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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.

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  1. Don't know if it is Tuscan Style but I have used this recipe several times with great results.
    http://thethinkingmother.blogspot.com...

    Tomorrow night I plan to make Pepper Cookies using the recipe from the Ciao Italia site.
    http://www.ciaoitalia.com/Recipes.asp...

    1 Reply
    1. re: folprivate

      I have to find almond paste tonight!

    2. How about the traditional almond paste cookies with the cherry on top? I just made some yesterday and they are fabulous.

      http://www.examiner.com/x-4180-Norfol...

      1. These are my favorite Italian cookies:

        Italian Anise Cookies:
        http://foodforahungrysoul.blogspot.co...

        1 Reply
        1. re: bananie

          They look like the lemon cookies I am making, but we love anise.

        2. 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.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ChiliDude

            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?

            1. re: ChiliDude

              We have made pizzelles in the past.

            2. 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!