Brigidini Recipe, a “Holy” Tuscan Biscuit

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Trecipe-brigidiniThe host-like biscuits brigidini were born in Tuscany by chance in a convent of nuns. One day a nun that was dedicated to preparing the batter to make hosts committed a mistake. The batter could not be used for hosts anymore, but the other nuns agreed that all that food could not just be thrown away. Therefore they decided to flavor it up and add other ingredients so it could be eaten at lunch.
The truth could be a little different from the above story, but the nuns devoted to Saint Brigida are told to be the inventors of what, in their honor, have come to be called brigidini. Nowadays these can be found in all fairs along Italy, but their origins are all Tuscan!
These sweets have quite a particular taste. Not everyone likes them. It is possible to say that either you really love them, or after a couple of bites you can do without them for quite a long time. The reason is that brigidini are extremely sweet; moreover, they include anise as a main ingredient, which really hits the jaw of those who do not like it.

Another good thing about brigidini is that they are extremely simple to make at home. The only difficult thing could be finding two flat metal dishes to cook them, but other than that you should be fine. A solution I have found to this is getting a very flat skillet or pan and a round flat iron meat flattener, no plastic handle, only wood or all iron. They work pretty well together.

Ingredients for about thirty brigidini:
- 1 cup of flour
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp of anise seeds
- a pinch of salt
- few drops of vanilla extract (optional)

Beat the eggs until they are bubbling, then add the sugar and the anise seeds. Continue to work in the ingredients adding the flour a bit at the time. Then add the salt and vanilla extract, and keep kneading the dough until it is smooth and soft.
Now it is time to cook the brigidini. Using your hands, form about 30 little balls as big as a small walnut each. Heat up your skillet and your meat flattener. They do not need to be red-hot, just hot enough to melt the sugar in the dough and make your brigidino ready in few seconds. A good method is to let the skillet heat up on the flame while you heat up the meat flattener as well. While the fire is going under the skillet, place a little ball in the skillet and immediately press it hard with the hot meat flattener. After a few seconds remove the top iron and scrape away the flattened brigidino that should crumple or curve a bit. After a few seconds out of the skillet it should be very stiff and crunchy with a beautiful deep golden yellow color. Your house will be brigidini scented all day long!