Turdilli, a traditional Christmas cookie from San Giovanni in Fiore in Calabria, are sweet deep fried cookies, shaped like gnocchi and drizzled with honey. They are delicious and one of my favorite cookies.
- 1 cup crisco, melted and cooled
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups sweet wine (Marsala, sweet sherry, or red vermouth)
- 8 cups flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- About 2 cups honey, warm
- About 4 to 6 cups of vegetable or canola oil for deep-frying the cookies
Step 1: Sift together the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
Step 2: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the first seven ingredients until well blended.
Step 3: Add dry ingredients on low speed until mixture forms a cohesive mass.
Step 4: Scrape the dough onto a very lightly floured board. Knead lightly until smooth. Shape the dough into a ball, flatten, and place in a bowl. Dust the top lightly with flour, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight to allow the dough to relax.
Step 5: Roll into logs and cut one inch pieces. Roll down on fork or gnocchi board. The deeper the grooves on the cookies the better as they puff up as they fry and the ridges, unless deep, tend to disappear.
Step 6: Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or deep pan to 350 degrees F. Deep fry until golden brown. Each batch should include enough cookies to cover the surface of the oil. Any fewer and the oil gets too hot and browns the cookies before they are cooked through. Stir the cookies while they fry so they do not stick together. Remove cookies just as they turn a light milk chocolate color or a little before. Drain on paper towels.
Step 7: While still hot, put the cookies in a large shallow dish and pour the honey over them. Toss the cookies several times as they cool. If the cookies absorb all the honey, add more - they should be fully saturated. Cookies will keep for about 1 week in an air tight container.