Sprinkle Biscuits

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Sorrento, Italy

The curved beach swarms with brown-skinned boys and girls,
Dancing the tarantella on the sands
From ‘Sorrento’ by John Hay, 1838-1905

On our whistle-stop tour of the Amalfi Coast, Zio Mario parked up in Marina Piccola in Sorrento and we sat on a stone wall. Dwarfed by the steep cliffs behind us, we waited for the boat to take us over to the Island of Capri.

As we sat there in the blazing sun, out came the picnic that Nonna had packed for us. I clearly remember the simple sprinkle biscuits which Nonna Maria had made. Sun, Sorrento and Sprinkle Biscuits. What else does a girl need?

Marina Piccola, Sorrento
Sprinkle Biscuits

Makes 20
115g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened * 115g (4oz) caster sugar * 1 large egg, separated * 1 tsp vanilla extract * 170g (6oz) plain flour * pinch of salt * 30g (1oz) ground almonds * tub of hundreds and thousands

Pre-heat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Place the butter and 85g (3oz) of the caster sugar in a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract, beating well to combine. Sift in the flour and salt, then mix well.

Mix the remaining sugar and the ground almonds together and spread out on a plate. Lightly whisk the egg white in a separate bowl. Roll walnut-sized pieces of dough into balls, then dip each ball into the egg white and then the almond sugar. Place the balls onto the baking trays and sprinkle the hundreds and thousands over them. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown. Serve to children and adults alike.

I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book: FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.

There are more recipes in the section THE ITALIAN JOB, a selection of authentic Italian recipes.


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