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Tuesday
Jun072011

Pass the Torchetti: Torchetti Cookies from Cle Elum Bakery, WA

The other day, I found myself in a magical land called Cle Elum.

Now, don't ask me how to pronounce the name of the town--but do ask me what I ate there, because I did find a magical place called Cle Elum Bakery.

I ate something called Torchetti, that's what. This is a traditional Italian cookie which I learned more frequently goes by Torcetti, which means "little twist"--which, you know, describes them pretty well. Physically they resemble Berlinerkranser or Calabrian Love Knots, but texture and taste-wise they are different; where aforementioned cookies are crumbly and buttery, these biscuits are more hearty and sturdier in texture with the addition of yeast, more like lightly sweet biscuits than butter cookies.

As I learned from this segment,

The recipe itself is very old, indicated by the use of yeast, not baking powder, for leavening.  These cookies are from the Piedmont region of northern Italy.  Turin, Piedmont's capital, was also Italy's first capital.  The city preserves remarkable architectural and cultural treasures.

They're a very nice snacking cookie, no matter what you want to call them or how you want to spell it.

Of course, if you can't make it up (or over?) to Cle Elum, you can try this recipe (adapted from Taste of Home):

Torchetti (or Torcetti)

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Additional confectioners' sugar

Procedure

  1. Place flour in a large bowl; cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla and 2 cups of the crumb mixture; beat until well blended. Gradually beat in remaining crumb mixture.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead for 3-4 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down; divide into six portions. Shape each portion into twelve 6-in. ropes, about 1/4-in. thick; roll in confectioners' sugar. Shape each rope into a loop. Holding both ends of loop, twist together three times.
  4. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Roll warm cookies in additional confectioners' sugar. Cool on wire racks. 

 

 

 

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    Seeking Sweetness in Everyday Life - CakeSpy - Pass the Torchetti: Torchetti Cookies from Cle Elum Bakery, WA

Reader Comments (6)

Its "Clay Ellem" ! I haven't been there for years. My grandparents had a weekend cabin up that-a-ways. The blueberry pie at Liberty Cafe was always a favorite.
June 7 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Rose
Yum, those look delish!
June 7 | Unregistered CommenterDina
That looks yummy! I love a butter cookie.
June 7 | Unregistered Commentersunshine
I cannot pass Cle Elum without stopping at that wonderful bakery. It was a family tradition growing up. We always brought home a big bag of torchetti. Sometimes the treat made it home and sometimes it didn't.
June 8 | Unregistered Commenterdorothy
We stop and get a dozen each time we pass through. They are wonderful! My husband's grandparents were from Cle Elum. They had a little hosue near the bakery. My husband's father, as a little guy, would go to that bakery as well...imagine the place in the 30's and 40's! Torchettis are a tradition for us....Get off I-90 and stop in Cle Elum!
September 8 | Unregistered CommenterShanna onaudi
found family memories! my great grandma and aunt would make them or get them from her niece at the Cle Elum bakery and they would be eaten in the morning with coffee (or hot cocoa for us little ones). warms my heart to know the new owners still use the original family's recipes!
October 9 | Unregistered CommenterGab

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