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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.



Im excited to try this recipe but before i start i want to confirm that both the melted crisco and canola oil go into the batter?

Hi, I've confirmed with my mother that the recipe is correct. You melt and cool 1 cup of crisco and you also add the 1 cup of oil. Good luck. would love to hear how they turn out. Cheryl

What kind of oil is best to fry cookies in?

Hi Mary Ellen, I use vegetable or canola oil. I'll add that information to the recipe. Cheryl

I like to substitute grass fed butter for the crisco and grapeseed oil for the canola as I don't use canola or crisco for health reasons. Can you see any reason that this is not a compatible substitution. Or perhaps an extremely mild EVOO for the canola?

No I don't see any reason why you couldn't substitute. Let me know how they come out.

I used pure butter instead of crisco and they were wonderful!

That is good to know. I will have to try using butter sometime.

If I only wanted to make half of this Turdilli recipe, can you please give me all the proportions of the ingredients that I would use? We are a small family. Would love to try your recipe. Thanks for your help.

Hi Mary, If you just divide the ingredient by 2, it will come out perfect as if you made a full recipe.

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