Saturday, 30 March 2013

Scarcelle Pugliesi (Big Easter Cookies-Cakes from Puglia, my home!)









The sky was blue and full of light. The swallows chased each other and danced in the blue sky, while below,  the church bells rang everywhere, telling the world it was Easter. 
With visions of chocolate and silky bows, she walked home. Easter was in the air! Everything seemed to say:"It's Springtime!" and she felt so happy deep inside... that kind of happy feeling which, no matter what happens in your life, you'll never forget.
As she walked home, she stopped to look at shop windows: enormous shiny, dark chocolate eggs had been masterfully decorated with icing, to make flowers and leaves. Myriads of sugar almond blossom adorned the hugest eggs she had ever seen!
At home, Easter was a time for being together. Before lunch, my Babbo would stand up, before we ate, to bless the family, by dipping an olive tree branch in "acqua santa" Holy Water, my mum would have brought from the church. She always went to Church at Easter!
My dear Mamma, you know by now, didn't make desserts, cakes or sweets, except a few "classics!" I remember, though, how once, at Easter,  she made my brother and I these massive biscuits, decorated with colourful sugar strands and... a hard boiled egg, she had coloured red, cleverly placed on the biscuits and held in place by two strips of dough.
The biscuits are what we call "Scarcelle." Apparently, they are typical of the Puglia region, where I was born, though I believe they have something similar in Greece.
Having found the recipe, today I made some. I was so surprised when I took them out of the oven: they looked so pretty and, most of all they looked like the "scarcelle" my mum made, only a more contemporary version.
This is how I made them:
Scarcelle Pugliesi
(Easter Cakes-Biscuits from Puglia)
Ingredients:
(makes about 6)
1 kg ( 2.2 lb) plain flour
400 g ( 14 oz)sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
vanilla essence
the rind of 1 lemon
2 dl ( about 6 fl oz) olive oil
pinch of salt
1 extra egg for the egg wash
6 hard boiled eggs
sugar sprinkles
(hundreds and thousands)
or
icing, to decorate
(you might need some milk, if your dough is too dry)
Before I started, I preheated my oven (180 C,  350 F, Gas 4 ) and put my six eggs in a pan of boiling water, to cook. These need to be hard boiled.





Next (this is really easy and quick!) I put my flour onto a board, made a well and added all the ingredients in the middle. I made a dough, using flour, eggs, oil, sugar, salt, baking powder, some vanilla essence and lemon peel. As the mixture was a bit dry, I added some milk (maybe I should have used larger eggs")
I placed my dough in the fridge, so it would rest for half an hour. I used this time to ice my Easter cookies... so cute! I feel like a "bambina!"





Anyway! Half an hour later... I took the dough out of the fridge, and decided to make my scarcelle in the shape of plaited Easter wreath and hearts. You can see from the pictures how I made my wreath, step by step. It was easy!




Having made my plait, I joined the ends and, next I pushed one of my boiled eggs into the pastry and kind of secured it by crossing two strips of pastry over the egg, to make a cross.







I did the same with my heart shapes, then "painted my scarcelle with egg yolk, sprinkled some pink and blue sugar over my biscuits and baked for about half an hour.




 



My scarcelle smelt so good and looked so sweet, I wanted to try one, but I didn't...




I let my biscuits cool down, first, then decorated with icing and rice paper daisies. They looked lovely! Though they were not as nice as the ones my mamma made, as they contained the extra ingredient! Remember LOVE?



 
BUONA PASQUA A TUTTI!

36 comments:

  1. They look delicious Anna! A Happy Easter to you and your family too.

    Love,

    Madelief x

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  2. Thank you very much!

    HAPPY EASTER!

    ANNA
    XX

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  3. They are pretty and look delicious!
    Happy Easter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Maria!They look very sunny, too! We need sun! Early this morning we had some snow! Can't believe this long Winter! Where's Spring?

      HAPPY EASTER!

      ANNA

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  4. Happy Easter!

    The winter will be gone ...
    and we need biscuits and no up-warming soup any more ... and flowers - and green - light green


    Happy Easter!

    ♥ Franka

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    Replies
    1. Hi Franka! I just lost the reply I wrote!
      Happy Easter to you and your family! Spring will be here soon... lots salad and good stuff!

      CIAO!

      ANNA

      xx

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  5. You have been busy. Mama Rosa would be proud of you.
    You write so well about the Easter eggs in the shops.
    For me Easter is very important,more important than christmas.
    I remember going to mass, and then coming home to big lovely chocolate Easter eggs...my mother would always say.." we will spread them out during the day"
    Today..my grandchildren ,son Manel and Heleen are coming for brunch.
    I have hidden things all over.
    Happy Pascoa.. Anna.
    Thank you for following me.
    A very blessed day.
    We also have a similar Scorcelle here. Its called "Folar".. i love it.
    val x

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  6. I have never seen an egg baked into a cookie like that before Anna, so unique and so much nicer than anything you can buy with all that extra love put into them.
    Wishing you and your family a wonderful Easter.
    KooKooKachoo!
    Paul
    x:)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Paul!

      it's an interesting cake, isn't it? No butter: just EVO! It's a very old recipe and I just looked "Scarcelle" up on Instagram, to see all the different versions that people had baked! I did the same with "benedetto" (blessing) our Easter antipasto of salame, boiled eggs and sliced orange. Every household has a different version! So nice!

      So... we've had our Italian lamb with peas, asparagus and other "bits" and ended our meal with Pastiera (I call it Pizza di ricotta) which is our Easter cake (recipe on blog- search Pizza di Ricotta and make it! Delicious!)

      You must have been very busy today, "Egg Man" helping the Easter Bunny!

      KOOKOOKACHOO!

      Anna
      x

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    2. PS: I actually never posted a recipe for my "Pizza di ricotta!" Just an image, in my Limoncello post!

      ANNA

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  7. Happy Easter to you! I love your writing and description of your Easter at home with your Mama and Papa.
    Hugs Jane

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jane!

      It makes me so happy to realize that those who follow my blog enjoy my stories. I love sharing them with you all. Thank you for making me feel a little bit special! I mean it!

      I hope you had a good day, so far. I did... I find Easter more relaxed than Christmas, but now I have to wash up, as my dishwasher doesn't work!

      OH, NO!

      CIAO!

      ANNA
      x

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  8. Happy Easter !

    Bonne semaine!!

    xxx Maria xxx

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    Replies
    1. Bomjour Maria!

      Joyeuses Pâques et bonne semaine a toi!

      HAPPY EASTER!

      BUONA PASQUA!

      XXX

      ANNA

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  9. E sempre un piacere visitare il tuo blog.I tuoi ricordi mi fanno venire in mente anche i miei anni passati,mia infanzia.Abbiamo anche qui una simile ricetta di "scarcelle" solo che la tua decorazione e unica !
    Grazie Anna e auguroni per un buon , felice e riposante Pasqua!
    Olimpia

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    Replies
    1. Ciao Olimpia...

      lo so, anche voi avete un dolce asimile. Il mio è unico, perchè noi italiani siamo tutti creativi e facciamo le cose sempre diverse. Penso che in una città non troveresti mai due scarcelle uguali!

      Io mi diverto...

      Spero che tu abbia trscorso una bella giornata. Qui il tempo non è bello, comunque, abbiamo pranzato con agnello, piselli, asparagi e con il nostro antipasto tipico di Pasqua, con salame, formaggio, fettine di arancia e uova sode- Molte uova, a Pasqua... soffriremo?

      Buona serata!

      CIAO!

      ANNA

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  10. My dear Anne,i saw yesterday for the first time swallows!!!Amazing recipe!!Like our Easter cakes with the egg inside!They are pretty and look delicious too!!Happy Easter my friend to you and your family!!Ciao!!
    Dimi..

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    Replies
    1. Good evening, Dimi!
      I love swallows! My sister has some nesting above her living room window, outside. They are so beautiful and I love the way they almost "scream" as they fly crossing each other's path in the sky.

      I hope you had a good day (is Easter today, in Greece?)
      Happy Easter!

      ANNA

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  11. Hi Anna, Happy Easter!
    Thank you for sharing this lovely post, i love to hear your childhood memories from Italy!
    The Easter cakes look wonderful!
    Thanks for sharing your special easter memories of you and your mother.
    Gill xx

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    Replies
    1. Hello Gilly! I hope you had a peaceful Easter, so far. I was very busy and I am finally resting. I like to make all kinds of traditional Italian disheas and cakes, but it's too much... I need to rest now... but it's benn a good day!

      Thank you for visiting. I'm glad you likev reading my memories.

      CIAO!

      ANNA
      xx

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  12. Dear Anna, Happy Easter to you and yours. I LOVE your little Easter cookies. They are so sweet and original.
    ox, Gina

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    Replies
    1. Good morning, Gina! Yes, the cookies looked sweet! I always try to be creative with food and, whenever possible, original. With Italian food, there is a Classic Cuisine (and I am not talking cookies, now!) which you need to be familiar with, before you can experiment and produce your own creations. I believe that mind comes before body, so, things (or food, in this case) need to satisfy the eye and the mind first. The Eating process is the final one, when taste plays a big role. Food needs to look and taste good!

      CIAO!

      ANNA
      x

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  13. I loved your "baby " cookies !!! You were so busy to make these delicious sweets !Happy Easter !

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    Replies
    1. Hello, dear Olympia! I'm glad you found this post, as the other one, with the Greek Temple in Paestum, Italy, is an old one I posted again, by mistake, so I had to delete it, unfortunately!

      You kmow, Olympia, I didn't even eat one of those cookies, as I enjoyed my sweet "Pizza di ricotta", the Easter Cake we make in Soutrhern Italy (It's also called "pastiers" and I love it!) There is still a lot of it left, but I'll be good!

      I'll wish you HAPPY EASTER on May 5th, then, Olympia!

      CIAO!

      ANNA

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  14. I loved all these delicious sweets!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Happy Easter!

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    Replies
    1. I should have posted my "Pizza di Ricotta" recipe, our traditional Easter cake, which I thought I already had written and posted, but I hadn't!

      The sweets looked and tasted delicious, though I didn't try any of them (except my ricotta cake, which I love!)

      HAPPY WEEK!

      ANNA

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  15. Buona Pasqua, Anna! I love your Easter Cakes look delicious!

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  16. Thank you very much! They taste delicious, too!

    HAPPY WEEK! Easter has come to an end!

    CIAO!

    ANNA

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  17. Cara Anna piacere di conoscerti e di condividere con te questa passione....

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    Replies
    1. Il piacere è tutto mio, cara! Condividiamo certamente una grande passione! Si dice che tutti noi italiani ci crediamo chef! E' bello essere creativi in molti sensi.

      BENVENUTA E CIAO!

      ANNA

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  18. Ciao cara Anna! Ho appena visto il tuo commento sul vecchio blog. Il mio nuovo indirizzo è www.traveler-baker.blogspot.com
    MI hai scritto di una ricetta per il curry indiano buonissima e autentica..... Pensi di postarla? Noi adoriamo il curry!!! cHE BELLO, UNA CASA A nEW yORK E UNA IN iTALIA!!! Almeno puoi 'scappare' ogni volta che vuoi... ;)

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  19. Ciao! Spero che ti trovi bene in Florida. Cercherò il tuo nuovo blog, ma mi sa che l'ho già visto! E' vero... ho una ricetta per il curry, autentica, che mi fu data da un'amica indiana, tempo fa, e poi, sai, qui in Inghilterra, il Curry è il piatto nazionale. Vedo spesso a mangiarlo, con una mia amica... abbiamo tanti ristoranti indiani! Che buono!
    Strano che mi abbia chiesto di postare la ricetta qui... in Italia ci sono tanti indiani, ora, e supermercati dove poter comprare le erbe e le spezie. Vedremo...
    Allora... auguri per la tua nuova vita! La Cina è un ricordo ormai lontano?

    CIAO!

    ANNA

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  20. Bela receita...Espectacular....
    Cumprimentos

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  21. Grazie mille, Fernando! Buona Primavera!

    ANNA

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  22. Hello Anna, What amazing biscuits. I'm most intrigued by the hard boiled eggs- a truly Easter touch! I long for our English swallows to come back again. Your description of the Easter morning took me straight out of this grey, cold England and into sunshine and childhood happiness again.
    Thank you my dear
    Jane xxx

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    Replies
    1. Hello, dear Jane! Well... I got up, today and the sun was shining! I went to the car boot sale, near my house and bought two sets of vintage (one set is art nouveau, can you believe it?) and some lovely lace. I will be taking these to Italy, as in May, we are going to make a big move which will allow us to spend most of our time over there, though we will still have our house here! Sunny days, here I come! You'll be getting some lovely, ultra sunny posts from Heaven!
      The birds are singing outside, Jane, so... I'll pour myself a glass of my ice cold limoncello and "inspect" the garden!

      I love it when you post poems! If you find any mistakes, Jane, blame it on my eyes: I HAVE LOST MY GLASSES, AGAIN!

      Ciao, bella booklady!

      ANNA
      xxx

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