Tag Archives: Cookies

Kids in the Kitchen: Easter Basket Cookies (Pupi Con Uova)

5 Apr

It’s Easter and Passover weekend which means a lot of family, food and fun for many of you.  I always remember Easter spent at T and Popo’s  house with the enormous freshly-picked bouquet of daffodils on the table; the cousins would hunt for eggs and everyone would eat the traditional Easter fare– ham, various veggies and an antipasto tray.

Of course, as with any celebration, we had cookies.  Easter meant the special Easter egg cookies that were such a kick for kids and a great way to use extra dyed eggs.  So gather the troops in the kitchen this weekend (working with dough is always fun for little ones) and get to work!

Rosie and Carol help in the kitchen

5 1/2C all-purpose flour
1t baking powder
1/8t salt
1/2C butter or margarine, softened
1/2C shortening
1C sugar
2t anise extract
4 raw eggs
12 colored hard-boiled eggs

1 1/2C confectioners’ sugar
2 to 2 1/2T milk
Non-pareils for sprinkling

Mix together flour, baking powder and salt.  In a large bowl, combine butter, shortening, sugar and anise extract.  Beat with mixer until light and fluffy.  Add raw eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat for about two minutes.  Gradually add flour mixture until well-blended.  Shape dough into a ball.  Flatten and wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for an hour.

Roll pieced of dough into 11 1/2in. long, thick ropes.  Form in a loop (cursive lower-case “l” shape).  Place dyed egg in loop.  Roll short, thin pieces of dough and form a cross over each egg.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degreese for about 20-25 minutes.  Frost with icing and sprinkle with non-pareils.

Photo taken from http://www.cookaround.com

These are a yummy treat and unusual, too– I’ve never known another family who makes them.  Happy Easter and mangia!

Happy Birthday, T!: Sicilian Slice Cookies

12 Mar

This week, a special guest post from T’s fourth-born and one of my very favorite people on the planet, Aunt Lisa!  She even baked, too!

On March 12th, my mother will turn 88.  These days, gifts are difficult to buy.  So, I’ll send her something I know she’ll enjoy– cookies.  I’ll use one of her favorite recipes and send a small box, packed for minimal breakage.  I’ll wrap each cookie individually just to make sure.  It’s the least I can do because for years that’s exactly what my mother did for me.  Holidays and birthdays found me running to the mailbox for her special treats.  I’d open the package, close my eyes, and inhale deeply.  With this, I could be with her in her kitchen, laughing, talking, and cooking.  I could be “home” even though I lived thousands of miles away.  Eating the cookies was almost as good.

Greece, 1977. Featuring Lisa, T and T's sunglasses

My mother used traditional flavors, which I seldom cook with now, like anise and coconut.  And nuts… she poured them in, measuring in pounds, not cups.  One Christmas when I was living overseas, I opened the box to find every cookie in crumbs.   I lied to my mother by phone saying they’d arrived in perfect condition.  Well, it wasn’t exactly a lie because they were perfect.  I ate every last cookie, with a spoon.

6 eggs, slightly beaten
1C sugar
1C vegetable oil
4 drops anise oil or a ½t of walnut oil
1 to 2C raisins or dried cranberries
1lb chopped walnuts
4C all-purpose flour

Combine all ingredients, adding flour last.  Mix to blend well.  Mixture should be stiff enough to hold shape; if not, add a little more flour.  Shape dough into two long loaves and place on a slightly grease cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the loaves are slightly brown.  Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and cut into ½in. slices.  Return slices to the cookie sheet and toast on both sides, about 10 minutes.  Cool slightly and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Happy Birthday, T!

This recipe is one of my mom’s favorites, and mine too.  These treats are perfect with a hot cup of tea or coffee.

The amount of cookies yielded depends only on how large or small you slice them.  Mangia!