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If you enjoyed the first set of holiday baking recipes in this holiday collection, this next batch of mouth-watering goodies will be sure to delight your guests. These are tried and true traditional recipes, used by my family for decades.
My dear great-aunt Antonietta Ranucci learned this and other recipes in her native town in the region of Calabria, Italy. She loved cooking for her family.
Makes approx. 50 small cookies
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
8 egg whites
4 tbsp hazelnut liqueur (or almond extract)
2 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tbsp instant espresso powder
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
- Coat baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, whites, liqueur and vanilla extract until combined.
- Mix the dry ingredients together, including nuts, until combined. Stir liquid mixture into the flour.
- Turn sticky dough onto the baking sheet (should be able to form loaves; otherwise add flour).
- Grease hands with olive oil and shape into 6-inch by 15-inch logs.
- Bake 40 minutes or until top is set.
- Cool slightly. Reduce heat to 275 degrees F.
- Remove from baking sheet. Cut into 1/2 –inch thick diagonal slices. Arrange, cut-side down on baking sheet.
- Bake 10 minutes per side or until almost completely dry.
- Turn off heat; finish drying in oven for 15 minutes. Cool completely.
Contucci Di Prato (Stone Cookies, Italian Nut Cookies)
More goodies from Zia Antonietta Ranucci. I always looked forward to her baking when my family would visit New Castle, Pennsylvania.
Makes 4 dozen cookies
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
3 ¾ cups sifted flour
½ tsp salt
1 cup plus 6 tbsp sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
3 tbsp dried cake crumbs or fresh bread crumbs
4 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
1 can (5 ounces) whole un-blanched almonds
1 cup whole shelled hazelnuts
1 egg white
- Sift flour, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl; stir in cake crumbs.
- Beat eggs, the egg yolk, almond extract and vanilla in a small bowl until frothy; add to flour mixture. Beat until thoroughly combined and mixture is moistened.
- Take a little bit of the cookie mixture between your fingertips and pinch; if the dough holds together you have beaten it enough.
- Add almonds and hazelnuts. With your hands, work nuts into dough until mixture begins to hold together. Turn out onto a piece of wax paper.
- Divide mixture in half. Shape each half into a log 2 inches in diameter and about 12 inches long. Place logs on prepared cookie sheets. Beat egg white in a small cup until foamy; brush over logs.
- Bake in preheated moderate oven (375) for 30 minutes or until golden. Remove logs with paper to wire racks. Cool 1 hour. Slice and bake 10 minutes.
Banana-Chocolate Chip Loaf
I always keep frozen bananas on hand to make this easy loaf. It's a wonderful and light appetizer.
Makes 1 loaf
1 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup granulated sugar
3 ripe bananas, mashed
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼tsp ground cinnamon
- Sift flour and baking soda together.
- Mix together remaining ingredients and add to the flour and baking soda mixture.
- Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour, until top is browned.