3. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in small saucepan. Add garlic cloves; cook until golden on all sides, about 1 minute. Discard garlic. Add tomatoes with juice, breaking into pieces with a spoon. Add sugar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper and basil. Simmer 10 minutes.
4. Uncover eggplant; cook 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce to eggplant mixture; cook, uncovered, 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in almonds, vinegar, cocoa powder and red pepper flakes. Let cool or chill until 1 hour before serving time. Serve at room temperature as a dip with bread or as a salad.
St. Joseph's sesame cookies
Prep: 25 minutes Cook: 12 minutes. Makes: About 50 cookies
Adapted from a recipe in "Papa Andrea's Sicilian Table," these cookies were featured in a 2001 story on St. Joseph's Day by William Rice, the Chicago Tribune's former food and wine columnist.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sesame seeds, spread on a large plate
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together flour and baking powder in small bowl; set aside. Beat butter and sugar in bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture; beat until well blended.
2. Beat egg whites in small dish with fork; set aside. Spread sesame seeds on plate; set aside. Pinch off walnut-size piece of dough; shape into ball using palm of hands. Dip in egg whites; roll in sesame seeds. Place on greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake until firm, about 12 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
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