Angeletti Cookies

Angeletti--a light and airy, softly sweet Italian cookie

Rita
Lana
Roylene
Rhonda
Jocelyn
Sherri
Betty
Betty Jean
Cinda
Hillary

Among other things, October is breast cancer awareness month. Go pink! The ten women listed above are real. I know them. They all have or have had breast cancer. Each of their stories is unique. When I read the names of these women, I think of each one’s personal story. I stand in silent respect for their suffering and their bravery. None of them look at themselves as being particularly brave, but from my perspective each woman deserves the honor given a hero.

One of these women, Rita, is currently undergoing treatment for stage 3 breast cancer. Despite the horrendous effects of chemo, Rita still comes to work, serving others through her loving skills as a nurse. She had been at work–serving others–the day she lost her hair. I do not know how she continues to move forward with her life in positive ways. I would have folded long ago.

Angeletti--a light and airy, softly sweet Italian cookie

If you are a woman, you probably have spent most of your life thinking about breast cancer. Certainly it is the disease about which we are taught almost as soon as we hit puberty. I remember that when I was about 10, I started noticing changes in my body. Mostly my chest was really sore. I was afraid and didn’t want to say anything to anyone. I thought that I had breast cancer and tried to imagine how the doctor would “cut off” my breasts when I didn’t even have any!

Finally one day my mom said something to me about what was happening to my body. I was so relieved to know that I didn’t have breast cancer and that what I was experiencing was totally on track for a preteen girl. My point, though, is that even at that young age, I was already aware of breast cancer and its effects.

Angeletti--a light and airy, softly sweet Italian cookie

Although we mostly focus on women and girls as targets for breast cancer, it can also develop in men and boys. Oh, and lest you think that breast cancer is the #1 killer among women, it is not. Heart disease holds that place of honor, but that is a post for another time.

At the end of this post I have included some links to information provided by The National Breast Cancer Foundation. The information is highly beneficial in educating women and others in their lives about breast cancer. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime–get educated, find help and hope.

Angeletti--a light and airy, softly sweet Italian cookie

In honor of Rita (and because she is Italian :) ), I have chosen to spotlight an Italian cookie today. It is called an Angeletti. Angeletti cookies are generally an Italian Christmas cookie, but because of the name, I thought that it was appropriate to use them in this post about breast cancer and those who are affected by it.

These cookies are the most interesting cookie I have ever made or eaten. Despite the fact that they look like a simple sugar cookie or a Mexican wedding cookie, they are quite different in texture from either of those. They are amazingly light little cookie puffs, almost fluffy in texture. After two or three chews, they develop a surprising marshmallow-like consistency.

For such a small cookie, they sure provide a lot of satisfaction.

Angeletti--a light and airy, softly sweet Italian cookie

A few notes:

  • Be sure to spoon the flour into the measuring cup. Too much flour really will ruin the texture of these cookies.
  • The batter is sticky. At first it may look as though it will be impossible to roll into a ball, but flour your hands and everything will be fine. I found that I needed to re-flour my hands after every fourth cookie. Simply pat a little flour between your palms and you’re good to go.
  • Do not make the cookies too large. The recipe calls for using a level tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Although seemingly small, this is a great size for these cookies. They do expand during cooking, but they do not flatten out.
  • Bake the cookies fully. If under-baked, they will collapse as they cool and will be gummy in the middle. Not soft. Not chewy. Gummy. To test for doneness, tap a few of the cookies lightly. If the cookie “gives” under light tapping, then it needs to be baked for another minute or two. Remember—think light and airy, not heavy and definitely not smooshy. ← official baking term; add it to your vocabulary
  • The glaze should be thin-ish, not thick like frosting. The tops of the cookies will be dipped in the glaze and then set on a rack until the glaze gets firm. This could take several hours. Patience, young padawan.

Angeletti--a light and airy, softly sweet Italian cookie

Angeletti Cookies

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: about 4-5 dozen cookies

Angeletti cookies are a traditional Italian Christmas cookie, but can be adapted for many different occasions. These small, lightly sweet cookies are tender and cloud-like, changing to an almost marshmallow-like consistency when eaten. Each cookie is made with only a tablespoon of dough, so be prepared to eat one after another...after another...and another.

Ingredients

    For the Cookies:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for flouring hands to shape the dough
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup vanilla sugar (white granulated sugar can also be used)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (if using plain white sugar, increase vanilla extract to 2 1/2 teaspoons) (1 teaspoon anise extract can be used in place of the vanilla extract)
  • 3 large eggs
  • For the Glaze:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4-5 tablespoons milk or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Food coloring, if desired White glaze is traditional for Angeletti.
  • Additional ingredients:
  • sprinkles, as desired (recommended: jimmies or coarse sanding sugar)

Instructions

    For the Cookies:
  1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats; set aside.
  2. To measure out flour, spoon lightly into measuring cup, then with a straight edge level the flour even with the top of the cup. Add flour to a large measuring bowl. Whisk the baking powder and salt into the flour. Please note that the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the whisk attachment beat together the butter and sugar until creamy, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the milk and vanilla. Mix just until blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Change to the paddle attachment. Add the flour mixture to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Do not over-mix. The dough should be soft and sticky, but malleable with floured hands. Allow dough to sit covered with plastic wrap for 5 minutes.
  5. For each cookie, measure out a level tablespoonful of dough. (A one tablespoon scoop works well). With clean, floured hands lightly roll dough into a ball. Hands will need to be re-floured after about every fourth cookie to keep the dough from sticking to the hands. Place cookie dough balls on prepared pan, spacing 2-inches apart.
  6. Bake for 7-8 minutes until set. The cookies should be resistant when touched lightly with a finger and light brown on the bottom. If light pressure from a finger causes the cookie to dent, the cookies should be returned to the oven for another minute or two. Underdone cookies will collapse as they cool and have a gummy texture.
  7. Place baked cookies on a wire rack to cool. After cookies have cooled, glaze and decorate with sprinkles of choice.
  8. For the Glaze:
  9. Place empty cooling racks over parchment or wax paper.
  10. Put powdered sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Add vanilla and 4 tablespoons milk to the powdered sugar; mix with electric hand mixer until smooth. Use additional milk or water as needed to thin glaze to a "dipping" consistency. The glaze should be loose, but not watery.
  11. Working with one cookie at a time, dip the top of the cookie into the glaze. Lift cookie from glaze, top facing down, allowing excess glaze to drip back into the bowl. Place glazed cookie facing up on the cooling rack. Sprinkle with jimmies or decorative sugar as desired before the glaze sets. I added sprinkles after each fourth cookie. Four seemed to be the magic number with this recipe.
  12. Allow cookies to sit out until glaze sets, about 30 minutes. Once the glaze has set, store cookies in an air-tight container for up to three days. Suggestion: store cookies in single layers with parchment or wax paper between layers.

Notes

Be sure to spoon the flour into the measuring cup. Too much flour really will ruin the texture of these cookies.

The batter is sticky. At first it may look as though it will be impossible to roll into a ball, but flour your hands and everything will be fine. I found that I needed to re-flour my hands after every fourth cookie. Simply pat a little flour between your hands and you’re good to go.

Do not make the cookies too large. The recipe calls for using a level tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Although seemingly small, this is a great size for these cookies. They do expand during cooking, rising rather than flattening out.

Bake the cookies fully. If under-baked, they will collapse as they cool and will be gummy in the middle. Not soft. Not chewy. Gummy. To test for doneness, tap a few of the cookies lightly. If the cookie “gives” under light tapping, then it needs to be baked for another minute or two. Remember—think light and airy, not heavy and definitely not smooshy. ? official baking term; add it to your vocabulary

The glaze should be thin-ish, not thick like frosting. The tops of the cookies will be dipped in the glaze and then set on a rack until the glaze gets firm. This could take several hours. Patience, young padawan.

Recipe lightly adapted from Good Housekeeping

http://tsgcookin.com/2014/10/angeletti-cookies/

Angeletti--a light and airy, softly sweet Italian cookie

 

Breast Cancer Resources:

 

Breast Cancer Early Detection Plan
Click the pic to be taken to The National Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation website to learn about making an early detection plan.

 

Breast Cancer Awareness
Click the pic for an outstanding FREE, ON-LINE resource for anyone with breast cancer, families of those with breast cancer and medical professionals who deal with individuals who have breast cancer.

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