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Italian Peach Wedding Cookies

Chef Makoto Ono,

The crunchy and purely sweet sugar and spirit coating is the first note of the peach. The sponginess of the cookie shell contrasts with the creamy smooth filling making the dish more textural than intensely flavourful. Although these delightful peach- shaped cookies, called pesche in Italian, resemble fruit, their flavour is not fruity at all, but delicately sweet and buttery. Traditionally served at Italian wedding showers, pesche are now found at any celebration.

2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup cornstarch

Custard Cream Filling
2/3 cup milk, heated not boiled
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla

Yellow and red food colouring
6 Tbsp Martini Rosso
1/2 cup sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2.  In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients to form a soft dough.
3.  Roll the dough into a long cylinder.
4.  Cut in 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Place on baking tray.
5.  Bake approx. 15-20 minutes. Cool for at least half an hour.

Custard Cream Filling
1.  In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks with electric beater until smooth.
2.  Gradually add sugar, then flour. Follow with milk.
3.  Transfer to saucepan and simmer 6-7 minutes on medium-high, stirring continuously. Remove from heat.
4.  Add vanilla and stir. Let cool.

1.  Make a hole in one side of each cooled cookie with the tip of a knife.
2.  Fill a pastry bag with the custard.
3.  Insert the tip of the pastry bag into the hole of each cookie. Fill with custard.
4.  Join the balls in pairs to make 8 peaches.
5.  In a small bowl, mix about 3 Tbsp Martini Rosso with a few drops of yellow colouring, and in another bowl mix about 3 Tbsp Martini Rosso with a few drops of red colouring.
6.  Dip one half of each peach in the red colouring mixture, and the other half in the yellow.
7.  Roll in sugar.

Yield 8 peaches

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