Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Gatto's Got My Tongue

Ever since I made my first trip to Italy in 2010, I have spent a majority of my waking hours thinking about the next time I will return.  I was very fortunate to have have gone back twice since that initial trip.  But like potato chips or if you're Liz Taylor, husbands, there is no such thing as enough.

It's looking like my next trip to the motherland will not be until some time in 2014.  Until that time, I will cook and bake and surf the internet until my head is about to explode with Italian imagery.

Today, I found myself yearning for Campo De Fiori, the market and the neighborhood.  There are several great bakeries in the area. Some make spectacular bread (Roscioli), others make insanely good pizza by the inch (centimeter?) (Forno) and still others make great cookies (Il Fornaio).  Il Fornaio is the bakery that was featured in today's Italian daydream.

Every time that I have visited Rome I have made a stop at Il Fornaio.  I must admit, the thing that initially attracted me was the giant mortadella in an acrylic case at the front door.  It is displayed kind of half in the door and half out, as if it had burst out of the bakery in an attempt to be free of it's carbohydrate laden surroundings.  Freakish imagery aside, the baked goods inside were nothing to run away from.  It was in fact, the first place that ever got Cat's Tongue cookies.

Cat Tongue cookies or Lingue di Gatto are a very simple butter cookie with a crisp exterior, a tiny bit of interior chew and gorgeous brown edges.   Neither overly sweet nor adorned in any way, this cookie may be the best friend a cup of coffee ever had.  Today, my own tongue told me that I had to have some. Stateside, this means - bake 'em yourself, which is what I did.  I found a recipe in Italian here and I fired up the oven. Thankfully, my scale can measure in grams, because I can't. 

Here's how they came out.  A little bit of Rome in every bite.

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