Home Cakes, Biscuits & Desserts Abruzzesi Christmas Cookies

Abruzzesi Christmas Cookies

by Sam Dunham
Abruzzesi Christmas Cookies

Christmas in isn’t just a time of baking delicious and cookies, there are also some spectacular feel good deep fried goodies that are guaranteed to see off icy bora and mistral blasts, or, fend off end-of-school hunger pangs as my son and his 2 friends verified when they tested them out as their after school treat (merenda in Italian).

We’re trying out 3 new for the  international 2019 Christmas Cookie Swap,  arranged by the always inspiring Tuscan based blog Juls Kitchen, kept by the writer Giulia Scarpaleggia.  She matches to you 2 other participants who you bake for and who send you surprise Christmas cookies!

We’d already tried out these 4 Abruzzesi Christmas cookie favourites below, now onto new tempting delights!

Caciunitt, Caggionetti or Calcionetti Abruzzesi

These delicious and addictive fried ravioli are stuffed with a soft chocolate, chestnut, orange peel and rum filling, try the recipe.


Mooreish spiced Italian Christmas cookies that can use up half drunk bottles of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo left over from the night before and coated in thick chocolate, try the recipe

Ceci Ripieni

These team chickpeas,  and dark chocolate and coat them in the town of Prezza’s famous mosto cotto, encasing them in a soft egg based fried pastry that easily fools you into having six with an espresso, try the recipe

An  light and tasty must-try dish that rivals the region’s beloved arrosticini for fame are Pizzelle, , Neole or  depending on which of the provinces you are in, try the recipe.

2019 Abruzzese Christmas Cookie Swap Recipes


Pepatelli Teramani

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Serves: 20

These healthy wholewheat biscuits from are delicious a couple of days after you have baked them when they have softened with a glass of wine! They are named after the black pepper used in the recipe and can also be found in Molise.
  • 200 g of wholewheat flour
  • 200 g of blanched almonds
  • 200 g of orange honey
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a bowl mix together the almonds, flour, orange zest and pepper.
  2. In a saucepan, gently heat the honey until it becomes fluid.
  3. Add the honey and knead until the dough is smooth.
  4. Cut into 2 and shape into a rectangular 5 cm wide loaves and place them on baking sheet on a baking tray.
  5. Bake in in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes, then once cooked, cut the loaves into slices diagonally , 1 cm thick.
  6. Bake once more for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. They can be kept in tin boxes for 2-3 months, they become softer as they get older! Serve with wine!
    Thanks to dolcementeinventando for use of her image


Torcinelli or li turcinill

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Serves: 35

Adored by children and grown ups alike Torcinelli or li turcinill are delicious traditional finger shaped Christmas doughnuts that are made with potato which makes them crunchy on the outside and super soft inside.
  • 500 g 00 flour
  • 150 g of finely mashed boiled potato
  • 50 g of water
  • 100 ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 ml of white wine or milk
  • 125 g of raisins
  • Grated zest from 1 lemon
  • A pinch of salt and sugar
  • 1 square of brewer's yeast or 1 packet of yeast
  1. Mix the yeast with warm water and 100 grams of flour and let it rise for an hour in a bowl.
  2. A the wet ingredients and then mix in the rest of the dry ingredients.
  3. Knead the dough well, cover and let it rise for 3 hours in a warm place.
  4. After rising, pull pieces of dough and roll to the size of an index finger. Fry in plenty of hot ground nut or light olive oil for a couple of minutes till crisp They should rise to the surface when they are done!
  5. Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with brown granulated sugar and cinnamon.
    Thanks to Incucina daeva for use of her image and recipe!




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Serves: 30

How could one ever be bored of eating almonds when you have Torroncini! These delicious feather light meringue style biscuits are utterly delicious and so easy to make!
  • 330 g blanched almonds
  • 230 g icing sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • Grated zest ½ unwaxed lemon
  1. Wash the lemon, dry it and grate half of it.
  2. Toast the almonds in a frying pan and then chop the almonds or chop them with the mixer (they should not be too coarse or too fine), pour them into a bowl and season with the grated lemon rind and a pinch of cinnamon.
  3. Whisk the egg whites with the electric whisk until stiff, add the sugar and continue to beat until you get a shiny and solid meringue.
  4. Stir in ¾ of the almond meringue, mix gently with a spatula until a thick, well-blended mixture is obtained.
  5. Shape the dough, about 3 cm high and ⅞ cm wide. With a knife, spread the remaining meringue over the entire surface excluding the edges.
  6. Cut the nougat into small rectangles.
  7. Place them on a baking sheet covered with baking paper.
  8. Bake at 90 °C for about an hour (they must only dry and not color). Turn off and let cool in the oven.
    Thanks to Dolci da Sogno for use of image and recipe!


As part of  the Jules Christmas Cookie Swap we sent and received back the scrummiest cookies from Netherton Foundry (Mincemeat and Marzipan) and Sarah Bailey of CookerEbook fame and  her 0 km Blueberry, Oatmeal & Lemon Cookies, both will become family favourites and recommend giving these two a try!




All about Abruzzo in a slow travel & food blog
All about Abruzzo in a slow travel & food blog