Thursday, March 30, 2017

Camporelli aka Pavesini

Each Italian town has its own cookie and camporelli are Novara's cookies or biscottini (tiny cookies).
Coming from the Milan Malpensa airport, driving or riding the train toward Turin, you go through Novara, also known as the gorzonzola cheese hub.

Camporelli are among the few cookies or biscotti that go through a double "cooking" (baking) - bis-cottatura process.

eggs, sugar and flour

Back in the mid 1500, the nuns in Novara made them as a gift to the local and Roman clergy. The ingredients were and still are very basic and simple, however, the nuns found out the secret to make these cookies last longer: cooking them twice to dry them up 😋

In 1852, the Camporelli family started the cookie production on a larger scale, improving the baking process and designing the special machinery required by the nuns' recipe.
Camporelli top and back 

Since 1948 Pavesi, a large Italian company form Novara started an industrial production and following a trip to the USA, in 1952 renamed these cookies Pavesini for the wider commercial market. So, go to your Italian import store and look them up.

The Camporelli ingredients are: beaten eggs with sugar and flour added in  second time; the cookie batter rests over night and then it's baked on a glazed sheet. Once out of the oven, they are taken off the sheet by hand and sent to dry for 15 minutes to deprive them of all the humidity.
Finally they are packaged right away to keep them as dry as possible and consequently ideal for dunking into wine, tea, coffee, milk, hot chocolate and gelato!!

vintage ad saying healthy and light

As both Camporelli and Pavesini are very easy to digest, Pavesini - the industrial version have always been perfect for kids and in the 1960s famous Italian TV mouse Topo Gigio was the testimonial in a carosello or famous series of 1960s commercials.

As the Camporelli recipe is very simple, the ingredients are still the same and the flavor is still the one you would taste in 1852. However, as the real Camporelli's double cooking recipe is hard to make at home, we are sharing the easier Pavesini recipe.

The Pavesini recipe

  • 360 gr/ 3 cups white flour 
  • 360 gr / 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 280 gr / 1 cup fresh eggs
  • 1 small bag of baker's ammonia (20 gr/2 tsp)

Beat the eggs with the sugar and the baker's ammonia. Fold in the flour till well incorporated. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 16 hours in  a cold and dry place.

With a teaspoon or a pastry bag, lay the cookies down on parchment paper making them rather thin (5mm / 0.19 in. thick) and about 6cm/ 2.3in long.
Sprinkle them with sugar and bake them at 270C/ 518F for 2 minutes

Camporelli definitely make the perfect culinary souvenir from Novara and also a genuine symbol of Italy. In the mean time you can get their industrial version and make them home while planning your vida royal trip over to Piedmont!

For food tours and cooking classes in Turin and Piedmont e-mail:  

No comments:

Post a Comment