Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Special Mother's Day Recipe from Ciao Italia

Mom's Walnut Pastry Logs

A not-too-sweet yeast dough encasing ground walnuts and egg whites are the signature ingredients for my mother's walnut pastry logs. Delicious with tea or coffee, make them for the special women in your life this Mother's Day.
Makes 5 logs


1/2 cup warm water
2 packages dried yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6-7 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

4 egg whites
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
5 cups ground walnuts plus a few extra whole shelled walnuts for garnish
1 teaspoon vanillla extract
1 - 2 teaspoons milk
Maraschino cherries (optional)


For the dough

Pour the water into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Dissolve the yeast in the water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk, butter and sugar. Mix by hand or on low speed to blend the ingredients. Blend the egg yolks into the mixture, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Begin adding the flour a cup at a time and mix until a soft, non sticky ball forms. You may not need all the flour. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until nearly doubled in size.

For the filling

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then slowly add the sugar a little at a time until soft peaks form. Fold in the butter, ground walnuts and vanilla. Set aside.

Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces and work with one piece at a time, keeping the others covered. Roll each piece into a 14 inch square. Spread about 1 cup of the filling over the dough,then roll it tightly like a jellyroll. Make sure to tuck in the ends as you roll. They should be about 12 inches long.

Place two logs, 4 inches apart on a lightly butter baking sheet or on a parchment lined baking sheer. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes or until almost doubled in size.

Continue making 4 more logs. Place them on baking sheets as above.

Preheat the oven to 375F

When ready to bake brush the tops with millk and make a few decorative slashed in the top of the dough.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until nicely browned.


1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon of milk or more for a thin consistency

Combine in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle on logs as they cool. Decorate with the cherries and walnuts.

Cut on the diagonal into thick slices.

No comments: