This recipe was kindly provided by la maestra di dolci a Lingua, Rosalba Benenati. This quantity makes approx. 120 biscuits.
For the pastry
1 kg flour
4 egg yolks
Malvasia or sweet sherry
250 g lard
For the filling
1 kg whole almonds
900 g sugar
3 teaspoons of freshly ground cinnamon
water infused with mandarin peel
Begin with preparing the almonds and mandarin water the day before you intend to make the vastedduzzi. For the almonds: blanch the almonds, peel and leave to dry overnight. For the mandarin water: soak the peel of 10 mandarins in 1 litre of water overnight.
The next day, grind the almonds until it become like flour. Then, mix in the sugar and the cinnamon, adding little by little enough mandarin water to achieve a moldable paste and set aside.
To prepare the pastry, mix flour, eggs, lard and sugar adding little by little, enough Malvasia or sweet sherry to bind the dough. Knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
Using a pasta machine, roll out a sheet of pastry until it is paper thin and lay on a working surface. (Only roll out enough dough to work with as if left to dry, the pastry will crack when you try to mold it.)
Take a small amount of almond paste and work into a form such as a heart, crescent, flower etc. and place on the sheet of pastry. Trace edges with a little remaining mandarin water and cover with another sheet of pastry. Take care to lightly press out any air pockets. Leaving a border of about 1 cm around the shaped filling cut away excess pastry using a serrated pastry cutter.
Decorate the biscuits by pinching – using a pizzicarolo (or a pair of sterile tweezers), snipping – using a small scissors, and pricking – using a sewing needle.
Once you have filled a tray, bake at 110˚C (230˚F) for 20 minutes or until edges brown.