Please welcome my guest poster for today Kimberly from Cedar Box Photography. She is back for a second time sharing this delicious recipe for Italian Wedding Cookies. Be sure to check out her first guest post for us which was these yummy French Breakfast Puffs.
The first time I tasted these sweet, little cookies I was twelve and my sister was getting married. We lived in Louisiana and my grandmother (on my dad’s side) lived in Massachusetts — way too far to visit much. I had only met her one other time and I was completely enamored with the ways of her Italian heritage. She brought our family’s Italian traditions with her in the form of this dessert, Italian Wedding Cookies. The cookie had a cake-like texture and the sweet surprise of apricot jam in the middle; colorful nonpareils were sprinkled on top. They sat in the refrigerator until they could be put out at the wedding, but I’m surprised there were any left by that time since my brother and I were snitching them at every opportunity.
Over the years I have made these treats for many occasions, but I really love serving them at bridal showers. I stack them in a pyramid shape, using the frosting to “glue” them together. When they are stacked perfectly I drizzle more frosting over the top of them and sprinkle with nonpareils.
They can also be used as a cute party game. Tie different amounts of gold plastic rings from craft stores to the ends of a number of ribbons. Stuff the ring end of the ribbon so that it is hidden within the pyramid of cookies. The other ends of the ribbon can be curled to add decoration. Have each guest pull a ribbon and the number of rings on her ribbon signify the number of future children or how many years until she will be married.
I hope you enjoy my family’s cookies!
Italian Wedding Cookies (from the Foggia region of Italy)
4 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
little bit of salt
5 Tbsp. of shortening (I actually use coconut oil for a slightly healthier version)
1 tsp. of vanilla (the original recipe calls for anise, which is the more typical flavor in Italy)
jar of apricot preserves
1/2 box of powdered sugar
1 heaping Tbsp. of shortening (melted)
5 Tbsp. of hot milk
juice of one lemon
Combine dry ingredients. Place wet ingredients in hole in dry ingredients. Mix. Knead a rollable piece for 5 minutes. Roll out and cut into squares. Put apricot preserves in middle, folding over two opposite corners bringing them to the middle. Bake for 10-12 minutes in 350 degree oven. While the cookies are cooling mix the icing ingredients together. If it is too watery add a little more sugar. After cooling, pour icing on top of each cookie and sprinkle on nonpareils.