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🎬 You will love these Bisse Italian Cookies. Watch the Cook & Connect with the Rebbetzin Unplugged to find out how fun they are to make.

Join celebrity chefs and thousands of online viewers who watched from around the world, as they enjoyed an evening of connection, cooking and creativity as part of The Shabbat Project.

This special event was geared toward teenagers and featured a special message from Chopped champion, Rachel Goldzal.

These Italian biscotti are likely the most well known of the typical desserts of the Jewish Ghetto of Venice. These are one of my family’s favorite cookies…..crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Their “S” shape makes them perfect for dipping in a glass of cold milk or your favorite hot drink.

They are as easy to make as they are delicious.  

One of the best things about these Bisse Italian cookies is that they are made from ingredients which you most likely always have in your kitchen and pantry anyway.

They are inexpensive and the dough can be made ahead, as it stores very well in the refrigerator for a few days in a tight sealed or well-wrapped container. These cookies do not last long in my house. In fact, I usually have to make a double batch.

Try out this recipe and your friends and family will think you are a biscotti pro!

Bisse Italian Cookies

5 from 17 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 19 minutes
Total Time 29 minutes
Servings 19 Cookies
Calories 181
These are the perfect Bisse cookie – crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside

Ingredients

  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 3 1/3 Cups Flour
  • Pinch of Salt

Instructions 

Prepare the Batter

  • Beat the eggs and sugar together until creamy
  • Next, add in the olive oil and the zest of one lemon.
  • The zest is the yellow. You want to avoid getting any of the pith, the white, in there. It’s bitter. We only want that delicious, fragrant yellow zest.
  • The easiest way to do this is with a mandoline.
  • Next, add a pinch of salt
  • Finally, add the 3 1/3 cups of flour in two parts.
  • This makes it easier to fold in the flour and ensures that we don’t have any lumps. Check down at the bottom to make sure all the flour has been incorporated.
  • Once mixed, you can put the dough in the fridge for about 1/2 hour to get a more workable consistency, but if you don’t have time, it's not necessary.

Shaping the Cookies

  • Now, flour your cooking paper and your fingers with a little bit of flour. And take a large spoonful of the cookie dough and roll it out like a stick, around 8 or 9 inches long (20-23 cm). I like to use the length of my hand as a guide to make uniform sized cookies, with the stick of dough extending a bit past my wrist and the tip of my middle finger.
  • You want to work the dough the least possible, because an overworked cookie dough leads to a tough cookie.
  • Now, I’ll tell you a trick to get a perfect "S" shape.
  • What you want to do is pick up the stick from each end and as you transfer the dough on to your baking sheet, and just before you put it down on the baking sheet, form the "S". Once down, you can adjust the shape a bit if necessary.
  • Try to get 2 rows of four cookies on the baking sheet.
  • In between batches, stick the dough in the fridge to keep it at a good consistency to work with.
  • Bake the cookies for 5 minutes at 425F. (202C)
  • Then lower the heat to 350F for around 14 minutes. (175C)
  • Cookies continue to bake if left on a hot baking sheet, so as soon as they come out of the oven, you want to carefully slide the baking paper onto a cooling rack.
  • Place a new sheet of baking paper on the baking sheet and continue shaping and baking the cookies.
Calories: 181kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: biscotti, bisse, Italian desserts, Jewish Ghetto, kosher, Venice Italy

Nutrition

Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 38IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

If you love these Bisse Italian Cookies and Italian cooking in general, then you’ll love my gnocchi recipe. Let me know in the comments what other Italian recipes you’d like to see on RebbetzinUnplugged.com

“How do you make the perfect Italian coffee at home,” you wonder? Well, I’ll tell you!  As you may already know, I am passionate about coffee. When I go to sleep at night, I am already excited to wake up and have my morning coffee. Anyone else?  There are several ways and types of coffee that I enjoy, but there is a wonderful way to make coffee that is a deep part of Italian culture, and that is the Moka.  Not to be confused with mocha, the combination of chocolate and coffee flavors, but moka, with a “K.”

Many of you ask which products I use and recommend. This post contains some of my affiliate links for “making every day the best day” while cooking, entertaining and living life.  If you buy something through one of these links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

To make this coffee and bring some of this Italian coffee culture into your home, you must begin with a moka pot.  Interestingly, the word “Moka” actually comes from a port city in Yemen, where coffee was exported.

Delicious Coffee to Start the Day

There’s nothing like a cup of hot coffee in the morning.  Just the mere thought of the smell, the taste, can make you jump out of bed.  A pot of good coffee is a way to bring everyone together.  Sitting over hot coffee with a friend is one of my favorite things to do.  And, there are so many ways and types of coffee, but today I’m going to tell you all about preparing and drinking a moka.  

Coffee the Italian Way

Torrefazione Cannaregio – My favorite coffee shop!

Fortunately, not far from where I live, there is one of my most favorite places in all of Venice. It is a coffee house called Torrefazione Cannaregio.  Torrefazione refers to a coffee bean roaster. It was started in 1930, and was located on the main street, Strada Nuova.  It was a unique place. The door opened and you were hit with the most incredible aroma of coffee.  The floor was lined with enormous sacks of coffee beans and you could even get a glimpse of an enormous round coffee roaster in the back.  It was always packed, but the line moved fast. Some would take their coffee “da portare via” (to go) and others would drink at the counter, as there was only bar service.

It’s since changed ownership and now it is located right near the Jewish Ghetto, on the Fondamenta Ormesini.  Combining the look of a quaint coffee house with the beautiful glass containers of coffee lining the walls, you can sit inside and look out at the Venetian canal and watch gondolas go by. Although you may hear many languages from around the world at one of their canal-side tables, if you stand and drink right at the bar, you can often hear Venetian, the unique Italian dialect of the lagoon city. 

Know Your Coffee

The staff is well-versed in every type of coffee they sell and how exactly to make it.  Each coffee bean produces a different taste, and the staff is kind and patient to explain the details.  Some coffee beans are more fruity, while others are more earthy. At Torrefazione Cannaregio, they will even blend coffee for you with your choice of ingredients such as anise, black pepper, cinnamon and more. In Italy, people genuinely savor and enjoy the flavor of the coffee.  A typical Italian breakfast is a coffee and a “cornetto,” a croissant, either plain, dusted with powered sugar or chocolate-filled. 

The Moka Coffee Grind

Perfect Moka Italian Coffee Grind

If you will be buying coffee beans to be ground on the premises, you will be asked whether you would like them ground for espresso or moka.  The grind for a moka machine is a bit more course than that of an espresso machine. Once you have your perfect grind and blend, you are (almost) all set.  

An Italian Coffee Classic

With these easy steps, I will share with you how you can make the perfect moka Italian coffee at home, just like the Italians do. I That’s a coffee with a smooth, rich taste, and not bitter. But first, you must have a moka machine.  My preference is a Bialetti, which is the most well-known brand.  With a Bialetti, you know what are getting.  It is a high-quality coffee maker, named after it’s inventor, Alfonso Bialetti.  The story goes that in the early part of the 20th century, Mr. Bialetti had a workshop where he produced aluminum products.  In the 30’s, he designed what would become the iconic moka pot, which has enhanced the way people drink coffee around the world.

Moka machines comes in a range of sizes.  At home, I have a six cup moka, which is a perfect size for just us or for when we are having some company. If that’s too big for you, you can get a small moka that makes two cups.  I’ve seen a much larger 18 cup moka, as well. And now, on to the actual brewing process.

                                                              

How to Make a Moka Coffee

Making a moka is actually very easy.  Familiarize yourself with the parts of the stove-top machine.  The base get filled with water.  The little filter cup gets the coffee.  On the underside of the top of the moka machine, you will see two parts: a little filter and a rubber ring holding it in place.  It’s all quite basic.  But there are some tricks of the trade that will make your moka coffee taste just perfect.

Step 1

Put some water up to boil, because starting with boiling water is one of the keys to making a delicious moka.  By beginning with water that is already hot, the coffee in the moka machine won’t be exposed to the direct heat of the flame any longer than necessary. This will eliminate that bitter taste that’s commonly associated with coffee that is prepared incorrectly in a moka.  

Step 2

Next, take a look inside the bottom container.  You will see a little valve.  That’s where you fill your boiled water to. Keep in mind that once you fill the base of the machine with the boiling water, it will be hot.  So, work with a dish towel when you need to pick it up. You can also preheat the coffee cups you’ll be using with some of the remaining boiled water.

Step 3

Now it’s time to fill the filter cup with coffee.  Fill it to the top of the cup, without pressing the coffee down. You can give it a gentle swipe to even it out, but it shouldn’t be packed.  Insert the cup into the water-filled base.

Step 4

Next, take your dish towel to hold the base still while you place the top of the moka machine on and carefully twist it closed.  And now, you are just a few minutes from having some of the most delicious coffee you will ever taste.

Step 5

Place the moka machine on the stove and turn the flame on to medium-low heat.  Regardless of the size of your moka pot, be sure that the stove flame does not extend outward and up the sides of the moka pot.  Soon, the coffee magic will begin. You’ll start to hear the coffee boil upward through the internal mechanism into the top container.  It’s doesn’t take long, so keep an eye on it. 

Your kitchen will smell so delicious.  All the coffee lovers in the house will come running.  Carefully pour, serve, sip and enjoy.  I always say that coffee is like a vacation in a cup.  And a moka is like when you get an upgrade. To make it even better, you can pair it with these delicious Bisse Italian Biscotti.

A Virtual Shopping Experience in Venice

When you do come and visit Venice, you can buy a bag of beans to take home for yourself or to give as a gift.  What an amazing souvenir for a coffee lover.  But, why wait! This is one of the places I love to take people on my virtual personal shopping tours. Would you like me to pick some up for you? Let me know! You can set up a virtual personal shopping experience in Venice with me, from the comfort of you own home.  For more info, email me at RebbetzinUnplugged@gmail.com

What’s your favorite flavor or type of coffee? Let me know in the comments. I’m so excited to hear from you!

There’s nothing like taking a few minutes each day to do something nice for yourself.  It can be very easy to treat yourself in a special way.  Here’s a tip that is not only is nice, but has many benefits as well. Infuse yourself with care.  Learn how to make a tisane infusion with delicious natural ingredients like mint, ginger and cinnamon.

What is the Difference Between a Tea and a Tisane

The difference between a tea and a tisane is quite simple.  Tea comes from specific plants.  A tisane is an infusion of a variety of herbs, leaves, spices and flowers. 

Tisane varieties and combinations are endless, and can suit your mood or taste.  After dinner, I love to make a digestivo, which as you can guess by the Italian name, can help to aid in digestion.  As an after dinner drink, one of the most popular choices at GAM GAM Kosher Restaurant is my infusion of mint, ginger and cinnamon stick.

Yet, this tisane is not only a great way to end your meal.  This particular blend is also a delicious way to start your day.  It’s distinct combination of flavors makes your morning feel like a holiday. 

Make It a Special Moment

For the mornings, I have a special mug that I bought when I was traveling with my daughter.  In the evenings, I love to use the Richard Ginori tea cups I was gifted by a friend.  I also love  tea sets with a floral motif.  Using a specific cup for your “tisane-time” can genuinely elevate the moment.  It’s a reminder that you are taking a time to do something special for yourself.  And, making use of a gift, whether from someone else or from yourself, can conjure up good memories.

Benefits

Aside from taking some time for yourself, a tisane has many physical benfits as well. It can be a great way to avoid caffeine, if that is important to you. Generally speaking, a tisane can be a stress reducer, helping you calm down and unwind after a hard day.  It’s relaxing qualities can also help induce sleep. You work so hard.  You deserve it!

Tisane Your Way!

Whatever your taste palate, there is something for you.  When it comes to nature, there is no limit.  Aside from my go-to tisane mentioned here, other popular choices to create your own infusion are: lemon, chamomile, dill, lavender, rosemary, thyme, orange peels, cardamom and even edible flowers such as pansies.

Whatever the time of year, there are always great ingredients to be found to make a delicious tisane, and it’s always in season to take care of yourself.  So, don’t hesitate.  In fact, make it a priority to do (at least) one more thing beneficial to your physical health.  After all, our physical bodies protect our souls.  So nourish yourself physically, so you will have the calm and strength to nourish yourself spiritually.

Tisane of Mint, Ginger and Cinnamon

0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Instructions 

  • Boil water
  • Add mint, ginger and cinnamon stick to suit your taste to a tea pot
  • Cover with the boiling water
  • Steep for a few minutes
  • Drink as is or add your favorite sweetener, like honey.

Want something to dip in your tisane infusion? Try these delicious Italian Bisse Biscotti!

Italian Bisse Cookies biscotti from the Jewish Ghetto of Venice
Italian Bisse Cookies biscotti from the Jewish Ghetto of Venice

What other herbal combinations would you like to try? Let me know in the comments down below the related articles. I love hearing from you!

What is aquafaba and what can I make with it? Delicious Vegan Meringues – Without Egg!

🤍 Many of you ask which products I use and recommend. This post contains some of my affiliate links for “making every day the best day” while cooking, entertaining and living life.  If you buy something through one of these links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

If you want to know how to make aquafaba, just read on. Aquafaba is the liquid in cans of legumes, like chick peas.  It can be used as an egg white replacement in various recipes and one of my favorite uses is to make meringues.  Yes, you read that right! 

This isn’t a recipe for vegans only. Whether you eat eggs or not, you will enjoy this recipe. It is so easy. And, meringues are so elegant. Everyone will think you spent many hours in the kitchen crafting these little lovelies. I gave some to a friend as a little appreciation gift. When I told her how easy they were to make, she couldn’t believe it! It’s practically as easy as whip, bake, eat.

Whenever I make humus, I use the aquafaba to make these delicious and beautiful treats. The best part about it is that you likely have the rest of the ingredients in your kitchen. To make these vegan meringues without egg, all it takes is some sugar and some vanilla extract. You could use cream of tartar, but that is optional. The cream of tartar helps the merigunes hold their shape a bit. We don’t have kosher cream of tartar here, so I never use it and my meringues come out just fine.

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There are so many options with meringues. You can change the shape, size, color, flavor and even add fillings. I’ve added a drop of food color or flavored extract to make all sorts of varieties. My family loves these double meringues with chocolate between them like the ones pictured here. It’s simple. Just melt some chocolate, use the back of a spoon to apply some to the bottom of one meringue and stick a second meringue to it. These also make a beautiful gift to bring over to a neighbor, a teacher or someone at work.

Meringues

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 16 meringues
Calories 31

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup aquafaba (120 grams )
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
  • 5/8 cup sugar (120 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 250F (120 C)
  • Pour aquafaba in bowl
  • Add cream of tartar (optional)
  • Add sugar slowly while mixing, until peaks are stiff
  • Use a pastry bag to form meringues on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sometimes I use a star tip to get a swirled shape, but most often, I use a round tip and make these macaron shaped meringue. If you don't have a pastry bag, you can use a plastic bag (like a ziploc) with a tiny hole cut at one of the corners.
  • Cook at 250F (120C) for one hour until just firm, and not sticky on the outside.

Notes

Tip: The aquafaba to sugar ratio is 1:1.  I do the recipe at home in grams, but I’ve also listed the measurements in cups.  Measuring in grams is a bit more precise.  If you have a digital scale, just set it to grams and measure away!
Calories: 31kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: dessert and treats

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 31mg | Sugar: 8g

If you like dessert, you’ll love these Italian Bisse Cookies from the Jewish Ghetto of Venice!

This apple cinnamon crumb cake has been one of my family’s favorites since I can remember. It has a delicious topping that can be used for many flavors of cake. This cake is so absolutely delicious, it can even be served on its own without the topping.

🤍 Many of you ask which products I use and recommend. This post contains some of my affiliate links for “making every day the best day” while cooking, entertaining and living life.  If you buy something through one of these links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

And this recipe can easily be doubled and freezes extremely well. So double the recipe and make one with the topping and one without, and you’ve got two different cakes as easy as 1, 2, 3!

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Apple Cinnamon Crumb Cake & Muffins

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 (9 inch round cake)

Ingredients

Cake

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup cocoa (40 grams)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 packet baking powder (1 1/4 teaspoons or 5 grams)
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 1/2 apples ((I eat the other half 😉))

Crunch Topping

  • 1 cup dark or light brown sugar ((We don't have that here, so I use Moscovado Sugar))
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions 

  • Beat eggs well with sugar and vegetable oil
  • Add cocoa powder and mix well
  • Add flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and mix for two minutes.
  • While cake batter is mixing, peel and thinly slice an apple. Cut the slices in thirds.
  • Line your baking pan with baking paper to make for easy clean-up.
  • Pour into the pan of your choice and add the apple slices on top. With a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon, gently press the apple slices a bit into the batter. They should not be completely submerged.
  • Crunch Topping (optional):
  • Combine flour and cinnamon
  • Add brown sugar
  • Mix by hand until thoroughly combined
  • Sprinkle generously on top of cake
  • Bake at 350F / 170C for 50 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick. If needed, continue to bake in increments of 5 – 10 minutes.

Notes

Bakes well in any shape cake or muffin pan.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, cake, cupcakes, dessert, muffins, Rosh Hashana, Shabbat

And when you’re done with this apple cinnamon crumb cake, here’s some unforgettable Italian cookies to try!

From Spaghetti and meatballs, to Vegetarian Lasagna and Risotto, these meatless lentil meatballs are so easy and delicious, they’ll be stars amongst your dinner rotation ideas.

Everyone’s Looking for New Ideas for Dinner 

How about a new twist on an old classic.  Spaghetti and Meatballs is known to be a crowd pleaser, but more and more people are becoming acquainted with a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.  Or how about that guest who is on a keto-diet?  

Have no fear, lentils are here.  Lentils are a delicious and easy substitute for meat and cheap too.  In additon to being a great source of protein, lentils are also rich in iron, folate and relatively low in calories.

Meatballs without the Meat

Although canned lentils are fine for ready to eat food, I recommend using dried lentils for this recipe.  Dried lentils are better for cooked foods like soups and stews, whether cooked in a traditional pot or in a crock pot.

Dried lentils are easy to use.  Just rinse them well and cook lentils like rice, one cup of lentils to two cups of water.  Each cup of dried lentils yields approximately two and a half cups of cooked lentils. Another benefit of using dried lentils is that you control the salt/sodium content in your food.

Alongside rice, lentils should be a staple in everyone’s pantry, whether you are new to cooking or very experienced in the kitchen.  Lentils come in many varieties and can be seasoned in a myriad of ways, making them an ideal addition to your cooking, from a simple meal to an extravagant one.


Easy & Delicious 3 Ingredient Olive Dip. Green and black olives, olive tree sprigs

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Real Life Meatball Story:

This story has become one of my children’s favorites.

Before we got married, my Italian husband and I were speaking on the phone.  Hearing the pots clanking and the water rushing from the faucet, he asked what I was up to in the kitchen.  

In his Italian accent, he started the conversation with:

Him: Are you cooking?

Me:  Sure am.

Him: And, what are you going to cook for dinner tonight?

Me: I’m making Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Him: What?

Me: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Him: What’s that?

Me (concerned): What do you mean?

Him (questioningly): You’re having pasta and then you are having meatballs as the main dish?

Me: No, just the classic Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Him: Um…..classic? How does that work?

Me (puzzled): What……..?

Him:  Like, are you going to eat it all at once, everything together?

Me: Um, yesss..…

Him: What do you do, put a meatball on top of the pasta?

Me: No, they are small. Some on top, but most mixed into the spaghetti.

Him: Interesting…..we don’t usually eat the meatballs mixed into the spaghetti.

And so, there you have it! American girl meets Italian boy and now he loves my Spaghetti and Meatballs! Especially when it’s with these meatless lentil meatballs.

Meatless Lentil Meatballs

0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4
A Meatless Dinner That Everyone Will Love

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sliced onion
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg

Instructions 

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Rinse lentils well.
  • Add lentils and water to pot.
  • Bring water to a boil, then simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, saute onion until carmelized.
  • Add shredded carrots and continue to saute’ for 5 minutes.
  • Combine cooked lentils with onion and carrots and add remaining ingredients, except the egg.
  • Preheat oven to 425 F / 220 C
  • Pulse with immersion blender (or food processor).
  • Add egg and pulse a bit more.
  • Form meatless meatballs and bake on a baking sheet.
  • Brush with extra virgin olive oil.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes. (depending on your oven, you may find it useful to rotate the vegetarian meatballs halfway through cook time).
  • These meatless meatballs are great with spaghetti, as a meatball sandwich or as a Vegetarian / Vegan pate’, similar to refried beans.

Notes

Tip #1: One cup of lentils to two cups of water.
Tip #2:  Use parchment paper for quick and easy clean up (Save even more time by using the pre-cut kind).
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: dinner, lentil, lunch, meatless, pasta, vegan, Vegetarian

You May Also Like…..

If you like these Meatless Lentil Meatballs and Italian cooking in general, then you’ll love my Bisse Italian Biscotti recipe. 


What other ways do you incorporate vegetables into your meals? Waiting to read your responses in the comments below!

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