Recipe by lynnski / LA
These cookies, which consist of a tart dough with a spicy filling, are served in large quantities at various Northern California Portuguese festas, such as Dia de Portugal. This recipe was published in the San Francisco Chronicle; but adapted from "Foods of the Azores Islands", by Deolinda Maria Avila. (Moonlith Press, 1977).
- 1 1⁄8 cups water
- 1 1⁄4 cups sugar
- zest of one lemon, grated
- 1 tablespoon anise seed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 1⁄2 cups breadcrumbs, made from day-old firm, white bread
Portuguese Tart Pastry
- 1 1⁄2 cups flour
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
Directions See How It's Made
- Position rack in center of the oven, preheat oven to 350 degrees; line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Starting with the pastry dough: mix together the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl; cut the butter into small bits and work into the flour, along with the eggs, until a smooth dough is formed.
- Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside for 10 minutes before rolling dough out on a floured board.
- For the filling: combine the water, sugar and lemon zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, boil until the mixture reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer, takes about 10 minutes.
- Remove pot from the heat and let cool slightly.
- Crush the anise seeds in a mortar or a spice mill, add to the sugar mixture, along with the cinnamon, butter and breadcrumbs, mix well.
- The mixture should resemble bread stuffing.
- Roll out a third of the pastry as thinly as possible.
- Using a pastry cutter or knife, cut 3-inch-wide strips of pastry.
- With the same cutter make 1/2 inch horizontal slits just off one long edge of the pastry, about 3/4 inch apart.
- Spread some cooled filling down the center of the strip, then fold the side with the slits over the solid side, enclosing the filling and sealing the edges.
- Cut into 3-inch long cookies.
- Place on a lined baking sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining pastry.
- Bake until the cookies are golden brown, about 15 minutes, be careful not to let them burn.
- Let cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then remove the cookies to a rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature.