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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Punch & Egg Nog Punch

We often went to Grandma & Grandpa Carbone's on Christmas Eve (then returned on Christmas day too).  Christmas Eve at Grandma & Grandpa's was an evening filled with friends and family dropping by and Grandma & Grandpa going back and forth from living room to kitchen with fresh, hot "dough boys" and egg nog.  I've yet to locate a recipe for the Dough Boys, but I'm pretty sure they were made from doughnut batter dropped directly into hot oil and deep fried, then sprinkled with powdered sugar (or maybe it was cinnamon-sugar?).  Grandma did lots of baking during the holidays and, of course, she always had a lovely array of cookies for everyone to munch too and I'm sure there must have been cheese ball or dips with chips or crackers out as well.  I found quite a few punch recipes in Grandma's notebook.  I'll just share a couple today & save some to post next year.

Christmas Punch

Bottle of Vodka (1/5)
2 quarts Gingerale
Juice of 12 oranges and 6 lemons
1 small jar maraschino cherries & juice.
Mix all together add 1 pt. orange sherbet

Another Punch

1 gal apple cider
1 qt. vodka
Pour over block of ice

Cran-apple Punch

2 lemons - juice
1 qt. cranberry cocktail juice
1 C orange juice
1/4 C sugar
Add 1 bottle of Champagne (the cheaper kind).  Stir gently & not too much.  Add lemon slices, also orange & a few cloves.

Egg Nog Punch

1/2 gal Egg Nog
1 - 32 oz. bottle 7-up
Put egg nog in bottom of punch bowl.  Add mixer.  Sprinkle with nutmeg. 
Note:  Don't mix.  I tasted this at Safeway & it is delicious.  Dec. 1984

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Italian Fruit Cookies

I stumbled upon this recipe last holiday season while searching for holiday cookie recipes.  I read through it and realized it was yet another Biscotti recipe.  I made these last year and they were very good.  Since then, I have used the method and general idea from this recipe to make other "flavors" of Biscotti (if you were at the 2011 Family Reunion and tried my Pistachio, Cherry & Lime Biscotti, this is the method I used).

Italian Fruit Cookies

1/2 Cup Butter  
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 tsp anise extract
6 Eggs
5 Cups sifted flour 
3 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 Cup diced, mixed candied fruit, citron or whole pine nuts

Cream butter & sugar in large bowl.  Blend in extract and eggs.  Mix together flour, B.P. and salt, gradually mix into butter & egg mixture to make a stiff dough.  Chill dough 1 hr.  Divide dough into 4 equal parts.  Taking one portion, roll to rectangle 12 in. long and 8 in. wide.  Sprinkle surface of dough evenly with 1/3 cup of the candied fruit or nuts.  Starting with the wide side of the rectangle, roll dough tightly to make a long, compact loaf.  Place rolls on lightly greased baking sheet (2 loaves to a sheet).  Bake in med. hot oven (375 degrees) 25-30 min. until lightly browned.
Remove from oven, let cool on pans for 5 min.  Cut in diagonal slices, 1/2 in. thick.  Lay slices cut side down on cookie sheet & toast 16-18 min. (375 degrees) or until lightly toasted.  Cool and store in airtight containers or fridge.  Makes about 6 dz. 

Chris' Note:  As I said, I use the method from this recipe when I make my Biscotti.  When you roll out the dough and sprinkle with the nuts or fruit, you get a nice, even distribution and the nuts, etc. stay in the dough, since it's then rolled into it, rather than kneaded through it. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe - Buon Natale!

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!    


The holidays are coming fast, so I thought I'd dig through Josephine's recipes to find some traditional Italian baked goods that I know are popular for Christmastime as well as a couple non-Italian recipes that would be handy for entertaining this time of year.  I'm starting off this series today with Panettone.  This particular recipe is noted as coming from "Papa Rossi's Secrets of Italian Cooking". 


1 pk. fresh or dried yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
2 tbs. pastry flour
6 tbs. butter
6 tbs. sugar
6 egg yolks
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/2 cup candied fruit, chopped

Mix yeast with 1/2 c. water & set aside for 5 min. 

Combine mixed yeast thoroughly with remaining water & enough flour to make a soft dough.  Cover & set aside to rise in warm place for 1 hr. 

Add butter, sugar, egg yolks, salt, raisins, fruit & remaining flour.  Knead on floured board until consistency of dough is elastic, about 15 min.  Cover, set in warm place & let rise until doubled in bulk.

Shape into 1 large or 2 med. sized round loaves.  Place in greased baking pan, grease top of loaves, cover & let rise until double.  Bake in 370 degree oven 1 hour until outside is browned.  Cool on wire racks away from drafts. 

Chris Note:  I've never made Panettone, but it appears to be a pretty straightforward bread recipe, so maybe I'll give it a try before Christmas.  I'll try to get some photos up if I do.  If any of you Carbone's (or other readers) have made it, please do share your experiences & tips, we'd love to hear them - we'd love to post your photos too!