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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tordilli & Chenalili's

I remember visiting Grandma & Grandpa during the holiday season and finding them making these in the kitchen - that was a long time ago, so pardon my memory if it isn't entirely accurate, but I believe they made both of these cookies at the same time - they are really the same dough but Chenalili are filled and Tordilli are not.  These are tasty little cookies that aren't too sweet.  I tried making them for the first time last year and they were pretty fun to make too.  Mine came out much too thick and I didn't have anyone here who had experience making them to help me, but Mom & Dad thought they came out pretty good. 

It's a good idea to make these around the same time as you make your Scalilles as they too are fried and dipped in warm honey - so save that oil and honey & do all your "honeying" at one time. 


3 cups oil
4 cups Muscatel (or other sweet wine)
2-3 eggs
16 cups flour (approx.)

Bring to a boil the wine & oil.  Take off stove and allow to cool slightly.  Add the eggs to the flour in a well - mix slightly.  Then add your oil mixture slowly so you don't cook the dough.  Knead until it holds together nicely.

For Tordilli:  Roll out the dough & fill with chopped hazelnuts, walnuts, raisins, dates or figs.  Mix with a couple tablespoons of honey & grape or other jelly you might have. Make these like you'd make ravioli.  Deep fry & honey.

Chenalilis - Small Batch

1 1/2 cup oil
1 cup sweet wine
2 eggs
6 cups flour

Chris' Notes: 
  • On the filling for the Chenalili's, you can use either honey or jelly, with chopped nuts & raisins or dates - or all three, I really liked the grape jelly though as it marries well with the wine in the dough.
  • It's a bit confusing trying to figure out whether it's the Chenalili's or the Tordilli's that are filled as both recipes I found include filling, but generally one of them was just fried dough.  Really you can use any dough you have left once you run out of filling.  For the unfilled version, roll the dough into long, narrow logs (like a breadstick) and cut off 2 inch pieces.  Roll the cut piece on a bottle or fancy cut glass for design.  Deep fry and honey as for Chenalili's. 
  • All of the cookies keep really well, as long as you put them in airtight containers and store them in a cool place.
  • If you're making these, please take some pictures for us to post with the recipe!    


  1. Our family tordilli is not a filled cookie. It is made more like strufoli. Our recipe calls for 1/2 t. salle (salt), and 1/4 C whiskey, but half the oil of your recipe. Roll into a rope. Cut into pillows, roll over the back fork tines, fry and honey.

  2. Thank you for sharing your family history with us! It's so great to hear from others whose families make these little treats. Your comment made me realize I have the description of these cookies backwards - it's the Chenalili's that are filled, not the Tordilli. Silly me!


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