Snowflakes

There’s nothing like a filled cookie! These little crunchy fruity and robust cookies will make your friends and family very happy. The dough is flavored with a hint of lemon, filled with raspberry and strawberry jam, glazed with a lemon glaze and the sprinkled with powdered sugar. They are one of the best cookies ever.

Snowflakes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees ~ bake for 8-10 minutes.

Cream together:
1 cup of sugar
1 c. Butter softened (2 sticks)
Add:
3 tbsp milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 egg
Mix and add:
3 c. Flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Mix and place in a ziploc bag and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Lemon Glaze
2 c. Powdered sugar
1/3 c. Fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest

Filling:
Your favorite fruit jam.

When ready, roll out to 1/8 inch thickness.
Cut out 24 circles and half of them cut out a smaller circle in the middle. You will have 12 bottoms without a hole and 12 tops with a hole.

Any remaining dough repeat until you have used up all of the dough. You should get 24 double layer cookies from this batch. Bake them on an ungreased cookie sheet. They will be light in color but after they cool they will be crisp.
They will need to cool completely. Brush with glaze only the top of the cookies with the hole in the center. Let them dry. Add a teaspoon of your favorite jam to the bottom cookie and spread. Place the tops on the bottom. The jam will be like glue holding them together. When ready to serve sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Cannoli

cannoli
Cannoli is a family favorite around here! The shell is crunchy, the filling is creamy and sweet. You can purchase the shells at the grocery store or make them homemade. They are readily available around the holidays, but they are available all year in Italian markets. I made 12 of the mini ones on christmas eve and they all went. The recipe I will provide to you will most likely fill 36 mini or 18 large. I’d like to tell you that this is the authentic filling, but the Italians are pretty tight lipped on this filling recipe. I have only been able to experiment over the years and come extremely close. I will say that I would let this recipe be put up against any Italian pastry shop Cannoli proudly! I believe that the key to getting this filling right is being patient and buying good ricotta. I get my ricotta at the Italian store in Portland, Maine. It is very good quality, but the key is letting it drain in cheesecloth in the refrigerator for a few days. The excess liquid that comes out of it is super important in getting this filling correct. That is the hardest part, the rest is simple, unless you make the shells and then the recipe would be more time consuming.

Filling:
2 cups ricotta, all ready drained for one or two days
1 vanilla bean split and scooped of seeds
1 c. confectionery sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla
6-8 oz. Mascarpone cheese

Optional Items: dried candied diced fruit, lemon or orange zest.

Prepare the filling.
place two layers of cheesecloth in a sieve with a handle and place in a bowl.(This is like a mesh strainer) Put enough cheesecloth to hang over the edges. Place the 2 cups of ricotta and wrap the ricotta and twist the excess cheesecloth for wringing out liquid. Place bowl in fridge to drain. Anytime you think of it give it a squeeze. After two days you may have gotten as much as a 1/4 cup of liquid out of the ricotta.
Now add the the rest of the ingredients and beat with electric mixer, place into a piping bag, close end with an elastic and place in refrigerator until ready for use.
The shells:
Embellish the shells by dipping in melted chocolate and chopped pistachio nuts. When ready to serve snip the end of the piping bag and fill the shells. After filling with cheese mixture dip one end in mini chocolate chips. Sprinkle with powdered sugar! Serve immediately while shells are crunchy. They will stay fresh for a few hours.
Enjoy!

Pizzelles

PizzellesBaking Pizzelles always brings me back to my Italian grandmother Asunta. She used to make these by the dozens. Along with a few other Italian Cookies that may or may not make an appearance through the holidays. Quite frankly, we are all just a little sick of the same cookies that we have made year after year. And, unfortunately they have never been embraced by the newer generations in the family. I cannot say that anybody is tired of these cookies. They are light and crisp and powdered sugar messy and you need a Pizzelle iron to make them.

Pizzelles

3/4 c. Melted butter
3/4 c. Sugar
3 eggs beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. anise flavoring
1 scant tsp baking powder
1/2 c. Flour

Batter will be loose
Drop into a heated buttered pizzelle maker, remove when golden.

Enjoy!