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Carnival Cookies

  • 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Easy
  • Desserts and Fruit
Enliven your Carnival parties with these fun and fanciful cookies!

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • 7 oz Italian "00" flour or all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons potato starch
  • 5 oz butter
  • 3 ½ oz confectioners sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ stick vanilla

Preparation:

Begin by removing the butter from the refrigerator and letting it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to soften it.

Sift the flour, potato starch and powdered sugar. Then add the egg yolk and butter; work the dough with your hands until it is well mixed. Before the dough gets too even add the egg yolks and then keep working until it gets smooth.

Cover the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Then, remove from the refrigerator and roll out the dough using a rolling pin until about ½ inch thick.
Cut out cookies from the dough and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake the cookies in a 350°F oven for 13 to 15 minutes.

Food History

Carnival is a Christian celebration leading up to the period of Lent and concluding on Fat Tuesday. Celebrated throughout Italy, Carinval is most actively and colorfully celebrated Venice and Viareggio. Carnival festivities have very ancient religious origins and are probably even tied to ancient Pagan rites, when wizards wore masks to scare off evil spirits. However Carnival is more commonly associated with the huge parties that used to take place in Ancient Rome between October and March in honor of the father of all the gods: Saturn.  During these parties called saturnali, slave-owners and slaves would switch roles and a “King of the Party” would be elected. This tradition is still carried out in some parts of Italy. According to Livio, born in 263 AC, the festivities often lasted up to fifteen days. It is precisely this Pagan tradition that was absorbed by the Christian religion, toning down the celebration.  During the Middle Ages, Carnival came to be known as the “party of the crazy people,” during which time exaggeration was the name of the game. People generally ate huge meals, gearing up for Lent. Also during the Middle Ages, the habit of cross-dressing and putting on costumes to look like famous people took hold. The height of the Carnival celebrations took place in Florence during the Renaissance, when the Medici family, would organize trionfi, or huge parades and masked balls.

Did you know that...

That Carnival in Ivrea, where the Battle of the Oranges takes place, is considered to be the oldest Carnival in the world, celebrated uninterruptedly since the Middle Ages?

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