Italian Christmas Cookie Crisis
Just found out last night that I would be invited to an Italian family member's house for Christmas night and when I stupidly asked what I could bring, the answer was "cookies". Because it is against my nature to buy them for the holidays, I want to make a variety. Spent last night on epicurious, food and wine, and gourmet's sites to find some recipes.
I am going to make:
Thumbprint cookies with jam (I know they like these)
Lemon cookies (round ones)
Hazelnut Butter Cookies
Butter Cookies/Shortbread Cookies (for the kids) - are these the same thing?
I would love a pine nut cookie (Tuscan style) recipe
I was also thinking of making a chocolate salami (wow factor and easy)
Looking for old world, traditional (family recipes) to go with some of the ones I picked. Was considering Florentines, but remembered the last time we were together, they were left over.
I am planning to bake tomorrow.
Do you have a pizzelle iron (or press, if you prefer). If so, make a batch of pizzelles. Homemade pizzelles are better than the thick, tasteless ones purveyed in stores. People rave about my wife's pizzelles which are thinner and crisper than store bought with a strong hint of anise oil.
I wasn't happy with my last batch of pizzelles, a couple years ago. They were made on an electric grill and were pretty but definitely not thin and crisp. They seemed kind of thick and softer than I had remembered.
Do you have a secret? Maybe my recipe needed more butter or something to thin the batter.
Do you mind sharing your recipe?
We always, always have Biscotti. I make ones with toasted almond slivers, dried cranberries, and orange zest. They are a staple in our family. The last 2 years I have been making a dried fruit pinwheel (fruit soaked with a little brandy over night) DELICIOUS!
Cantucci are a type of Tuscan almond biscotti that are traditionally eaten with Vin Santo, a sweet white wine. They are yummy on their own and easy to make. I haven't tried this particular recipe, but it looks good to me. Many others are also easily available on the web:
Rainbow cookies aren't as hard as they look, and people go wild for them. Almond crescents. Butter/shortbread, I make them like the Italian bakeries, sandwich two oblong ones with apricots, dip one end in chocolate and then some sprinkles on top. Adds some festive color to the platter.