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Acetani — almond & orange cookies

I’ve just finished baking these and the house smells all toasty and gorgeous. They’re Italian cookies made from almond meal (ie flour) and orange zest, so are gluten-free, which is increasingly necessary these days, I find, with so many people having allergies.

I’m making them to take to a meeting at my former workplace. I love baking, but am watching my weight so I only bake when I can give the products away, and they won’t sit around at home, tempting me to nibble.

I do get to taste them before I take them away — it would be irresponsible not to — right? What if they tasted dreadful?

I’ve made acetani before and they were very tasty. Not crispy, but slightly chewy, in a good way. The orange zest gives a lovely hint of flavor, but doesn’t dominate. I’m going to try making them with lemon zest later. Also maybe some lemon curd with the leftover yolks.

They’re also very easy to make. The crackle effect is made by rolling balls of the mixture in icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar) and the balls spread in the baking to become cookies and it makes the cracks.

I used this recipe (click on the link) which has very good instructions with photos. And what you see in the photo is about half the batch — the rest is still cooling down before I can slide them onto the wire rack. I think the recipe made around 25—30.

Baking my own bread

I’m not a big eater of bread — I usually buy a good loaf, sliced up, and freeze it, and it lasts me a few weeks. But for some reason I’ve started making my own bread. I’m sure it will pass soon, but while it lasts, I’m having fun.

This is the first loaf I made, and the success of that encouraged me to try a couple of other recipes.


Today I tried a no-knead recipe, where you mix up the dough and let it stand overnight, then shape into a loaf, let rise for a couple of hours or until it’s doubled in size, then bake in a dutch oven or cast iron pot with the lid on. 


So this is the result — rye and wheat bread. It didn’t rise as much as I’d hoped, but the house smelled fantastic while it was cooking and the final bread, once I’d waited it to cool enough to cut and slather with butter, was the nicest yet. I’ll be trying this one again, for sure. If you want to try it yourself, the recipe is here.