Fine Cooking Magazine – Classic Italian Cookies


Hello and happy holidays! Can you all believe Christmas is just 5 days away? Honestly it really snuck up on me this year and it took awhile to get into the spirit of the season. It did finally kick in and with it the usual traditional things; decorating the house and of course making cookies. However as I thought about the cookies I would make I found myself tired of the same old things I’ve been baking for 40+ years. All good eats and nothing wrong with tradition, but I really wanted something new to try. When I picked up the December issue of Fine Cooking (one of my favorite cooking magazines), in it was an article and 4 recipes that called out to me “Classic Italian Cookies”. Reading through all the recipes I found they would be lighter than the ones I’ve done in the past, and a couple were even gluten free so I figured, why not?


Coffee Hazelnut Chifferi. These cookies are buttery and full of the flavor of hazelnuts and espresso coffee. The baked cookies are finished by tossing them in a cinnamon-sugar mixture.


Ricciarelli. The origin of this cookie is from the almond-growing region of Siena. They are tender, chewy, and using the almond flour in place of flour, they are gluten free. These are Brian’s favorite. They do take quite a bit of handwork though so you might want to be sitting down to do the forming work.


Pistachio Amaretti. This cookie is not as crisp as the store-bought variety but makes up for it in flavor. Rather than flour, pistachios are finely ground. A little almond extract is also added with plays nicely with the pistachios.


Lemon-Iced Ginger Biscotti. Here’s the Italian cookie I know and also my favorite of the bunch. Great ginger flavor is built up using ground ginger, crystallized ginger, and grated fresh ginger. Unlike the store bought variety, which tend to be hard as a rock, these have just the right amount of snap and hold up well to dunking in a coffee or tea.

It was fun trying some new recipes and in the process I think I may have found some new things to add to the holiday baking tradition.

Do you have a favorite baking tradition you or your family follows? I’d love to hear. In the meantime, I wish you all the best this holiday season. Thanks so much for stopping by.

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About Carol

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7 Responses to Fine Cooking Magazine – Classic Italian Cookies

  1. Jana Vargas says:

    Yummy all around, and pretty too!- Made your grandmother’s pecan butter balls again this year, always a favorite since our first cookie exchange in the 1980″s, my goodness how time does fly!!- JBV

  2. Karen Olson says:

    These all look so delicious! Italian cookies hold such fond memories for me. I have a clear picture in my mind of going to the south end of Hartford in Connecticut to the Italian bakery for rum cake and Italian cookies. Yum! I will have to check out the magazine for sure.

  3. Ann Davis says:

    I just love your cookie reviews. They are so professionally done. the words and pictures just flow so beautifully. Your work just gets better and better.

  4. seabluelee says:

    Your biscotti looks and sounds wonderful. I’ve never tried making it myself, so I’m doubly impressed. When I was growing up, we made fruitcake and several varieties of cookies every year before Christmas. I continued the tradition when my own family was young, but don’t do any baking anymore. The one thing I still make some years is Cranberry Candy. You’d be horrified if I told you the recipe, but it sure tastes good!

  5. Sherry Galey says:

    What a cornucopia of holiday treats! So beautifully made and presented. Thank you for all your wonderful food photography throughout the year. It always inspires me to try new things and eat more consciously and healthfully. A great gift!

  6. Barbara says:

    Beautiful and delicious looking Carol. I am with you the biscotti is one of my favorite Christmas cookies.

  7. Kelly Kardos says:

    I have several Fine Cooking magazines. I love the format of the magazine, and I’ve loved just about everything I’ve tried.Being GF…I’m totally interested in the Ricciarelli. I make Ginger cookies every year. It’s not the same without the big sugar crystals, and Joannes hasn’t had any-so I won’t make them until I get crystals. Austin and Frankie have their favs…so they got there’s…now I need to find a new holiday tradition for me. Beautiful pics Carol.

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