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Last week I took a friend to my favorite Italian food shop. One of my purchases was a cream colored pack of cookies called I Rigoli. They're a honey flavored biscuit produced under the Nabisco of Italian cookie brands, Mulino Bianco, and I love their mellow sweetness. My friend asked me to translate the package. I began, "These cookies are ideal who those who want keep it light at breakfast..."
She grabbed the package, squinting as if a closer inspection of the text would allow her to speak Italian. "For breakfast?" "Si." "These cookies are for people 'keeping it light' at breakfast?" "That's right. Ooh, Nutella."
She followed me to the pyramid of hazelnut spreads while I explained that Italians are much more flexible about cookies. Cookies for breakfast. Cookies as an afternoon snack. Cookies grated over your ravioli. These are my kind of people.
I got home from our excursion with a strong craving for this Pumpkin Amaretti Bread. This recipe isn't just about the novelty of putting cookies in bread, though it is fun to serve it to unsuspecting guests.
The almond flavored amaretti cookies are pounded out—I use a large cutting board and a rolling pin, which I find highly therapeutic—until they fold seamlessly into the batter. When the pumpkin, cinnamon, and cookies meld, the bread picks up a spicy, almost gingery flavor.
On a second bite, the almond flavor of the amaretti shines through, and there's no denying that it pairs wonderfully with pumpkin. Perhaps counterintuitively, this bread is less sweet than most pumpkin breads I've had. Cookies or not, I don't think anyone will question you serving it for breakfast.
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