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Tetù, the sweets of the dead

Tetus are typical Sicilian desserts. They can be called with different names depending on whether they are covered with icing (teio) or cocoa (tetù). In Palermo they are traditionally served during All Saints' Day.

The tetus and teio are slightly crunchy biscuits on the outside and soft and porous inside, whose name in Sicilian dialect can be adapted in Italian to "one to you and one to me", because one leads to another, just like cherries. Generally, tetus are coated with sugar and cocoa icing, while theories are covered with simple sugar icing.

At one time it was customary to consume the tetus and teio on the occasion of the Feast of the Dead on November 2nd, but today they are safely found all year round in every bakery and pastry shop in Sicily. However, don't expect to find biscuits with almost the same flavor anytime, anywhere. In fact, in addition to flour, ground almonds and lard, the recipe of the tetus and teio includes a conspicuous and random amount of scraps and leftovers of pastry, or remnants of sponge cake, waffles, hardened pastries, cream puffs, cakes, creams, etc. ., which make each of these biscuits truly unique for their flavor and consistency. In the absence of these ingredients, certainly not at hand at home, you can use some brioscina and biscuit, nutella, jams and various creams and compensate for the remaining weight loss by increasing the doses of the other main ingredients until you reach the consistency of a normal dough for semi-soft biscuits.

The ingredients:

600 g of leftover pastry or 300 g of flour 00 + 100 g of sugar + 50 g of almond flour + 50 g of butter + an egg + 100 g of jams and / or various creams

+200 g of 00 flour

+150 g of sugar

+120 g of lard

+100 g of almond flour

+15 g of ammonia for cakes

+ Two teaspoons of cinnamon

+ Milk q.b.

+ A pinch of salt

+ Peel of a grated lemon

+ Peel of a grated orange


Finely grind the leftovers of pastry, then mix them in a bowl with all the other ingredients, adding a little milk to obtain a smooth, homogeneous and soft dough.

Cut the dough into balls a little bigger than a walnut and not too perfect and cook everything in a preheated oven at 200 ° C until it is lightly browned (about 10-15 minutes).

Once cooked, place the biscuits to cool and then brush half of them with a thick glaze of sugar and water (teio) and half with the remaining part of icing mixed with cocoa (tetù). Then put the tetus and teio back in the oven and let them dry for 5 minutes at 120 ° C.


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