outside for an hour or so waiting for the store to reopen.
Ok, so about the 'secret' ingredients. This recipe is from his grandmother in Sardinia, and he's guarding it like it's National Security. I'm not even supposed to look at the actual recipe, although I did sneak a peek here and there. hehe... Anyway, since I can't spill the beans, I'll just give a rough account what went on.
First, chop the nuts - almonds and walnuts. If you're fanatic, do it by hand. Otherwise, throw them in a food processor.
Mix the flour with eggs, sugar, lard and baking powder to form a dough. Add in chopped nuts, raisins, orange rind, anise, and some other 'secret' ingredients. Lay to rest for a couple hours.
Resume preparations by rolling and cutting out the dough. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Let cool overnight.
Now they are ready for the glace topping. Prepare glace with sugar, water and egg white.
When the consistency is just right, spread on each cookie carefully and sprinkle with silver and multicolor dragees (sprinkles) .
Now allow for the glace topping to dry out. Look at them and wait patiently, wondering when these papassini can finally be eaten!!