Thursday, 28 March 2013

Taralli di Pasqua (Italian Easter Cookies)

Italian Easter Cookies - Taralli

Ingredients for dough:

5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
6 eggs
1 cup of  granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

3 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
multi-colored nonpareils

Wisk eggs until fluffy.  Add sugar a little at a time whisking after each addition.  Whisk vigorously for about 3 minutes, then add the melted butter and vanilla.  Continue to whisk vigorously until thick and fluffy.

In a large bowl combine the flour and baking powder.
Fold egg mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until a firm dough forms.

Knead the dough lightly in the bowl.  Break off one-inch balls of dough and roll with hands to form a five inch rope.   Pinch the ends together to form a circle and place on prepared pans about 1-inch apart.
Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until taralli are golden brown.  Let cook completely before icing.

For the icing:
Heat all ingredients for icing in a pot until lukewarm.  Dip tops of cookies into the icing mixture or brush on, sprinkle with colourful cake decorations (nonpareils) 

 Adapted from:

Monday, 25 March 2013


This is an Italian-style Bundt cake that is a staple in households in Italy.  My mother has been making it for years and I have tried to duplicate it for years. The success of a great Ciambellone is the method.  I have used these ingredients before but have not paid attention to the method and the cake wouldn't rise very high, even when I used more baking powder. This is the right way to make a great Ciambellone. In this version, I have mixed two cups of the batter with cocoa and swirled it into the remaining batter.  Enjoy!


4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 scant teaspoon salt
1 cup canola oil
1 cup of milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
4-5 tablespoons of cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 10 inch Bundt pan with cooking spray.

With whisk beaters, use electric hand mixer or stand mixer to beat eggs on high until well combined.  Slowly add sugar to eggs while beating and continue to beat sugar and eggs for about 8 or more minutes.  You want the eggs and sugar to be a firm mixture.

In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.

Add the flour mixture slowly to the thick egg mixture, folding the flour gently into the egg mixture.  I used a rubber spatula to do this in order to keep the mixture light.

Stir in the oil until well combined.

Mix milk with vanilla in a cup and then add the milk/vanilla liquid into the batter.  Stir until you have a thick, dense, uniform batter--do not over stir.

Pour all batter, except two cups full into the Bundt pan.  Mix cocoa into the remaining batter until well combined and uniformly dark.

With a spoon, drop cocoa batter into the white cake batter around the cake, then swirl with a knife to give a marble effect.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until cake is firm and knife etc. comes out clean when inserted in cake.

Cool cake, then remove onto serving dish.

Success! At last I have mastered the Italian tradition.  Please let me know how your Ciambellone turns out.

Variations to this recipe are not including the cocoa and making a plain vanilla Ciambellone or you can mix mini chocolate chips into the mix.

Friday, 15 March 2013