New Twist On An Old Tradition

20 Dec

Italian Cookies

A sampling of this year's batch of Italian cookies

When I was a kid we used to receive tins of cookies every year at Christmastime from my grandmother. She and my grandfather lived in Albany, New York, and when we weren’t living overseas, we lived in the Baltimore area during my younger days. I loved the cookies in those tins and one type of cookie always stood out in my memory. They were twisted into shape, coated with a thin sugar icing and topped with multi-colored sprinkles.

Years later, after my grandmother died, I learned how to make those cookies from my dad’s cousin Maria. My grandmother had been her aunt. After that, every year my sister Vickie and I would get together a week or so before Christmas to make the “Italian cookies”, as we like to call them. Sometimes my other sisters, JoAnn and Domenica would join us in our Christmas baking. The recipe makes an enormous amount of cookies so we always had plenty to share among us.

Vickie passed away nine years ago this past November. I continue to make the Italian cookies every year no matter where in the world I find myself. Vickie and I used to try to come up with a new shape of cookie each year and make a dozen or so cookies with that new shape. Since she passed away, I’ve added a cookie in the shape of a “V” in her honor. This year I added a new shape to my repertoire: a pomegranate. I think Vickie’d be happy about that.

Vickie and Maria

Vickie and Maria during a baking session

Grandma Genovese

Grandma Genovese in her kitchen, as rendered by my sister Domenica.

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6 Responses to “New Twist On An Old Tradition”

  1. Don December 21, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    Lenora— It is terribly mean to send me cookies in electronic form. I only like them is wheat and shugee from! WHAHH!

  2. Domenica December 26, 2011 at 2:17 am #

    Lenora, lovely post….you’ve brought back some wonderful memories. Did you create the falling snow effect on your blog, too?

    • Lenora Genovese December 26, 2011 at 10:54 am #

      Thanks, Do. The falling snow is an effect you can activate on any wordpress.com blog. The snow will last until January 4. If you have a wordpress.org blog you can add the falling snow plug-in.

  3. JoAnn December 27, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    Very nice! I want a cookie!!!

    • Lenora Genovese December 27, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

      hey JoAnn! There’s still a few left…if you hurry over you can have a few before they’re all gone!!

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