Pastry Post-Doc: ‘Mpanatigghi

SicilyA few weeks ago we did a feature on the surprising Mexican origins of Modica chocolate in Sicily, which was brought over by the Spaniards. While researching Modica chocolate, we learned of another quirky Modica recipe with a Spanish connection – the Mpanatigghi cookie (Impanatiglie in standard Italian). The word “‘Mpanatigghi” is a Sicilian-ization of the Spanish word “empanada/empanadilla”, and its half-moon shape is certainly empanada-like. The filling of a ‘Mpanatigghi cookie is chocolate, cinnamon and almonds, but also something pretty unusual – a little bit of beef! Sounds pretty weird until you think of savory Oaxacan moles with chocolate-tinged sauce. Perhaps this cookie also has a bit of Mexican influence somewhere? Even being familiar with Sicilian cookies – this unusual concoction is a new one for us – here’s a recipe for the culinary adventurers out there.

mpani1.jpg

Photo from Anita’s Italy

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