Torcettini / Torcetti are sugar coated, twisted cookies made from yeasted dough and have a bread-like soft texture on the inside while being crunchy on the outer. The caramelized bottom is the highlight of this cookie. Torcettini are smaller versions of Torcetti (meaning small twists), and these pear/ teardrop shaped twisted cookies are synonymous with the town of Saint Vincent in Valle d'Aosta, a small mountainous region in North-Western Italy. I first made a chocolate version of these cookies following the ingredients and the steps to the T but as I was unable to take a snap of them at that time, I made it again by replacing the butter and baking it as vegan cookies.
Torcetti/ Torcettini are believed to have descended from Grissini (breadsticks) which were made from the leftover scraps of bread dough. According to one story, a Grissini baker had some leftover butter which he needed to use up. Inspiration struck and he decided to add the butter to the last batch of his Grissini dough for the day. To be able to differentiate this lot of “breadsticks” from his Grissini, he rolled them in sugar and shaped them into loops, and the Torcetti was born. Torcetti/ Torcettini are usually flavoured with either lime/ lemon zest or anise.
For a Chocolate Version of Torcettini:
Just remove 2 tbsp all-purpose flour and replace it with 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder. Also add 2 tbsp powdered sugar and replace the lemon zest with orange zest while making the dough.
1. If using butter, make sure it is unsalted.
2. I kept the vegetable shortening in the freezer for 10 minutes to make it hard and cold prior to mixing the dough.
3. Once your Torcetti's have been shaped, don’t let them rise for longer than 20 minutes. If you do, your Torcetti will be more bread-like on the inside due to the extra “rise”.
This is off to We Knead to Bake #4.