Crespelle or vente crochante Italian cookies
Hi, sorry if this is the wrong site for this question, but I found these Italian cookies called crespelle at one Italian deli near me (Manhattan), and the same thing (same package, likely same commercial bakery) called vente crochante at another Italian deli. (The salespeople could tell me nothing.)
What is the real name/history? They look like strips of crepes baked and then dredged in powdered sugar. Kinda like bugia, but not fried(?), and no orange or wine or anise, only butter, flour, eggs, sour cream, barley malt, and sugar.
They remind me a lot of kichel...
Response: Hi Erica and great question!
I have to say, these sound to be maybe a version specific to that producer, as you are right... the 'real' crespelle are indeed basically the Italian name for a French crêpe-based dish... called crêpe suzette.
Since I can't really offer much advise on the cookie version... ;-) ... should you want to make these authentic pancakes, my Mamma Marisa (sat next to me) suggests:
- whip up some crêpe mixture (without baking powder in the mixture - we want our crespelle thin not fat!)
- pour the mixture into your frying pan
- once cooked, fold your crêpe into 4 quarters on the plate
- then cover it in orange juice and some runny honey
- finally, to do it really French style, add a little quantro liqueur and set fire to that bad boy (just watch your eyebrows!).
PS: After I typed the above, I got more curious and Googled this dish's French history.
It's a great little tale...
As with so many baked creations, crêpe suzette was invented entirely by accident.
One afternoon in January 1896, in the Café de Paris in Monte Carlo, the Prince of Wales (later to become Edward VII of England) was cooked for by a young apprentice pastry chef. The order was for standard French pancakes.
Such were the cook's nerves however that he spilled fine champagne all over the crêpes. But keeping a cool head, he smothered the flames under a shower of sugar and told the surprised Prince that this was a brand new dish, called of course 'The Prince of Wales'.
Flattered but ever modest, the Prince turned to the woman closest to him and asked her name. Suzette she replied.
And so the renamed dish was born...