If you love a soft cookie with a dusting of cinnamon and sugar, it’s pretty hard to compete with the classic Snickerdoodle. The traditional cookie is slightly crunchy on the outside and soft in the center. As if Snickerdoodles aren’t addicting enough, this variation makes them even more irresistible! The center in this recipe has a cheesecake filling that really puts them over the top. It’s not a large amount of filling, only a small dollop of a combination of cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. It’s just enough for you taste buds to say, “Well, well, well, what do we have here?” If you are a purist and just want a great traditional Snickerdoodle, this recipe is for you, minus the filling. On the other hand, I’m certain cheesecake lovers will appreciate the delicious surprise inside!
You get two Italians together and it’s not long before the conversation settles food and family. Thus began my friendship with Vinny Dejohn, who worked in the wine shop at Whole Foods when I met him. Getting his suggestions for a good vintage was great, but getting his vintage family recipe for an Italian fig cookie was even greater. It’s one of the most delightful and delicious Sicilian holiday treats called Cucidati. Thankfully, Vinny’s mission a few years ago was to rescue this recipe! “Great Auntie Antoinette Arnone was 93 years old when she died. Ten years ago during the holidays, I went back to New York and I made arrangements to spend time with Auntie Arnone and have her teach me how to make ‘Goog-i-dottie’ as she would call them. We spent all afternoon making the cookies. Not only did I leave with Cucidati, but also her hand-written recipe card and her grandmother’s meat grinder that she herself has been using to grind the fig mixture for 60 years! I was so appreciative of her for taking the time to pass along her recipe. I often think of those treasured moments together.” Vinny’s version of this soft, flavor filled fig cookie with icing and little colorful candies is now part of my own holiday tradition. What better way to honor my Sicilian father!
What makes this the most wonderful time of the year? Well, besides, glad tidings, family and the holiday spirit, it’s gotta be Christmas Cookies! Nothing puts a smile on faces like a big platter of goodies decked out and adorned with glitter and glaze! These tri-colored cookies are among my very favorite to bake up, decorate and give as gifts for the holidays. Why do I love these cookies so much? First of all, this basic stocking cookie recipe is just right. With its combination of butter and shortening, you get the great flavor of butter and the shortening makes the cookies soft but still great for decorating. Second, they are so colorful, and that color is achieved in such an easy way! All you do is make one batch of batter and color two parts with green and red! Now you have a pre-decorated cookie that just gets a glaze and a tiny bit of decorating sugar. No fuss. No muss. Just gorgeous and scrumptious cookies that are fa-la-la-la lovely to eat and to share!
Watch my How To Video for Christmas Cookies here!
This is one of those recipes – you decide you’re finally going to give homemade glazed doughnuts a try. Then you sit down, pour a cup of java, purr like a kitten, and say, “Ah, now that’s a doughnut!” That was my goal when I set out to find a delicious homemade doughnut recipe. For me, it had to be the simple, classic, raised-and-glazed variety. And yes, it has to be fried to a light golden-brown and then drizzled with the old-school white glaze. Well, I’m purring like a kitten over these homemade delights. I’ll share the doughnuts with family. Just give me a bowl of homemade doughnut holes!