Amanda Lanza’s ‘The Brick’ cookies Recipe

Thick, nostalgic and filling, this family recipe from Garibaldina member Amanda Lanza — who also is the chef-founder of the club’s popular Bar Bene series — is a riff on a classic Italian breakfast cookie or biscottoni. Meant to be enjoyed with a glass of milk or espresso, it’s a simple and vanilla-scented delight, and a heartier relative to a classic sugar cookie. Lanza’s family calls it “The Brick” in a nod to the hard consistency when made by her family’s Sicilian matriarch, Antonina Di Maria, who continued baking it almost until her death at the age of 104.

As a professional chef, Lanza slightly adapted Di Maria’s recipe and its bake time to yield a less brick-like cookie, resulting in a fluffier, softer center. When preparing the cookies, using a scoop helps to make each portion uniform. It also makes easy work of forming the dough balls, to the point of no longer needing to weigh each one. Di Maria would hand-mix her cookie dough, which led to a lumpier consistency; Lanza recommends using a stand mixer for uniform texture.

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