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Cauciuni (Italian Christmas sweet fritters, filled chickpea cookies with cocoa, candied citron and cognac)
Originated from: Molise, Italy
Occasion: Christmas holidays
Contributed by: Maria Rosa (Original source: La cucina regionale Italiana del 2008)

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For the dough
300 grams of white flour
2 eggs and 1 egg white
40 grams sugar
.4 Vermouth

For stuffing
300 grams dried chickpeas
100 g unsweetened cacao powder
20 grams candied citron
.8 of cognac
1 cinnamon stick, crumbled
4 cloves, crushed

Oil for deep frying

For decoration
Honey (mixed with some water)
Icing sugar


o Soak the chick peas in cold water for 12 hours, then drain them, boil them in lightly salted boiling water for 1 hour and 30 minutes, drain again and keep aside.

o On a rolling board make a well in the flour and incorporate the eggs. Add sugar and Vermouth and mix until mixture is form and homogeneous. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes in a cool place.

o Meanwhile, mash the boiled chickpeas in a bowl and mix with cocoa powder, cloves crushed, crumbled cinnamon, candied citron cut into small pieces and Cognac. Mix thoroughly.

o Take the dough and roll it out (but not too thin), divide in half and spread over the filling to one or two piles, cover with the other half of dough and seal edges around each mound, then with the help of a pastry cutter cut out ravioli shaped cookies.

o Heat the oil and once it reaches the right temperature, cook a few at a time until they are evenly browned on both sides.

o Remove and drain on paper towels.

o Brush with honey (mixed with some water).

o Dust with icing sugar.


A visitor to the site, Maria Rosa, noticed this regional Molisani recipe on a number of Italian cooking sites, including www.donnamoderna.com. She noted Italian cooking sites seem to copy each other, sometimes even the picture is the same. In any case, the original source for this recipe was derived from: "La cucina regionale Italiana del 2008." Maria Rosa also noted that while modern-day Italians might use Vermouth or other store-bought alcoholic beverages to flavor their cauciuni, in the past, they simply used mosto cotto (at least, this was so in her family which comes from from Casacalenda, Molise.).... Photo: Mary Melfi.

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