Friday, April 3, 2015

Italian Easter Cookies


Both my Mother-in-law, and my husband's oldest sister, made these Calabrian style Italian Easter cookies every year, and would give us many of them to enjoy. They are called "i'nguti" in their Reggio Calabria town's dialect.  If you are Italian, you may know them by another name, as it seems almost every southern Italian town or district has another name for them. My mother-in-law passed away many years ago, and we no longer live near my husband's sister, so we have not had these cookies in a few years and felt nostalgic for them. Years ago, I watched my mother-in-law make them, and I copied down the recipe.  After a quick phone call to my sister-in-law, to make sure I had all the ingredients and method right, I decided to finally tackle making them myself.  Was I glad I did!  The recipe makes a lot of cookies, but they keep well and the plain ones are wonderful with a cup of coffee or tea any time of the year. I imagine you could halve the recipe if you'd like to make less, but they are light and not too sweet, so you will find you can enjoy eating quite a few at a time.  (All photos, and photo collages, will increase in size for easier viewing if clicked on)


Italian Easter Cookies

Ingredients:

12 cups of flour, divided into 6 cups and 6 cups -- have more flour available if needed--it is almost an entire 5 pound bag of flour.
3 cups sugar
12 extra large eggs for batter
12 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons vanilla 
1 pound butter or margarine.
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Have extra egg yolks beaten, for the glaze--I used 4 egg yolks in total.

If you desire to make the bunny shape, holding the egg, clean as many eggs as you like (I used one dozen) and dye them if you desire. 

*Important: The eggs used in the bunny shapes are raw --they will fully cook in the oven along with the cookie holding them.

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and then lower to 375 F
Melt butter or margarine and let it cool.
In mixing bowl with beater blade, add 12 eggs and mix --do not over beat.
Then add sugar, vanilla, baking powder, and butter or margarine to the egg mixture and mix well.
Then add 2 cups of flour and mix
Add 2 more cups of flour and mix
Add two more cups of flour and mix until entire mixture is smooth. 

Place the remaining 6 cups of flour on a clean board or counter and make a well in the middle. Pour in the mixing bowl mixture into the center of the flour. Using clean hands, mix the wet and dry ingredients together, kneading until it forms a smooth ball.  You may have to add a small amount of flour if mixture is too wet. I did not need to do this.
Clean your hands, and pour 1 tablespoon of oil on your hands and rub the oil all over the ball of dough--this helps to keep it from drying out as you make the cookie shapes.

Cut a piece of the dough off the dough ball and roll into a rope about ten inches long and about 3/4 inch wide (see photo above).  Loop once to hold the egg and twist the top around twice to form Bunny ears (see photo). Place raw egg in the bottom loop.  Flatten out a small amount of dough, about a quarter inch thick and cut two strips, which you then crisscross over the egg. pressing the ends into the loop to hold egg in place. Using a thin spatula, pick up cookie and place on lightly greased cookie sheet, then brush lightly with egg yolk.  Do not crowd cookie sheet as the cookies will rise.

You can also cut pieces of dough and roll them into shapes.  I made "S" shapes. circles, and twisted (See photo above). Brush lightly with egg yolk to glaze them.  

*Important: make sure to add the non egg holding shapes to a separate cookie sheet, as they will cook faster than the Bunny shape.

Place the egg holding bunnies in the 375 F oven. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until edges are turning lightly brown. The raw eggs will cook inside the cookies. If you place two cookie sheets in the oven at the same time, switch the sheet positions midway through the baking time. 

Place the non egg holding cookies in a 375 F oven and bake approximately 20 minutes, or until edges lightly brown.

Cool on a rack.  Enjoy!

My mother-n-law did not refrigerate the bunny egg holding cookies, but you can if you'd like. The non egg holding cookies store well in a cookie jar.


I am having Easter dinner at my house this year and it will be nice to have the cookies as part of our dessert, along with my New York Cheesecake that I will make with a gluten free crust for the members of my family that must eat gluten free.



Our community held their annual Easter Egg Hunt last Sunday, our granddaughter, our daughter and son-in-law and Grandma and Pop Pop all attended.  Unfortunately my son and daughter-in-law and grandsons could not attend, as they have all been passing around colds to each other.


The park lawn was studded with over 7,000 candy filled plastic Easter Eggs!  There were different divisions and charting times according to age, and our granddaughter was in the 0-2 year old group that went first.  The Big Carrot announced the start and egg gathering began!  The Easter Bunny was in the area for photo taking, and a local children's gym had some mats and play equipment available for the children to enjoy. The community playground was also in the area.  As you can see by the photos my granddaughter had a wonderful time!  She likes running as much as picking up eggs.  It was a beautiful sunny 70 degree day, so we could not have asked for anything better!



 I wish you all a very Happy and Blessed Easter!


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45 comments:

Lorrie said...

Such interesting and delicious looking cookies, Pat. I love seeing what different areas of the world create for Easter.

Rich Easter blessings to you and yours.

Mersad said...

This looks amazing!

Mersad
Mersad Donko Photography

Lynn said...

The bunny cookies are adorable Pat! How fun to keep the family tradition going-Happy Easter:@)

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, your cookies look delicious.. I am sure your grand children loved the egg hunt, always a fun time.. Happy Easter, have a great weekend!

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

A lovely cookie tradition that is both pretty and delicious looking! How much fun you have having with your family and this precious little girl running and collecting Easter eggs! Sorry to hear the others are not feeling well. Sending wishes for a very Happy Easter!

Linda Kay said...

Such beautiful colors in your blog this morning, and your cookies look yummy. Have a wonderful weekend.

happywonderer.com said...

Those cookies are so fabulous Pat!
A very Blessed Easter to your and yours!

Margaret said...

What a heartwarming Easter post Pat! Thank-you so much for sharing your bunny cookie recipe, excellent instructions! I enjoyed all your delightful photos very much! Simply darling grand daughter Easter egg hunt photos! Wishing you and your family a wonderful Happy Easter. Margaret from B.C.

Liz@ Infuse With Liz said...

Those look good. I love traditions like this. Sadly we don't really have any traditions like this in our family. Looks like you figured out how to make them! Have a great Easter!

Nellie said...

What amazing cookies! I like the addition of the egg. This is a great tradition! Hopefully everyone in the family will be well for the week-end. xo Nellie

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I love the cookies shaped like bunnies holding the eggs, Pat! What a wonderful Easter tradition and I'm so happy you 'tackled' them so you could share the recipe with us.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Forgot to wish you a very Happy Easter!

Vee said...

I shall have to try these cookies one day. My kids, with their Italian heritage, would enjoy it. We colored eggs today with the grands...they were already cooked or I might have tried it today. Your granddaughter is so cute and looks perfectly happy being outside and she looks as if she is good friends with the Easter Bunny, too. A wonderful Easter to you and yours, Pat!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Oh these look wonderful and a lot of fun to make! Your granddaughter had a great time, I can see. So cute! Love the pretty collage, too.
Have a wonderful and blessed Easter!

Joyful said...

What a lovely and interesting Easter post. You have gone to a lot of effort to make a lovely Easter meal. Blessings to you all this Easter weekend. x

Ola said...

They would be a dekicious table decoration for Easter!

Ola said...

They would be a dekicious table decoration for Easter!

Nancy's Notes said...

Those are just beautiful and I'm sure scrumptious!
Happy Easter~
Nancy

Cathy Keller said...

Amazing, indeed!!! Happy, Holy and Joyful Easter!!! Thanks be to God!

Trotter said...

Hi Pat!
Hope you are having a great time! Sorry for the long absence, but it was a harsh 2014...
Anyhow, enjoy the second half of my post on Valencia, Spain, with some old buildings around!
Wish you a great Easter and all the best!

Betsy Adams said...

Your Italian Cookies looks and sounds delicious... How neat that you have the recipe and can make them, keeping the tradition going.

Bet your cheesecake is good also. What else are you serving for Easter Dinner? George and I are going to the Cumberland Mtn. State Park Restaurant mid-afternoon tomorrow (to avoid the crowds/rush) for their special Easter Buffet. Should be delicious.

Happy Easter to you and the family.
Hugs,
Betsy

Susan Anderson said...

Those cookies look scrumptious! Happy Easter to you!!

=)

Pondside said...

I hope your Easter Day was as wonderful as these photos. The cookies sound delicious. I am fond of 'not too sweet' cookoes!

ladyfi said...

Just delicious!

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

How nice for your grandchildren, that you are bringing traditions for them to eat/love. Thanks for sharing.

Happy Blue Monday!

Rajesh said...

Happy Easter. Easter cookies look delicious.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat, my mom used to make these when she was alive, and I have stopped doing it, unfortunately. Maybe when I have grandchildren - lol - whenever that might be who knows. But yours look great, and I like that they're not too sweet. Great with a cuppa. I hope you had a wonderful Easter, but I've seen some of your posts on FB, so I know it was. All the best.

The French Hutch said...

What a wonderful Easter celebration you had Pat. I love all those cookies and I'm sure your family enjoyed them. Sorry you were missing family members, so was I for the same reason. A little late but for Easter, but wish you a wonderful spring.

Hugs........

Happy@Home said...

Your Easter post was a delight from start to finish. The cookies look so festive, not to mention tasty. How neat that you are carrying on the tradition.
The Easter Egg Hunt looks like a great time for all of the kids in your neighborhood.
Spring seems to be bursting out in a most beautiful way in Colorado. Your collage is really pretty.

Valerie said...

Wow! I applaud your culinary perseverance! These do look scrumptious. Sounds like you had a wonderful Easter with family. Thank you for sharing the experience.

retriever said...

Delicious cookies, have a nice month april,
Greeting from Belgium

http://louisette.eklablog;com

Fun60 said...

Your very title conjures up mouth watering delights.

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I recall the delicious cookies that were served at an Italian friend's home for a special occasion because they weren't overly sweet. These look yummy Pat, a lot of work with all the other food you prepared for Easter but I know everything would have been appreciated.
Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Unique...interesting...delightful! So glad you decided to make the traditional Italian Easter treats this year.

Your granddaughter is so sweet!

Hope you had a wonderful and blessed Easter weekend!

Donna said...

What a wonderful Easter you had...I miss those Italian Easter cookies ad other Italian Easter treats...

carol l mckenna said...

Fun and creative post ~ Great photos and wonderful recipe ~ so glad to see one as I have seen the cookies ~

Happy Week to you,
artmusedog and carol

Sue/the view from great island said...

I've always wanted to make cookies like these, they are adorable!

Jim said...

Wonderful.

diane b said...

You sure had a Happy Easter. The Italian Easter Cookies look like fun to make and even more fun to eat. You are the best cook! Your grand daughter looks so cute collecting eggs.

Annesphamily said...

Always fun to visit you here pat! Those cookies look delightful. My fathers oldest sister was married to an Italian and she perfected all the dishes! She was a caterer and I wish I had many of her wonderful cookie recipes. But she made them for hundreds! LOL! Gave me sweet memories. Have a beautiful day. Hugs, Anne

bj said...

what adorable cookies...love them.

Molly said...

How cool, I have never seen those before but they look amazing

Mollyxxx

jeannettestgermain said...

Never seen these before! Am going to copy this, because both of my daughters like to bake -thanks for the recipe!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Pat that is so wonderful that you copied and watched your mother in law make these. I did the same with most of my mother in laws recipes that all her 11 kids loved. The holidays bring all those nostalgic smells and tastes from our childhoods, your family and especially husband most so appreciate your making these. This is one recipe I don't have and I'm pinning it for next year!

Roz Corieri Paige said...

Our Italian mothers have given us so many gifts, especially from their kitchens....thank you for sharing some of your family's Easter goodies. I'm sure everyone devoured them! I hope that your Easter was a blessed one! I have just discovered that triplets are on the way for my daughter! Happy Spring, Pat!