Lidia Bastianich and her daughter, Tanya Manuali, have come out with their eighth cookbook, “Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian.”
Cranberry's Shirley Ricci was fired up about our call for cookie recipes: "It always gets me in the mood to get excited about my holiday baking, something I have done for more than 30 years." She calls baking and gifting cookies "a real expression of the true spirit of the holiday."
This cookie, she noted, "is a favorite of mine and everyone who tastes it. It looks nice on a cookie tray, because it is baked in mini-muffin pans, and adds another look to the presentation. It has a flaky crust, with a chewy moist orange coconut filling. I put them in mini paper Christmas liners, and they look just lovely, even before you take that first sweet bite. I hope you agree." We did and -- for ease of preparation, looks and taste -- picked it as one of our winners.
For the pastry cup dough
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
For the filling
- 4 ounces unsweetened flaked coconut (Baker's brand, though sweetened, works fine, too)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
- 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice
Cut butter into flour, sugar and salt. Beat egg slightly and pour over flour mixture. Mix with fork till flour mixture is moistened.
Gather in a ball, wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours. Press small amount of pastry cup dough in ungreased mini-muffin pans. In a bowl, combine all filling ingredients. Fill each pastry cup with 1 to 2 teaspoons filling.
Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 12 minutes, or until light brown on top. Cool slightly and tap the bottoms to pop tartlets out.
Makes 24 to 30, depending on size.
-- Shirley Ricci, Cranberry