Wednesday, June 12 2024

At one time Lent was a period of stricter strictness than today; in fact, in addition to being forbidden to eat meat, the consumption of milk and its derivatives, eggs and animal fats was also prohibited.

At that time the best pastry shops in the city were the monasteries, the cloistered nuns, in fact, were outstanding master pastry chefs who aroused jealousy among the cooks of the noble palaces who tried to imitate them without success.

In order to provide for the sustenance of the convent, the hard-working nuns thus served all classes in Palermo, their little sins of gluttony, which they drew from secret recipes or invented from time to time, were a veritable explosion of colors and flavors that conquered the eyes and the palate.

It happened, however, that precisely during the Lenten season, precisely because of the ban on the consumption of certain raw materials, the confectionery sisters could not prepare their products and thus could not make up for the financial shortfall.

So it was that they thought of making a “sweet” using only vegetable products to make up for the period of abstinence, using almonds, sugar and flour, they created the Lenten sweets, ideal for that period.




Makes about 36 biscotti


  • 1 lb natural (unbalanced) almonds
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. dbl-acting baking powder
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 3 eggs


Egg wash:

  • 1 egg and 2 tbsp Milk




Toast almonds in a jelly-roll pan in a preheated 375F oven for 10 minutes and let them cool.

In a blender or food processor grind ¼ of almonds fine with ¼ cup of granulated sugar and transfer to large bowl.

Stir in flour, remaining ¾ cup sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and baking powder. Stir until blended.

Add butter and combine with mixture. Add remaining almonds, chopped coarsely, and the eggs and knead dough until combined. Will be VERY sticky! You may use water on hands to help with stickiness.

Form the dough into long rectangles onto a greased and floured pan. (About 3 loaves) Brush each rectangle with egg wash before baking for 25 minutes.

Cut slices and then put in turned off oven for 15 minutes. Store in airtight container.

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