"There used to be a commercial version of these years ago but once you have had them home-made there is no comparison. These are not too sweet but they are addicting." — Rosina
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A superb cookie! Should be included in any selection of great traditional Italian cookie presentations. The cardamom,lemon sesame blend is wonderfully subtle.
Interesting twist on the traditional biscotti di regina, my italian aunts were initially very suspicious of the cardamom and thought there was too much lemon extract but I guess it's a matter of taste. Forming these cookies is fairly time consuming so to speed things along a bit I measure out a half cup of dough, gently roll/coax it to a cylinder approx half inch in diameter and cut off 1.5 inch lengths.
Used lemon zest instead of extract, put in splash of vanilla. Make sure to cool before eating since the taste does change. Have to adjust the time/temp for non-stick surface but they were a great father's day surprise for my husband who's got a thing for Reginas.
My hubby and I love them, so I made a batch for him for Valentine's Day! They're good as is, but I used cream instead of milk this time and switched out half the shortening with butter. They are so good this way! They don't expand very much at all, so you can put quite a few on the cookie sheet. To save yourself time, put about 1/4 of the dough at a time in a ziploc bag and nip the corner, twist the bag opening to make it into a pastry bag then squeeze out to the desired length directly on to the sesame seeds, using a butter knife to cut it. Then just flip the cookie over as you place it on your parchment paper and pop them in the oven. It saves a ton of time and your hands don't get all gooey!
I was looking for something to make for a "queen for a day" celebration for a co-worker. This recipe fit the bill. These cookies were very easy to make, once I was able to find Cardamom and a large quantity of sesame seeds (check ethnic area of grocery store that carries East Indian cooking supplies). Great taste -- like a lemon cookie/biscuit combo. Received many compliments.
I suggest making a couple as a test-run. My first batch got too browned and I turned the heat down to 350. The second batch came out perfect after 12 minutes. Also, I am not one for "cutting in", so I creamed the shortening and sugar, added the egg, extract and cardamom, then mixed the dry ingredients separately and added all at once. Once that was mixed, I added the milk as recipe stated. One more thing, I didn't have enough sesame seeds for my whole batch, so I rolled a few in nonpareils, which the kids really liked!
They taste just like the sesame seed cookies I buy at Italian bakeries. I followed the recipe as written and baked them for about 12 minutes. Next time, I will make them a little larger; I made them a little small.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Regina (Queen's Biscuit)
Serving Size: 1/60 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 60
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 41
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