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Italian cookie recipe, hard to find

I am looking for a recipe for an Italian (from Sicily, I think) Christmas cookie recipe. The cookie is made from a very hard dough, kind of like biscotti dough. It is a basic dough with cinnamon. The dough is rolled into a long strip and then intricately twisted round and round to form a wagon wheel. Onto this round wheel is pressed flat pieces of dough (which would almost look like hubcaps). The baked cookies are crisp and hard - you can break pieces off for dipping in coffee or wine. I know this sounds unusual, but it is the only way I can describe the cookie.
The cookies are delicious with coffee, but also very good with vin santo or other sweet wine after a meal. I have had them many times - used to be able to buy them at a bakery (Tre Maria) in Toronto, but they are no longer available there - very labour intensive. Any help would be appreciated. thanks.

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  1. http://www.CiaoItalia.com/ the website of Mary Ann Esposito is a beautifdul website with recipes from her TV show on PBS and a page of hundreds of Italian Cookies of all kinds.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Fleur

      Susamielli: These are traditional Neapolitan Christmas cookies, and are S-shaped. For two possible reasons: First, in the past they were called sesamielli, and covered with sesame seeds. Second, they were (and are) called Sapienze, because they were made by nuns of the Monastero della Sapienza.
      2 1/2 cups (250 g) flour
      9 ounces (250 grams, or about a cup) good honey
      1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
      1/4 pound (100 g) chopped almonds
      Diced candied orange peel, melon peel, and citron
      A mixture of ground cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg
      A pinch of bicarbonate
      Combine the almonds, citron, orange peel, and melon peel with the flour, and then heat the honey over a gentle flame.

      Meanwhile, make a mound of the flour and scoop a well into it, and preheat your oven to 340 F (170 C).

      As soon as the honey has heated and become liquid stir it into the flour, together with a pinch of bicarbonate and a teaspoon of the mixed spices, and work the dough until it is smooth and uniform.

      Roll the dough out into a 3/4-inch (2 cm) thick snake. Cut it into sections about 8 inches long and shape them into an S shape, pressing on them gently to flatten them slightly, and arrange them on a greased and floured cookie sheet. Bake then 15-20 minutes. Cool them on a rack, and they're done.

      Several Notes:
      Susamielli are dipping cookies, and come out quite hard -- a Neapolitan site says a prova di denti, which roughly translates as impervious to teeth. You'll want to dip them in either a sweet dessert wine, coffee, or a caffelatte.
      Sapienze, the Susamielli made by the nuns of the Convento della Sapienza, are dotted with whole almonds.
      Susamielli taste wonderful but eating them takes work, and because of this Neapolitans will call a serious, standoffish person who has a hard time socializing a Susamiello.

      1. re: Fleur

        REGARDING:I am looking for a recipe for an Italian (from Sicily, I think) Christmas cookie recipe--- I am searaching for a receipe of the following ingredients which makes a Walnut Crescent Cookie, all I know it has Buttered Flavored Crisco, Yeast, Cake Flour and walnuts. I don't know what else goes in there. It was from a family of Sicillian descent, but in searching the Internet, I found similar ingredients from Middle Eastern & Hungry but since either one or more of the ingredients were missing, I am not sure they will come out the same and also, I found the preparation of the walnut filling to be different, some used a stove top preparation and others just added some type of shortening to condense the walnuts.
        I know how to make the crescents, but using a glass once the dough is rolled out, laying the nut filling in the center and just barely bringing up the dough to meet in the middle so that the ends are exposed of the walnut filling. Thank you... Diamondsadpearls@aol.com

        1. re: Diamonds07407

          Thank you all for your responses: However, this is not a hard biscotti like cookie. After baking, this cookie is very light, airy/flaky with the walnut filling placed inside the circle, pulling the left over to the center, the right over to the center, wetting the dough to seal and then gently pulling each end to form a crescent.
          I can't believe this recipe is 'to die for' and they won't give it up, will take it to their grave. they cant be the ONLY family who makes it.

      2. I wonder if your little cookie might be a biscotti. They seem like they fit your descriptions. Here is a cinnamon sugar biscotti recipe. Have a look at it. If it is not it, I will ask around. It is the intricate twisting that has me stumped.

        2 cups all purpose flour
        2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
        1 teaspoon baking powder
        1/4 teaspoon salt
        1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
        6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
        2 large eggs
        1 large egg yolk
        1 teaspoon vanilla extract

        Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, baking powder and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add 1 egg; beat well. Add egg yolk; beat well. Mix in vanilla, then dry ingredients.

        Transfer dough to work surface. Divide in half. Shape each half into 9-inch-long, 1 1/2-inch-wide log. Transfer logs to baking sheets. Beat remaining egg in small bowl. Brush logs with egg. Bake until golden and firm to touch (dough will spread), about 50 minutes. Cool on baking sheets. Maintain oven temperature.

        Mix 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in small bowl to blend. Using serrated knife, cut logs into 1/2-inch-wide diagonal slices. Place biscotti, cut side down, on baking sheets. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon sugar over each biscotti. Bake until pale golden, about 20 minutes. Cool on racks.

        11 Replies
        1. re: Wanda Fuca

          Re-read the description, it's more like some kind of Christmas wreath sculpted from cookie dough. You couldn't make that out of biscotti dough since it's not mallable between the first and second baking.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Is there a reason a log or disk cannot be manipulated before the first bake? Nope. There is NO LAW saying that. If it were me and I was trying to duplicate something I loved I would give it a go. I would play with the dough and the oven temperatures to see what I could do with it. I think I would call it getting creative.

            1. re: Wanda Fuca

              This sort of cookie sculpture requires a dense, slightly sticky dough that you can mold like clay. The biscotti recipes I've used make dough that's too soft for that kind of handling--I thought that's what you meant by "the intricate twisting has me stumped."

          2. re: Wanda Fuca

            Could this possibly be an Italian Love Knot?

            Here is the website with the recipe:


            1. re: jaynev68

              My aunts made this recipe with anise extract in the glaze. It was the source of a favorite childhood joke:
              What are these cookies?
              They're knot cookies.
              If they're not cookies, then what are they?
              Sorry- I got carried away! But try the anise.

              1. re: eimac

                I think what you are referring to are Engenetta. They are hard cookies -- very crumbly -- with a glaze on top with little candy dots sprinkled on. They were my mother's favorite, and I haven't made them in years, though I did find a version in a bakery on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. It is an unusual cookie recipe because it contains so much baking powder and you actually have to knead the dough. The cookie is somewhat hard but also crumbly. You could make any shape you want with it. Here is the recipe I got many years ago from one of my mother's ancient cousins:


                4 cups flour
                1/4 lb. butter
                6 tsp of baking powder
                orange or anise flavor
                1 cup of sugar.

                Mix sugar & eggs. Cream in melted butter. Add flour and balance of ingredients. Knead until dough is pliable. Roll into ropes and make ropes into crossed circles. Bake at 325 degrees until lightly browned. Ice with a mixture of confectioner's sugar and wither lemon or orange juice. Sprinkle with colored dots.

                1. re: roxlet

                  I noticed that eggs are needed for this cookie -no mention of how many eggs.

                  1. re: ginflego

                    Oops, sorry for that, but I am in Cairo and the recipe is in NY, so the number of eggs will have to wait until mid-December!

                    1. re: roxlet

                      i think these are like my Nonna would love to make these for Christmas....wondering how many eggs are needed....cant wait to hear from you...Thank you

                      1. re: jerilynn

                        I just looked through my old recipe file, and I cannot find that recipe anywhere. I will continue looking, but I am not sure where else it would be. I will be very, very upset if I cannot find it. Off the top of my head, I would say that since it is a dry-ish dough (not like a chocolate chip cookie, for example), I would say 3 eggs would probably be the right number. The chocolate chip cookie recipe I use calls for 2 eggs for 2 1/4 cups of flour, and you could never roll it into ropes, so I think 2 eggs would probably be the right number.

            2. re: Wanda Fuca

              FWIW, Wanda, what you (and almost everybody in the States) know as biscotti are, I believe, called cantucci (or cantuccini) in Italy. Biscotti is a very generic term that could refer to lots of cookies.

            3. If it's a Sicilian cookie, I'd be very surprised if it had butter in it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bropaul

                Hi, my family is from Caserta around Naples and Calabria (father's side) Mother's side - up North a little more. This Italian Love Knot (Tarilli) Recipe is from my grandmother on my father's side. It is very simple and bropaul is correct, she didn't use any butter-maybe a little wine. I lost her exact recipe but found this one and it is very close. Of course we double and triple it. 1/4 cup olive oil
                4 cups flour
                6 eggs (make a well and add slowly)
                1/8 teaspoon baking powder
                little wine , little milk
                Let rise a little while.
                Take a piece of dough, roll like a pencil, make a loose knot. Bake til bottom is brown 350. Dough should stick to hands a little (put flour on hands)
                For the frosting
                Milk and Powdered Sugar and glaze.
                They are simple and delicious with coffee.

              2. thanks for the information. I might try your recipe for cinnamon sugar biscotti and then attempt to form the dough into my crazy cookie shapes. wish me luck!

                1 Reply
                1. re: tartetatin

                  Good luck! A true chowhound... if it works can you post it? I might give it a whirl.

                2. Oh Lordy I think I have found it... at least I think I have. I am so excited!! I think they are called infasciadedde. Here are several sites providing recipes for it:

                  I know... overly excited. Yippy!

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Wanda Fuca

                    Wow, that is an obscure one.

                    Something's missing from that second recipe, and the third looks like an uncredited ripoff of the first.

                    1. re: Wanda Fuca

                      I can say one thing about the first recipe. Whether or not it's the exact one you're looking for, if it's from Nick Malgieri it WILL work.
                      Good luck.

                      1. re: rockycat

                        I tried his recipe for Alfajores cookies and didn't like it at all. It used over a cup of cornstarch and you could taste it!

                        1. re: rockycat

                          I agree I have a recipe for Nick Malgieri's low fat brownies and they are amazing!

                          1. re: maplesugar

                            I guess I got his one junky recipe!

                      2. Oh Wanda Fuca, I wish that was the cookie, but it is not. Sadly, I have spent too many hours searching cookie websites myself and have found almost every Italian cookie on the planet except the one that I want. Anyway, I have been inspired by you to go ahead and just try to make it. I am a pretty good baker and think I can make a dough close to the consistency I think I need for these cookies. I will keep looking though and will keep you posted.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: tartetatin

                          I think I know the cookie you are talking about, my in laws used to make them and I have been searching for the recipe myself. I would be so grateful if you would pass it on if you find it. I am going to try to contact someone in the family to see if they have it. Will be back in touch. If I am correct they almost have the texture of a chinese noodle (the ones that are about 1/2 inch wide). The cookies are rolled out long, crimped on the edges (sometimes). They are then coiled around to about a 3 inch circle and covered in cinnamon.

                        2. Did you happen to talk with anyone at Tre Mari in Toronto who might know the name of the cookie? How long ago was it that they made it?

                          1. I did talk to Tre Mari bakery a few years ago, but they gave me the name of a different cookie, which was called cuccidati (sp?). These are cookies from Sicily, but they have a date filling and are not the same cookie at all. I think that these (my) cookies at Tre Mari may have been made by someone outside of the bakery - they are very time consuming and specialized. The last time I bought the cookies was about 2 years ago. I think I will try calling them again and ask if someone might know the name or have the recipe.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: tartetatin

                              Sounds like a great plan! Good luck, and do let us know what you find out!

                              1. re: tartetatin

                                I know four years have past but guess what I know who made and sold the cookies to Tre Mari bakery. The recipe is little different but its the same cookie. If you want to know more let me know.

                                1. re: sheppard

                                  Hi Sheppard, Thanks for posting!

                                  I have not been to Tre Mari for a few years. Is this person still making the cookies fro them or for anyone else? And the recipe, how is it different from the one I used if you don't mind me asking?

                                2. re: tartetatin

                                  Hi. I have been searching for instructions on how to form the cartwheel shaped cookies as well. I have my grandmother's recipe, which she called Cartadata (Cartwheel in Italian). I found your inquiry in my own Google search and found this note where you mention that Tre Mari Bakery called the cookie cuccidati - Similar to Cartadata. Maybe the same?? I have the recipe for the cookie dough. My grandmother shaped the cookies into cartwheels, fried them and then she boiled them in a raisin wine syrup. But I imagine without the final step, the cookies would be crisp and crumbly. I will have to get the recipe for you - it's in storage, I moved recently. I'm still on the hunt for instructions on how to form the cartwheel!! how frustrating. All I can add is that I remember it taking my Grandmother an entire day to make these cookies. Very intricate and very time consuming, but OH SO Worth it! She would stack the cookies up on a plate like a pyramid and scatter colored sprinkles on them as well as shaved chocolate. Very unique flavor from the wine/raisin syrup, combined with the cholotate and the cookie itself. I'll try to get the dough recipe to you as soon as I'm out of storage.

                                3. it sounds like taralli (savory version), sometimes called vanilla biscuits (sweet version). They are basically a hard biscuit type cookie you dunk in tea or coffee.

                                  Generally, it's a breadstick like savory biscuit flavored with fennel or black pepper and ring shaped. I usually get them from a local bakery (here in Brooklyn, NY - Moretti's on Ave N). They make a version that is two strands of dough twisted together then formed into a ring, then decorated with whole almonds. It looks kind of like a decorated donkey cart wheel.

                                  My grandmother's version was a little bit sweet. She would flavor the dough with either fennel, anise, cinnamon or orange blossom or lemon. They were shaped like a ring or an 'S.' She sometimes iced them with powder sugar icing flavored with lemon (for lemon drops) or vanilla. For holidays she color the icing seasonal colors and use sprinkles.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: shindiganna

                                    Here is my grandmother's recipe. It makes 7-8 dozen For cinnamon flavor in things like cassata cake she used 'canela oil.' I imagine that would work well in this recipe.

                                    S Cookies
                                    2 C crisco (i use butter)
                                    1 C sugar
                                    6 eggs
                                    2 tsp vanilla
                                    6 C flour
                                    10 t baking powder (I use about 6t)

                                    Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Stir together flour and baking powder then add flour by handfuls. Shape as desired, bake at 400 for 20 minutes

                                    Use milk, vanilla & confectioner's sugar for icing
                                    for sesame- roll in milk then sesame seeds before baking

                                  2. I made 1/4 batch of these last week using a vegetarian no trans-fat shortening. The dough is pretty durable, with the consistency of clay. It freezes well. I made twisted wreath shapes (roll into a snake, fold over, twist then form a circle) and rings. I used blanched almonds to stud the wreaths, but alas, they did not stick very well. Regular almonds worked better.

                                    Flavored some with vanilla, some with almond. Made a glaze with vanilla, powdered sugar and a bit of water. This helped to keep the cookie fresh and hold them together, as they are a bit delicate after baking. As you can imagine, the icing was very beige.

                                    If anyone tries the recipe, please let me know the results.

                                    1. is it called cartellate? i kind of stumbled on the recipe and it sounds like what you are describing but i really don't know. never had them before...check out the link, it has a pic:


                                      good luck!

                                      1. OK. I know exactly what cookie this is because I too have been going crazy trying to get the recipe. You described the cookie better than I ever could have tartetatin. I'm pretty sure they're fried and not baked A new bakery in Vaughan sells them (Gelato, Gelato in Woodbridge, Ont.). I asked the owner what they're called....are you ready for this...it's pronounced "Cutriridri" and you are right -- they are Sicilian. I'm hoping that someone out there has the recipe so I can make a batch. I think they're great!!

                                        1. I know exactly what these are! I can't remember the name however they are made out of the same dough as cannoli shells. I make those strips after I am done with making the cannoli shells (left over scrapes, not to throw out perfectly good dough). The dough is very simple to make this is my sister in law from Sicily's receipe, I made these with her while I was there last summer. In her receipe she used butter, when I made them here (San Diego) they turned out good but I thought I would make them similar to how my mom made them and she used Crisco so I used butter flavored Crisco instead and they turned out MARVELOUS!!
                                          So the reciepe goes like this:

                                          1 kilo of fine flour (00 flour)

                                          180 grams of Butter Crisco

                                          150 grams of sugar

                                          Asti Spumante or your choice of Spumante

                                          Using some type of a large flat surface place the flour on the surface like a mound add and mix togther the sugar with your hands, cut in the crisco and with your hands incorporate the flour mixture and crisco togther by cuping mixture in your hands and rubbing your hands togther do that until it is well incorporated. Once that is done make a well in the center of the mixture and add the spumante add it in like about a cup at a time, as you pour the spumante incorporate the flour/crisco mixture together you will see if you need to add more spumante, you need to work it until it forms into a dough the consistancy should be like clay. After working the dough make it into a log you can either wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge and make them later or roll it out w/a rolling pin or use one of those pasta rollers with the handle or an electric one. If rolling it with a pin make sure it the dough is thin enough, if you use a pasta roller you need to fold and roll it out a few times on a last notch and then run it through 2nd or 3rd notch. Then when the dough is rolled out you can use a knif or one of those zig zag wheel hand rollers or what ever they are called to cut them into strips, them fry them in hot oil, I like using Corn oil for that. After frying them place into paper towels to drain oil and then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
                                          I use this receipe to make desert ravioli's and then I use the left over scrapes to make these fried strips. You can divide the receipe in half, cause it will make a lot of strips more then you probably want to make.
                                          I hope that is what you were looking for!
                                          Let me know!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Angela G.

                                            I believe Ada Boni calls these Cenci or Lover's Knots.

                                          2. I was at a wedding in Kansas City a few weeks ago, they serve loads of cookies...I believe the cookies that you are talking about are called Razani (sp?) I can get the recipe from the Bride. They didn't make them, they had to purchase them...$10 a lb. Well worth it to me. They are really good. The Bride told me they are very labor intense. She said it takes 3 days to make. The ones we had, had a very mild anise taste, were very hard and not overly sweet. Great 'dunkin' cookies'.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: jeanie1653

                                              I am looking for a ravasani cookie receipe. Can you ask your freind where she bought her cookies? I live in Kansas City Thanks

                                            2. this cookie sounds like a ciambelline, but the design sounds much different, however the dough is similiar and its often drank or dunked into red wine. There are all sorts of sifferent Ciambelline ( made with lemon, peppercorn, or simply just sugar ) but pherhaps this is a jazzed up version made intricately for the holidays? check out the recipe and see if it sounds close.
                                              http://www.dineitalian.net/indexcucin... ( scroll down for the recipe)

                                              1. Did you ever get your recipe? One of the suggestions below mentions a Nick Malgieri recipe, which got me to thinking that I might be able to get in touch with him directly and ask. And by the way, as said by another poster, his recipes do work.

                                                1. I think you are referring to a hard dunking cookie which I can say in Italian but not sure of the spelling. Here goes... sounds like bichedell or pichetell. Let me know if that helps

                                                  1. In the Slowfood Dolci book, there is a recipe, with a picture for a cookie called "Cuddrireddra" It is ring shaped, with a twisted layer under and a snake/flat ring on top. This sounds very much like it could be your recipe, or similar. The book says its from Delia, a farm town SW of Caltanissetta and made generally during carneval period - the name means "coroncina" in the sicilian dialect.

                                                    the dough is made with farina di grano duro tipo 0, baking powder, strutto, sugar, a fresh egg and red wine; "its all perfumed with cannella (cinnamon) and citrus peel. If you read italian, I will post the instructions for forming the thing.

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                                      Oh my gosh, jen kalb - this is the cookie. Thank you so much. I had long lost hope for this cookie and hadn't looked at the post for more than a year. I hope you are still around and would be able to post the recipe in italian (not very good at reading it, but I will try). thank you and thanks to everyone who responded to my request two years ago!!

                                                      1. re: tartetatin

                                                        so glad you checked - I will do, as best as I can - its hard for me to paraphrase italian, and slowfood instructions are rather vague. check back in a couple of days, ok?

                                                        1. re: jen kalb

                                                          Thanks jen. don't worry if you don't have time or patience for this. Now that I finally have the name of the cookie, I have searched and found several recipes and articles in english- very interesting as I am into artisinal foods that are becoming lost over time.
                                                          Most of the "recipes" I have found show the method, but do not include amounts of ingredients. I will probably just have to work with the dough until I find the right amts/consistency. Does your recipe include amounts/quantities of ingredients? I would love it if it does. thanks again for your help.

                                                          1. re: tartetatin

                                                            I would love to have the recipe for Cuddrireddra, I have had them before and loved them. I have done numerous website searches and can not find the recipe. I was hoping you had it or someone out there has it.

                                                            Thanks heylids

                                                            1. re: tartetatin

                                                              the recipe in the Slowfood Dolci book just has the ingredients and method, not the amounts. very frustrating - why do they go that far and no farther???

                                                              1. re: tartetatin

                                                                I am just wondering if you ever found the recipe you were looking for? By the way do you have any siciian cookies recipes you can share with me. Thanks

                                                        2. I know exactly the cookies you're looking for.
                                                          Have no idea of the spelling but a good italian friend calls them:
                                                          Spelled phonetically only - ta-doll-e
                                                          That pronunciation should get you what you want in an italian bakery lol

                                                          1. I too am looking for an italian cookie recipe. It has a firm dry cookie dopugh on the outside and rolled up jelly roll style around a chocolate nut filling. I have the right combo for the filling but I am having a tough time with the dough. Can you help me please???? THanks you!

                                                            1. I am not familiar with the cookie that everyone is discussing. I am looking for a different Italian cookie recipe that's hard to find. My mother used to make them at Easter and traditionally they were made in the shape of a horse for the boys. They were hard with nuts and honey. She used to cut them like biscotti. I don't know how to properly spell their name but it sounds like "Pastamonde". Has anyone out there ever heard of these cookies? I also remember that they had an ingredient that my aunt used to sent to my mom from Italy-she couldn't get it here. I'd appreciate it if anyone has come across this recipe.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                  Thanks for the above links. I'm not sure if these are the cookies but sounds pretty close. I am going to try them out.

                                                                  1. re: ginflego

                                                                    I am Italian but I did not understand what you're talking about, if you describe them better, perhaps I can help you...

                                                                    1. re: cosmopolita

                                                                      the cookie reci[e that I've been asking about is made at Easter in the shape of a horse (for boys). It is called "Pastamonde" or sounds like that. I checked out the links above with some positive results but if you have any other ideas let me know.

                                                              1. By the way, I live in Toronto and there is a bakery that sells them around the christmas season. The bakery is by Vaughan Mills and is called Sicilia Bakery. They are exactly what you are discribing. I hope you enjoy them.

                                                                1. Tartetatin, I know exactly what these cookies are. I had them years ago, they were made by an Italian Lady and they were wonderful. I myself have been trying to find the same recipe. I know that they are called cuddriereddra and have done a multitude of searches and am unable to find the recipe. I have found the ingred. used to make them but no accual recipe. I imagine they will need certain tools to make them also.

                                                                  Anyway, I was hoping if you ever find the recipe and technique, would you please send it to me, and if I find them I will send you the details.

                                                                  thank you

                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                  1. re: heylids

                                                                    The cookie recipe you asked for are cucuidati. My mother in law, from Sicily, always made these , as I now do. My kids always loved them.
                                                                    I am looking for the Italian S cookie receipe . I have lost hers.The Cucuidates is below
                                                                    FIG COOKIES Cucuidates
                                                                    Italian Cookie dough, receipe below
                                                                    filling 1 lb. dried figs 1 lb. dates 1/2 C. nuts, ground fine
                                                                    1/2 C. honey 1 t. cinnamon 1/4 t. pepper
                                                                    1/4 C. lukewarm water grated rind of 1/2 orange
                                                                    Mix ingredients for filling and refrigerated for at least 2 days. Have at room
                                                                    temperature the day you bake.
                                                                    Make dough and refrigerate for easier handling.
                                                                    Roll part of dough into a rectangle 12 inches X 20 inches about 1/4 th inch thick. Spread on some of the fig mixture down the middle, fold one side over filling, fold second side over , overlapping into an oblong shape. Press down lightly, spreading with a little water to seal. Sprinkle brown sugar over top of cookies. Cut in slices about 3/4 to 1 inch wide.
                                                                    Lay on cookies sheets brown sugar side up.
                                                                    Bake at 375° 10 to 12 minutes..

                                                                    ITALIAN COOKIES
                                                                    5 C. flour 1/2 t. salt
                                                                    1 1/4 C. sugar 6 eggs or 4 yolks and 3 eggs
                                                                    1 C. Crisco 2 t. vanilla
                                                                    5 or6 t. baking powder anise extract, if desired
                                                                    Mix first 5 ingredients like pie dough. Make a well in center add eggs
                                                                    and vanilla. (If stiff add a little milk.)
                                                                    Dough is for Cucuidates (omit anise) or sesame logs below
                                                                    Shape cookies into a rope cut into logs (about 11/2 inch long and
                                                                    thickness of small finger. Roll in mixture of egg white and water mixed
                                                                    together, then roll in toasted sesame seeds. (Can also make into round
                                                                    balls. Frost after they cool.)
                                                                    Bake at 375° till golden.

                                                                    1. re: mrsbill

                                                                      Nope. Different cookie.

                                                                      Cucidati are the crescent-shaped fig cookies you mention.

                                                                      Cuddrireddre (plural) are the cinnamon-scented twisted wagon-wheel shaped Sicilian cookies to which the OP is referring.

                                                                      1. re: Dmnkly

                                                                        Yes, Dmnkly, you are right, they are the twisted wagon=wheel shaped
                                                                        does anyone have this recipe????

                                                                      2. re: mrsbill

                                                                        My husband's aunt made S shaped cookies for holidays, they may have called them almond crescents but maybe that's my name for them. I almost feel like they actually did call them S shaped cookies, and I was so lazy that I started shaping them like crescents instead. Mostly ground almond and butter, if that sounds right, I have her recipe.

                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                          Coll, those are not the ones mentioned in the origional posting, however, I would love to have your recipe, if you don't mind sharing it with us all.

                                                                          1. re: heylids

                                                                            Happy to pass it on! Here it is as handed down to me.

                                                                            AUNT SOPHIE'S ALMOND CRESCENTS

                                                                            1/2 lb butter
                                                                            1/2 cup sugar
                                                                            2/3 cup ground almonds
                                                                            1 tsp almond extract

                                                                            Blend all above. Then,

                                                                            2 cup flour
                                                                            1 1/4 tsp salt

                                                                            Mix everything together, and chill for a few hours.

                                                                            Roll out dough into thin ropes, shape into horseshoes or S shaped. Pinch ends to make points. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes, until set but not brown.
                                                                            Cool slightly and roll in 1 cup conf sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon.

                                                                            They are sort of delicate and don't ship too well, I've discovered. Aunt Sophie used to make mounds of these for Easter and Christmas.

                                                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                          Maybe this:


                                                                          The photos look like the cookies are formed in the way the OP described the method, way back when the thread started.

                                                                          Unfortunately...no exact recipe on that site. :-(

                                                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                            Robert,,,,you have found the recipe.....I can't believe it, but you have found it,
                                                                            It is you third link listed,,,,,,cookaround.com.....if you look at the entire page, you will find the recipe is accually there!!!!!! it is all in italian, but the amounts in weight are
                                                                            there........I can't beleive it, I have been searching forever and there it is.,,,,
                                                                            CONGRATULATIONS, YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!! Now let's make sure the origional person who posted this request accesses this info....AMAZING...THANK'S A TON
                                                                            Know the trick is to figure out how to form them well, the articule show it but not very
                                                                            well and also the translation from italian into english.....maybe some other amazing person can take on that task and post it for all of us to try..........once again,,,,great job!!!

                                                                            1. re: heylids

                                                                              Wow that olive oil is so green! I'd be saving it for special occasions myself.

                                                                        2. tartetatin, look at the top of this post, I have sent a message to Robert who has
                                                                          found the recipe,.....see my response to Robert for the details

                                                                          1. Here's a rough translation.

                                                                            3 kg durum wheat flour
                                                                            1.5 kg sugar
                                                                            9 tablespoons (cucchiai) of homemade dried and powdered orange peel
                                                                            40 grams of cinnamon
                                                                            15 eggs
                                                                            300 ml of red wine
                                                                            300 ml of lard ("we use EV olive oil")
                                                                            3 packets of vanilla (optional) [I think this is equivalent to 3 tsp. extract]

                                                                            Place the board (spianatoia) slightly above the knee--it's less tiring to knead at this height.

                                                                            the sugar

                                                                            the cinnamon (and the vanilla)

                                                                            the orange peel

                                                                            mix the dry ingredients

                                                                            add the oil

                                                                            the wine

                                                                            the eggs

                                                                            blah blah blah blah blah

                                                                            knead until the dough forms a ball

                                                                            blah blah blah blah -- photos make this part clear

                                                                            immediately after shaping, fry at 170 C (340F), "if I'm not mistaken"

                                                                            fry until brown, about two minutes

                                                                            keep in a tightly sealed container [I think she's complaining that sometimes they get soft anyway]


                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston


                                                                              Thanks for the translation. I was hoping to find time to do it today, but that didn't happen. The quantities are incredible! I cant imagine how many pastries this makes. I think one point the author made that might be important is that the mixture does not come together quickly and that it remains at the crumb state for quite a while, until the sugar begins to dissolve which allows it to amalgamate.

                                                                              1. re: bropaul

                                                                                Yeah, the photos seem to indicate that. I meant to say "knead for a long time until the dough forms a ball."

                                                                                It reads like it might be a triple recipe. I'd try using 1/3 the quantities and kneading it in a KitchenAid with a dough hook.

                                                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                  Hello all,
                                                                                  Yes, I found the same recipe earlier this year that Robert found, - once I got the name of the cookie from Jen Kalb I just googled the name and got the recipe in Italian. I translated it using google too and it has been sitting in my favourite file for the past year.
                                                                                  I am planning to make them for Christmas, as the Italian members of my extended family have always eaten them at that time. I am going to cut the recipe in thirds for the first time. I will try to knead by hand - might try my dough hook, but broke the motor of my kitchenaid once making croissants in it (Julia C. told me to do it!!). Kitchenaid did replace the entire unit for me though!!
                                                                                  Thanks everyone for your help with this recipe. It took me two years to find it, but has been amazing getting to it. I will let you know how the cookies turn out. I don't have all of the gear that I need (see the cookaround site) , but I am going to improvise.

                                                                                  1. re: tartetatin

                                                                                    wow this is an amazing cookie...Tartetatin..did you make them for Christmas??

                                                                                    I have to laugh over the amounts: my grandmother's recipes for struffoli, fig cookies and S cookies all start with "5 lb bag of flour" LOL

                                                                                    1. re: shindiganna

                                                                                      shindiganna, would you share your grandmother's struffoli, fig cookies and S cookies recipe with us????? Thank you very much

                                                                                      1. re: heylids

                                                                                        S cookies recipe is posted above. It is adjusted from her original recipe.

                                                                                        Here is my grandmother's recipe for Struffola. She guestimated the measurements, because we asked. She had some difficulty with measurements. My adjustments in [ ].

                                                                                        I do recall that she made enough to give to friends, family and neighbors. If you visited during the Christmas season, you left with a plate of struffelas. We ate then all season, until Jan 6 - Epiphany.

                                                                                        1 dozen eggs
                                                                                        1 bag of flour [start with about 9 C and add to form a soft dough; if you add a whole bag, the strufelas are a bit hard-think olive pits]
                                                                                        1/4 C of oil
                                                                                        3 spoons of baking powder
                                                                                        1package of yeast in 1 C water

                                                                                        Honey Syrup
                                                                                        1/2 C water
                                                                                        4 C sugar
                                                                                        3 C honey

                                                                                        Beat eggs well, add oil, yeast and water, then flour baking powder. Knead well and let stand for an hour or more. [Roll dough into long snakes, then cut into chick peas sized pieces. Fry in oil (she used peanut) and drain on newspapers. Make syrup by bringing water to a boil, stir in sugar until dissolved, then add honey. Combine fried dough balls with syrup stiring until coated. She also added some toasted whole almonds to the mixture. Portion into aluminum pie plates and sprinkle with sugar sprinkles (the round ones)]

                                                                                    2. re: tartetatin

                                                                                      tartetatin, have you make the cuddriereddra cookies yet?

                                                                                      1. re: heylids

                                                                                        Hello all,

                                                                                        I made the cuddriereddra!! I LOVED them -they were just as I remembered, however, they were a lot of work. I had to knead them forever. I am very pleased with the result though and made a huge batch as I knew that I would not make them again for a long time. They keep very well.

                                                                                        Imagine a hard cookie (somewhat biscotti like in texture but harder and much more delicious) with cinnamon and orange zest and dipped in espresso.

                                                                                        They are exactly right. Thanks everyone for your posts and your encouragement. These will be a yearly endeavour, up there with my canned tomatoes and homemade salsa. Thanks again.

                                                                                        1. re: tartetatin

                                                                                          taretetatin, how exactly did you shape them? Do you have special tools for making the wheel like cuddriereddra. I looked at the photo's on the recipe page and was wondering how long and round is the stick they are using, and what about the the bamboo board? How thick do you roll out the string. I also tried to translate it but it didn't answer my many questions.
                                                                                          Also, could you use a KA for the kneading, using the hook?
                                                                                          I would love to try to make them but am very uncertain and quite nervous.
                                                                                          I am also wondering can you freeze them and if not how would you keep them crispy and for how long, since they make so many.

                                                                                          Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated

                                                                                          1. re: tartetatin

                                                                                            Dear tartetatin:
                                                                                            Please please translate the Cuddrireddra recipe for us! I had these cookies while in Italy a few years ago. Have been trying to get an English translation. Since you have tried them would appreciate an exact recipe. GRAZIE!

                                                                                            1. re: shane19

                                                                                              shane, here is a post with better photos of the construction than the one I posted below:


                                                                                              The ingredients are:
                                                                                              • 3 Kg. di farina di grano duro [3 kg semolina/pasta flour
                                                                                              ]• 1,5 kg di zucchero [1.5 kg sugar]
                                                                                              • 9 cucchiai pieni di scorza d'arancia essiccata [9 heaping tablespoons of dried orange peel (previously pulverized into a powder)]
                                                                                              • 40 gr. di cannella [40 g cinnamon]
                                                                                              • 15 uova [15 eggs]
                                                                                              • 3 dl di vino rosso [300 ml red wine]
                                                                                              • 3 dl di strutto (noi usiamo sempre olio extravergine oliva) [300ml lard; we always use extra-virgin olive oil]
                                                                                              • 3 bustine di vanillina (facoltativo) [3 packets of vanillin (optionall)]

                                                                                              Basically, just mix the dry ingredients, then add the oil, wine and eggs and work it until you have a smooth dough. Once you have made the forms (see link above for the steps), you deep fry them in vegetable oil over a "medium flame" at 170°C for "about 2 minutes or even less", making sure both sides brown.

                                                                                              "..keep them in steel saucepans or well-sealed metal tins, otherwise they get soft, and we haven't figured out how to make them crunchy again. If they are conserved well they will last for 2-3 weeks."

                                                                                              I have not tried the recipe.. just offering the translation.

                                                                                2. I live in Kansas City, and my mother in law gave me this recipe book which I think is called the "Daughters of Colombus"?? Anyhow....Here is THE Kansas City Recipe for
                                                                                  RAVASANIE COOKIES (undereneath the Brownie Recipe) :)
                                                                                  Usually served on St. Joseph's Day.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: amybett

                                                                                    Amy, I also have this book and the recipe is not complete. The old Italian ladies used to leave out ingredients and steps for there cookies because they didn't want anyone making them as good as them. This is the only cookie I have not ever been able to duplicate. I love Ravasani cookies but since they are so time consuming no one makes them anymore. I would live to find a couple more recopies for these to find out what is missing. I have almost every cookie recipe i was looking for except this one. I have found in the past with the other that I need at least three or four different peoples recipes to figure out what was left out.

                                                                                  2. In case that link doesn't work....

                                                                                    RAVASANIECOOKIES Mary Fasone
                                                                                    12 lb. flour
                                                                                    3 3/4 lb. eggs or 3 doz.
                                                                                    1 1/2 lb. Crisco or lard
                                                                                    3 lb. sugar
                                                                                    1 handful anise seed or 3 level
                                                                                    3 c. boiling water
                                                                                    Mix flour and shortening together for about 1/2 hour or until
                                                                                    flour holds together like a ball. Beat sugar and boiling water until
                                                                                    all is melted. Add beaten eggs and add anise seed. Mix in flour
                                                                                    mixture into dough. Take to bakery and have dough kneaded. Then
                                                                                    make into small loaves. Let set about 1 hour; cut into halves and
                                                                                    roll and cut into cookies. Let dry 1 or 2 hours. Then put cookies
                                                                                    into boiling water. Boil until they come up to top of water. Remove
                                                                                    from water. Let dry, then cut into center of each cookie
                                                                                    crosswise. Let dry overnight. Rub each cookie with whites of egg.
                                                                                    Let dry; then bake in oven, 3500
                                                                                    , for about 45 minutes. Remove
                                                                                    from oven; let cool and cookies are ready to eat.

                                                                                    1. Here is a site that shows a little bit of the construction of the cuddrireddra:

                                                                                      1. I wanted everyone to know that <a href="http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2010/09..."> I made these cookies and wrote about this entire thread on my blog </a>. I love the story of the quest for the recipe and the cookies turned out amazing. My post should be helpful to anyone in the US who wants to make them since I converted the recipe to US measurements.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: cupcakeproject

                                                                                          Does anyone know where we can find the Italian chocolate knot cookies? We found the regular ones and the lemon ones but we want the chocolate ones. Anyone know where I can find them? It was be most helpful. We've searched and searched but no success. Thanks!!!

                                                                                          1. re: cupcakeproject

                                                                                            your link seems not to work anymore. could you cut and paste it here?thnx.

                                                                                          2. For future reference, I stumbled upon a great website with a lot of Italian recipes, including many for cookies, For the uninitiated, there are photos too.

                                                                                            1. I know exactly what you want. The cookie you want is called cuddrereddri, and it's from a small town in Sicily called Delia. There is no other place that can make it properly. Since I was born there I know this is what you are describing when you say a wagon wheel cookie that taste like cinnamon. If you want the recipe simply google Sicilian cookie recipes and you will find Cuddreredri from Delia. The recipe has a great description and pictures so it's very easy. the only problem you will have is that the poster is from a town 8km. from Delia and the whole thing is in Italian with no translation. find someone to translate. It's worth the effort. By the way, ignore every other reply, they are all totally wrong, I was born there so I know that this is the one you are looking for. Let me know how it goes.

                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: calabrian

                                                                                                thanks for the eyewitness confirmation it is cuddrieeddra -there are recipes (even a translation) and descriptions upthread along with other recipes for different items.

                                                                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                  Yes, thanks for the info and encouragement calabrian. As you can see from the thread, it took quite a long time for me to finally find my recipe . It wasn't until Jen kalb found the Italian name, cuddrireddra that we found the recipe you are writing about (that Robert also found).

                                                                                                  I am just gearing up to make a batch as it has become a bit of a tradition that I make these cookies during the holidays. Very time consuming, but well worth the effort.

                                                                                                  Do you have any other info on the cookies, I had heard they were served at or made for weddings, is that true?

                                                                                                  1. re: tartetatin

                                                                                                    tartetatin: Since you finally made the cookies for yourself, could you PLEASE give us the recipe in English with the USA amounts? Did you decrease the quantities?? I'd like to make them, but would rather make a small batch that can be started in my KitchenAid. My family has made the Cucciddati (Sicilian Fig Cookies) for over 100 years, but in the Sicilian village my family came from they call the cookies "uciadada" (pronounced which-a-da-da). I would LOVE to try my hand at these cuddrireddra! Thanks

                                                                                                    1. re: shane19

                                                                                                      Hi Shane,
                                                                                                      We use metric here where I live and I have actually been weighing the ingredients, but I could measure things out after weighing this time (making them in a few days) if you like. I use a kitchenaid for part of it and start with a kilo of flour, which is 2.2 lbs.
                                                                                                      I will try to translate to USA amounts for you.

                                                                                                        1. re: tartetatin

                                                                                                          Yes Tartetatin - I would appreciate you translating the recipe for me!
                                                                                                          Thank you! And thank you cupcakeproject for the link. I did view this
                                                                                                          link when it was posted in 2010.

                                                                                                          1. re: shane19

                                                                                                            I would love to Shane 19. I will need a bit of time but will get it to you soon.

                                                                                                  2. re: calabrian

                                                                                                    calabrian, could you translate the recipe (or maybe you were born there but moved here and never learned italian? that has happened alot in the u.s....) Thnx.

                                                                                                  3. Can I add to the recipe requests...?

                                                                                                    My mom used to make an Italian chocolate cookie with dates and walnuts. Baked, it was about the size of a golf ball, and then she would drizzle a confectioners sugar with butter milk and vanilla frosting on it, which would harden a bit.

                                                                                                    She passed on, and the recipe is lost. Can anyone help Any help with this?

                                                                                                    Thank you!

                                                                                                    1. In response to the orginal post: I know this is late since you posted it in 2006 and you may now know what it is. When I read this I knew exactly which cookie (I think) It is called a Cuddrireddra and it is from the town of Delia in Sicily (my husbands town). They are known for this cookie. It is to represent a crown not a wagon wheel :) It is very labour intensive. I don't have a recipe my mother in law has it in her head but you may be able to find one online now that you know the name. Hope this helps.
                                                                                                      A bit of info on the cookie: The origin of the word is Greek kollura, a ring shaped bread. Local legends say that the cookie, which has the form of a little crown, was requested to honor the town’s princess during the Sicilian Vesper War of the 13th Century. It has been made for seven centuries with a recipe of hard wheat flour, eggs, sugar, a little lard, red wine, cinnamon and orange zest. My inlaws and I are all getting together this weekend to make some as it is the Cuddrireddra Festival back in Delia at this time of year.

                                                                                                        1. re: julesdel

                                                                                                          Hi Julesdel,
                                                                                                          Thanks so much for your post. I found the recipe on the Internet a few years ago after getting the name of the cookie from someone on this thread! It has been great hearing from people about their knowledge and memories of cuddrireddra.
                                                                                                          How did the baking weekend go?