Stomatico Biscuits – Burnt sugar biscuits
A dry semi-sweet toffee/ginger like biscuit that the Italians serve to be dunk into coffee or sweet liqueur. You can’t beat these home-made biscuits that have been passed down from generations and unavailable at Italian Patisseries. So box them up and they make a terrific gift.
The word Stomatico translates to ‘good for the stomach’ as they are traditionally served after a meal to assist with digestion.
3 cups of sugar
1 cup of espresso coffee, sweetened to your liking
½ cup Vino Cotto
½ cup honey
1 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves, ground
2 tablespoons Tia Maria, Amaretto or preferred liqueur
½ cup sweet drinking chocolate powder
½ cup warm water
1kg self raising flour, extra maybe needed
rind of 1 lemon and orange
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
It’s important that you work quickly with the dough to maintain it’s warm temperature which will ensure ease of spreading in baking tray.
Preheat oven to 180C degrees.
In a small bowl, add the drinking chocolate and warm water and stir to dissolve chocolate. Set aside.
Make the caramel
Add 2 cups of sugar to a large heavy based pot over a low heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir gently until the sugar and dissolves and caramelizes. Continue to cook the caramel a little more until almost at burning point and it turns to a reddish-brown colour. Remove from heat.
Being careful not to burn yourself, slowly add the espresso coffee, vino cotto, honey, oil, cinnamon, cloves, dissolved drinking chocolate, liqueur and the remaining 1 cup of sugar to the pot. Stir gently for at least 2 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. There should be enough heat in the caramel to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.
Using a large bowl, sift the flour and add the rinds. Mix to combine. Make a well in the centre of the bowl.
Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl.
Gently pour the warm caramel from the pot and eggs into the flour and using a fork gradually work the flour into the wet ingredients. Stir to combine mixture until you get a soft and sticky mixture. May need to add extra flour to get the right consistency of a biscuit dough.
Lightly flour a work surface and gently knead to a soft and smooth dough. May need to oil hands whilst kneading. Cover with plastic wrap.
Line three baking trays with baking paper.
Divide dough into three.
Using a rolling pin spread the dough whilst it is still warm into baking trays about 1 inch thick. Smooth the surface with hands. Using a sharp knife, slight score the surface of the dough mixture into diagonals about 3.5cm apart, creating diamond shapes. Place an almond onto each diamond and brush surface with milk.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.
Lower the oven to 50C degrees.
Serve with tea or coffee. Traditionally served to dunk into coffees.
Note: Biscuits will keep in an air tight container for up to 1 month.