A Very Italian Christmas (And an apology… sort of.)

So…

Its that time of year again…

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!

Now, I know, I know, you all can just chill out… I get it. Yes. I have been a super lame human being and have not posted on here in far too long… Yea, yea… my bad. The truth is, these past couple months have just been so crazy with all those senior shenanigans that I’ve hard core slacked on my blogging obligations. But honestly, I needed to come back to you all because…

I Miss You GIF

There. I said it. Warm fuzzy feelings for all πŸ˜‰

So to make up for my lameness of the past… I’ve decided to share with you my latest baking adventures!! yayy!!

Being back home for the holidays is so great for all the reasons you’d expect: Spending time with family, seeing high school friends, cuddles with the kitten, and…..

A huge beautiful kitchen all to myself.

In which, I commence my christmas cookie saga.

If you all did not know, I spent an incredible 2 months in Italy this past summer and did as any good human being would do, I ate my way through Italia and loved every minute of it.

So for Christmas this year I thought that, in addition to the classic sugar cookie, I would attempt to recreate one of my favorite Italian pastries, and I am pleased to announce that my efforts were a success.

Behold, Occhi di Bue con Nutella, Limone, e Lampone:

Occhi Di Bue Cookies

(aka heaven in the form of butter, sugar, and nutella. What more could you ask for?)

In order to start I needed some sort of basis.. I had eaten my fair share of these but never once looked for a recipe for them. So after,Β thoroughly scouring the internet for a recipe suitable to my standards, I finally found the perfect one. However, there was one slight problem… It was entirely in Italian. I mean, ingredients, directions, measurments and all..

But this was no match for Super Italian Girl! Duh Duh Duh!!

Supergirl Friends

Lets just say that 6 week beginner intensive Italian language course really paid off.

And now I present to you this tasty italian recipe entirely in english. (You’re. Welcome.)


Occhi di Bue (“Bull’s Eyes” Jam filled shortbread cookies)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Your choice of filling: i.e. Nutella/ Fruit Preserves/ Lemon Curd etc.
  • Powdered Sugar

Instructions:

    1. Cut cold butter in small cubes.
    2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
    3. Add cubed butter and “cut in” with pastry blender or hands.
    4. Add eggs and combine until dough starts to come together.
    5. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until it forms a smooth dough
    6. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 min.
    7. After chilled, remove from fridge and preheat oven to 325.
    8. Place dough on floured surface and roll out to about 1/8 inch thick. (yes, you heard right, the dough should be really thin! Cause it will puff up and then be sandwiched with another cookie. Just trust me on this one… k?)
    9. Cut into small circles (about 3 inches in diameter)
    10. Cut a smaller circle (or shape of your choice) in the middleΒ of half of the cookies
    11. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Just until the edges start to brown. (They should be pretty light in color)
    12. Cool on a wire rack
    13. Sprinkle powdered sugar on the cookies with the shape cut out. (these will be the tops)
    14. Then fill with desired fillings. I used Nutella, lemon curd, and raspberry preserves. Spread a thin layer of filling on circle cookie and top with “cut out” cookie.
    15. Enjoy!

And that is all folks! Its as simple as that.

So if you’re looking to bring some Italian Christmas spirit into your homes this holiday season then this is the cookie for you!

Hope you enjoy and have a very Merry Christmas from my kitchen to yours!

GIF Christmas

Buonanotte all!

Love,

Kels ❀

Advertisements

Re”eating” the Past…

So, it has begun.

And no. I am not referring to school. Nor do I allude to studying, rehearsals, tests, and all other glorious aspects of my new life here in the big ol’ city.

I am speaking of something of far greater importance.

Something that holds a dear place in my heart.

Something, my dear reader, that is beyond words.

That is.

Food.

Or as my good musical friend Oliver would put it “food! glorious food!”

Yes. New York City, a city known for its diverse and delectable eatables, is where I now reside.. and boy am I sure glad about it!

So as you may or may know, this is not my very first time walking the hallowed streets of the big apple. Actually the main reason that I am now donning the proud purple and white is because of an experience I had a year ago. A summer program that I attended here at NYU. A summer program that, I would say, pretty much changed my life.

Yes, yes. I am referring to the abundant knowledge I gained and people I met but more importantly a different aspect of my being was touched.

My taste buds.

Oh, the glorious discovery of so many good eats was spectacular!

And, these past few days, as I made the big leap to life here, I decided to satisfy my craving for some of the past by visiting a select few of my favorite eateries.

1. Schnippers “Quality Kitchen” at 41st street and 8th av

Schnippers

This is the home of (I kid you not.)

The Worlds Greatest Grilled Cheese.

(And an incredible Cookies ‘n’ Cream milkshake doesn’t hurt!)

IMG_0377

2. Little Italy Mulberry Street

little italy

Here is a list of why this little neighborhood of New York is the best:

A. Italian food is the best food ever invented.

B. Pasta.

C. Little Italy is literally a street of endless Italian restaurants.

D. Pasta.

E. Super courteous male Italian waiters work at all these restaurants and say “Mama Mia” when you choose to eat at theirs. (Seriously. This just happened to me. It. Was. Awesome.)

F. Pasta.

and oh yea, one more thing…

E. Pasta.

If those reasons weren’t enough.. I hear that a picture is worth a thousand words.. so…. Take a gander at my glorious meal of last night…

IMG_0364

Penne alla Vodka anyone?

Our restaurant of choice this time around visiting my favorite little neighborhood was called Sofia’s.

Creme Brulee for dessert  Yum. O.

Creme Brulee for dessert
Yum. O.

Seriously you need to go. right now. get off the couch. get up from that chair. buy a plane ticket to NYC. and GO TO LITTLE ITALY!!

And for the third stop on our trip…

3. Β Baked by Melissa

A mini cupcake store.

Need I say more?

IMG_0375

This cute place has the tiniest 2 bite cupcakes so you can try all kinds of different flavors!

My personal favs? Peanut Butter & Jelly, Cinnamon, and Chocolate Chip Pancake.

So there you have it folks. My mini food tour of rediscovery! I visited my top three favorite eaten’ shops and relived the happy moments from a year ago! I have to say, it sureΒ was weird not sharing all this incredible food with my awesome friends from last summer but it was still great!

Check back soon as I venture out into the city even more to discover new great places to munch and crunch!

Love and Music,

Kelsey.  ❀