The recipe of the month: St. Martin’s biscuits

The story of the saint relates that on November 11 of 335 AD...

“The story of the saint relates that on November 11 of 335 AD, during a harsh autumn, the soldier Martin, who was serving in the imperial guard in Amiens, was going his rounds when he met a beggar in rags. Seeing him shivering with cold and having nothing else to offer him, with his sword he cut his white cloak in two and gave him half. As he rode away from that street, feeling the cold, he saw the clouds clearing from the sky and the wind stopped blowing. The sun shone more strongly and warmed him until he shed even the other half of his cloak. This is the period known as “St. Martin’s summer,” which immediately brought about his conversion and since then it is renewed every year to honor his act of charity."
The feast of St. Martin is deeply felt in the area of Padua and Venice It is celebrated by eating these simple biscuits covered with icing or chocolate and colored cookies.
See the recipe comes from Sweet Venice. Pasticceria veneziana.

St. Martin’s biscuits


For the short pastry:
300 g (10½ oz) flour
150 g (5 oz) butter
150 g (5 oz) icing sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
grated zest of one lemon
pinch of salt

For the frosting:
300 g (10½ oz) icing sugar
1 egg white
5 drops lemon juice

To finish:
silver sprinkles
colored sprinkles
nuts (almonds, pine nuts, hazelnuts)
chocolate buttons

For the short pastry.
Mix together all the ingredients. Leave the dough to rest in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, then roll it out to a thickness of 3-4 mm (1 or 2 tenths of an inch). With a knife carve out the shapes of a horse and rider wielding a sword, or cut them out using the special mold. Let them rest in the refrigerator, then bake at 180°C (350° F) until they brown.

For the frosting.
Pour the egg white into a bowl, then the powdered sugar a little at a time, and finally the drops of lemon, stirring them well until the mixture becomes glossy and fairly stiff.

After letting the biscuits cool, pour the frosting into a pastry bag and use it to cover the whole cookie, or to make the bases on which to stick dried fruit, sprinkles and chocolate buttons. As an alternative to sugar icing, to attach the sprinkles and buttons, you can use melted chocolate.

Author: Alessandra Dammone
Photographer: Colin Dutton
Bilingual Italiano - English
17 x 24 cm (6.5 x 9.5 inches)
192 pages
I Edition 2016
ISBN 978-88-99180-47-8

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