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This recipe is adapted from "The Talisman Italian Cookbook" by Ada Boni, which is the English translation of the Italian "Talismano della felicita'". This is a classic Italian cookie, which means that it isn't soft and chewy. Rather, it is a bit crisp and meant to be eaten with a warm beverage (coffee, tea, hot milk etc.) to soften it up a bit. It's a nice breakfast cookie, to be enjoyed with your morning coffee.
- Put sugar and eggs in top of a double boiler (I improvise with a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan).
- The water should be hot, but not boiling.
- Beat until the mixture is lukewarm.
- Remove from over the hot water and keep beating until foamy and cool.
- Add lemon rind and flour slowly; gently blend into egg mixture.
- Drop by the spoonful (I drop 2 tsp for each cookie) onto buttered and floured baking sheets (or lined with parchment paper).
- Shape into neat circles with your finger, if you wish (this may get a bit messy).
- Leave a 1-inch space between each cookie.
- Sprinkle with the powdered sugar and press the pine nuts in a decorative pattern on each cookie (blanched slivered almonds would probably work just as well, if you don't have pine nuts).
- Let stand for ten minutes and then bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes.