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calzoncelli basilicata chestnut half moon pastries
Calzoncelli (Baked Lucani half moon pastries filled with chestnuts and semi-sweet chocolate)
Originated from: Basilicata
Occasion: Christmas holidays
Contributed by: Tina

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For dough
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2/3 cup lard, melted

for stuffing
1 2/3 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds) chestnuts, boiled and pureed
1 cup, bittersweet chocolate, grated

For decoration
about 1/4 cup icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 375 F. degrees

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flour, sugar, flour.

Using an electric beater, beat eggs.

Add lard.

Mix dry ingredients with wet ones and work into a soft but malleable dough (If the dough is too soft and sticky, add a touch more flour; if it is too firm, add a touch more lard.).

Wrap the dough into plastic wrap. Place in fridge, and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile make the filling.

Score the chestnuts. Boil them in a big pot of water for about 20 minutes.

Shell the chestnuts (throw out any chestnuts that look dark and decayed).

Pass the chestnuts threw a sieve.

Add the grated chocolate to the chestnut puree. Keep aside.

Roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick.

Using a round-shaped cookie cutter, about 3 1/2 inches wide, cut into rounds (Process a few at a time as the dough dries out, and then it gets difficult to seal them.).

Place the filling in a round. Fold the dough over, making half moons, and then seal with a fork.

Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until golden, about 10 to 14 minutes.


Before serving, dust with icing sugar.


Photo: Mary Melfi.

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