Savory Taralli (Puglia Region, cookies)

These delicious Savory Taralli can be made up in a hurry. Who does not remember growing up with these cookies during Holiday time?  With a little practice, they can be ready in an hour.  A few simple ingredients is all you need. This recipe can be made in several ways.  The sweetened version is the most common here in the States, typically made during holiday time.  
 Had lots of fun this past month with Mom around.  She hadn’t made these in so many years.  Her mother made these typically around Easter time, so we did too.  Thank you to the Academia Barilla cooking School in Parma, Italy  for their video recipe and
reminding us all that Traditions are a very important part of today’s kitchen and should remain that way. 
Here is my variation. 
I used the food Processor.   Traditionally made by hand and still made my hand today.  So don’t worry if you don’t have a food processor.  Will take some extra kneading.
Recipe:  Makes about 2 dozen or so
16 oz of unbleached flour
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of dried fennel (one teaspoon per cup of flour)
(Optional teaspoon of black pepper)
In the food processor or standing mixer, combine all the above ingredients.   Mix for a few minutes until your dough begins to come together.   There will be crumbs.  Place onto a board  or counter and combine into a ball.   Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest approximately 15 mintues to 20 minutes.
Line 2 baking pans with Parchment paper.  (A kitchen towel will not work well as lint may be an issue while your taralli are draining).
Cut a small piece of dough off and roll out.  It will be oily some.  Do not worry.  You need it pliable and workable.  If it’s to dry, add some warm water to your hands.  You can roll out between your hands if that works.  Working quickly, roll out your Taralli in a a tubular fashion.   Then wrap in a circle and tuck the ends under and pinch.
In the meantime, put a pasta pot of Water to boil.  Add a tablespoon of salt to the water.  When the water comes to a hard boil, carefully drop your Taralli into the water for a few minutes.  This cooking method, plumps up your Taralli and helps to give them that beautiful shine when they are done, as they will dry out in the oven.
After a few minutes, they will rise to the top.   Carefully remove to a parchment lined baking sheet.   Transfer them again to a dry Parchment lined baking sheet.  You don’t want to use a towel as you don’t want lint all over your Taralli.  Don’t drain them in a colander as they might stick together.  This is the safest way to do it. 
Preheat your oven to 365 degrees bake.  If you are using convection, plese lower your oven accordingly.   Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.  Don’t worry if they are not all exactly the same size.  They will still require the same cooking time.
They will be a light golden brown.  Your kitchen will smell like fennel, an added bonus.  Buon Appetito!
They won’t last!!!   Serve before dinner or as a snack.   Traditionally, these savory treats were dipped in a glass of wine and eaten.   Buon Appetito!

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