"This basic cookie is one of the first ones I ever learned to make," says Buddy. "When I was a kid, my father taught me to use both hands at the same time to roll these out, so I was able to make more of them, faster, than anybody else in the kitchen. This memory comes up for me often because these also happen to be my son Buddy Jr.'s favorite cookies to roll at the bakery on the weekends, and the fact that he's able to do such a great job with them at such a young age shows me that he's clearly got the same gifted hands that I have — and that my dad had before me."
Pro Tip: To make twisty tarelles, in step 4, roll the dough out into 10-inch lengths, fold each length in half, and roll against your work surface to cause it to spiral. Bend into a circle and pinch at the ends to keep it from coming apart.
Adapted from Baking With The Cake Boss by Buddy Valastro. Copyright © 2011 by Buddy Valastro. Used with permission by Atria Books. All rights reserved.
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups vegetable shortening
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 2 ¼ cups pastry flour or additional all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350˚F.
Put the sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and paddle on low-medium speed until combined, approximately 2 minutes. With the motor running, add the shortening and paddle for 30 seconds. Pour in the milk and paddle until thoroughly absorbed into the mixture, approximately 2 minutes.
Stop the motor and add the flours and baking powder. Paddle on medium-high speed until it comes together into a smooth ball of dough and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 3 to 5 minutes, then scrape down the bowl and paddle with a rubber spatula.
Lightly flour a work surface. Transfer the dough to the surface, and separate into 2 equal pieces. Roll 1 piece into a rope about 1-inch in diameter and 30 inches long. Cut the dough into about twenty 1 ½ inch pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 5 inches long and ½-inch in diameter, and bend to make a ring, pressing the ends together until they stick. Put as many as possible on a nonstick cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.
Bake until golden brown on the bottom (check by gently lifting an edge with a spatula), approximately 15 minutes. Meanwhile, roll out the remaining piece of dough and form another 20 cookies.
When the first batch is done, remove the cookie sheet from the oven, and as soon as the cookies can be moved, use the spatula to transfer them to a rack and let them cool. Once the cookie sheet has cooled, arranged another batch of cookies on the sheet, and repeat.
Continue to repeat until all the cookies have been baked and cooled, about 20 minutes after the last batch has come out of the oven. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.