The Kitchen Prep: Sweet Love

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sweet Love

Why, hello!  I'm back from our Anniversary Weekend Getaway to Sanibel & Captiva tanned and ready to talk food. :)  The hubby & I headed over to the West coast of our state last weekend to celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary the best way we know how: Lounging, eating, and spending lots of time on the beach!

June has been overflowing with bridal showers, weddings, anniversaries {and babies... so many babies! But that's a whole different department! ;) }, and I love all of the above. Mostly because all of the occasions I mentioned mean joyful celebrations with family and friends {and, who am I kidding... yummy food!}. What's better than celebrating love with people you love and food you love?? Nothing!

So, in honor of all the lovey-doveyness going on, I thought I'd get a little mushy on you and share a recipe for a classic Italian cookie representing two lives intertwining in marriage or two people "tying the knot". {If you're feeling a bit cynical or jaded today, this post may not be for you... but the cookie will still hit the spot!} :P

I tried this recipe out back in April, when I was invited to my college roomate's bridal shower. I wanted to give her something really special along with the predictable {though lovely!} registry gift. So I dedided to include a "sweet" little addition to the serving platter I purchased... cookies! But not just any cookies. Cookies that reflected her Italian background and her Polish fiance's heritage as well. After doing a little research, I decided on Italian Love Knot cookies and Polish Faworki {big thanks to Anna, Gen's sister-in-law-to-be, for the wonderful suggestion!}.

Italian Love Knots often make an appearance at Steve's family's Christmas dessert table {made deliciously by his Aunt Fran}, decorated in the classic style with white glaze and rainbow colored sprinkles. Decorated with a little romantic flourish, I knew they'd make a great gift to give to a bride-to-be -- especially one who loves food as much as Gen does! ;)

The dough for these cookies comes together quite easily, but their assembly is a bit of a labor of love, so to speak. But don't be intimidated. Once you get the hang of creating the little knots, they're actually pretty easy to crank out. If you start to get frustrated, just recite "Love is patient, love is kind..." a couple of times and you should be fine. ;) 

Below you'll find the recipe for the Love Knots, and I plan on sharing the recipe for the Polish Faworki later in the week. I hope you'll enjoy sharing these with your sweetie or with family & friends. They're a cookie everyone will be sure to LOVE!

The Bride-to-Be & opening her gift. :)
Italian Love Knot Cookies
found on Sprinkle with Salt

You'll Need:

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest

1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 to 5 tablespoons milk or half-and-half
1 teaspoon almond extract

Colored sprinkles or heart sprinkles.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 baking sheets withnon-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper & set aside.

1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then, add the vanilla, lemon juice and zest.
4. Add the flour mixture slowly, mixing until well combined. {The dough will be relatively soft.} Wrap the dough in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

To Assemble Love Knots:
1. Prepare your surface by dusting lightly with flour. Take pieces of dough that are roughly the size of a golf ball.
2. Roll each ball of dough into a rope shape about 7 inches long and 1/2 inch thick.
3. Carefully tie the dough into a knot as you normally would. One end will poke up in the center. 
4. Place each knot 1-inch apart on your prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly. {The cookies are best iced when they are slightly warm.}

For Icing:
1. In a bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and milk and mix until smooth. Add in the almond extract and stir until well combined.
{IF your icing is too thick, add more milk a small amount at at time to thin it.}

2. Carefully dip each cookie, top down, into the icing. Flip over and place the cookies on wire racks and allow the excess icing to drip off.  Top with the colored sprinkles while the icing is still wet and allow to dry completely before storing.

These cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for about 1 week.


Eftychia said...

These cookies look delicious! I like very much their decoration! Thanks for sharing.

La Cipota said...

Those really look amazing, I will definitely have to try them! thanks for the lovely post!!

Anonymous said...

these are beautiful. going to make the for my family for Valentines Day!

Dianna M. said...

@Eftychia - Thank you!
@La Cipota - Thanks for the compliment! Hope you enjoy them!
@Anonymous - That's wonderful! What a sweet Valentine's gift. :) Thanks for stopping by!

Megan Shaw said...

How many does this recipe make?

Anonymous said...

I made these yesterday and they were an instant hit! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Can you freeze these?

Dianna M. said...

I've personally never tried, but I don't see why not! Maybe leave the glaze off and glaze after thawing, though, as I'm not sure how it would hold up.

Anonymous said...

Help Im super confused... do you have 2 different recipes for this cookies? I found this one with lemon juice and zest but I also found a pin for the same cookie with almond, but it takes me to this recipe and do you prefer 1 over the other?

Dianna M. said...

@Anonymous - Hmm... I've only ever made & posted this recipe, but I'm sure there are lots of other versions out there! Do you prefer the flavor of almond (like amaretto) or a citrus flavor? I think they're both equally delicious! I think the almond or anise (licorice-type) flavor is probably more classic, but this one is lovely, too.

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