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Cookies with Nuts
Scarponi di Natale
Scarponi di Natale Abruzzesi (Chrstimas chocolate walnut cookies with mosto cotto, candied citron, orange zest and Sambuca)
Originated from: Abruzzo, Italy
Occasion: Christmas holidays
Contributed by: Adapted from an Italian cookbook published in the 1980s

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3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened chocolate, grated
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 cup mosto cotto
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon Sambuca
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup finely chopped candied citron
finely grated zest of 1 medium orange
8 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped

Equipment needed
2 baking sheets
parchment paper


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a double boiler melt the unsweetened chocolate, chocolate chips and sugar, stirring constantly, until it is nice and smooth.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder and cinnamon together. Keep aside.

Using an electric beater beat eggs, vino cotto, Sambuca and vegetable oil together.

Using a wooden spoon, mix flour mixture with egg mixture.

Add the chocolate mixture and work into a thick dough (If the dough is too soft and sticky add a touch more flour; if it is too dry, add a touch more vegetable oil.).

Add the orange zest and candied citron and mix well.

Add the raisins and mix well.

Add the chopped walnuts and mix well.

Take about a tablespoon of the dough and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Continue processing the dough, leaving ample space between the cookies as they will expand while baking.

Bake until done -- about 18 to 25 minutes.


Store in appropriate container.


"Scarponi" means big shoe or boot. Perhaps this chocolate cookie is considered so heavy and flavorful that it is called after a boot, but that's just speculation. Comments and photo: Mary Melfi

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