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Taormina Cookies

I was in Sicily a few years ago, and was enthralled with all the amazing and beautiful cookies, pastries, and desserts, all artfully displayed in bakeries and coffee bars. It is these very flavors, that I tried to recreate with these cookies. I call them Taormina cookies because they evoke memories of a beautiful place, visited with the people I love. They are a reminder, that it takes but a scent or flavor to immediately transport us back to a particular place or time.

1¼ Cup all purpose flour

¾ Cup Dutch cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp.salt

1 ½ sticks butter softened

1 ½ cups packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 Cup quality chocolate chips

1 Cup candied orange peel diced

1 Cup slivered almonds (toasted)

Sea salt or fleur de sel for sprinkling

Heat the oven to 375 and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Ina bowl whisk together the first 4 ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl or stand mixer beat the butter and brown sugar about 2 minutes until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating until incorporated. At a low speed, add the flour mixture, until just incorporated. Stir in the candied peel, nuts and chocolate mixing till just incorporated. Use a small ice cream scoop to drop cookies onto prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Use your damp fingertip to gently flatten the top of each cookie and sprinkle each one with a small bit of salt. Bake cookies about 12 minutes or so and rotating the sheet about half way through. Cool on the sheets for about 5 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

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