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Cookies without Nuts
RAFFIOLETTI  raffiuoli cookies
Raffioletti (Neapolitan diamond-shaped cookies made with eggs, sugar and starch)
Originated from: Naples, Campania, Italy
Occasion: Christmas holidays
Contributed by: Taken from "Cucina Teorico-Pratica" by Ippolito Cavalcanti (1839).

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For batter
6 egg whites, beaten stiff
6 ounces sugar
2 ounces of starch
6 egg yolks

For filling
Marmalade (optional)


Original Italian Text
sei chiara d'ovi, che batterai alla fiocca
once sei di zucchero affiorato
once due di fioretto o amido
sei torli d'ovi freschi


Take six egg whites, beat till stiff, add 2 ounces of starch, 6 ounces of sugar, and then mix with 6 egg yolks.

Line a cookie pan with parchment paper and form small-sized "raffioletti" with the cookie dough, using a silver spoon.



[Improve the diamand shapes of the cookies, as the batter will have spread out and will not have retained the desired shape.]

[Place cookies back in oven and cook them in low heat until they are the right color.]

Turn oven off and keep the door open.

These cookies can be doubled up and marmalade can be placed in between them.


Original Italian Text

"Prendi sei chiara d'ovi, che batterai alla fiocca, ci mescolerai once sei di zucchero affiorato, ed once due di fioretto o amido, ci unirai ancora sei torli d'ovi freschi, e mescolerai benissimo utto, dipoi distenderai la dose su della carta quanto ne puo prendere un cucchiajo d'argento, formandone tanti pioccoli raffioletti, e li farai cuocere al forno. Cotti che sarnno ci farai al disopra, e sotto un osspro che fari del giulebbe cotto al casse che e la nona cottura, facendolo alquanto raffreddare, battendolo bene, onde s imbianchisca dopo che li avrai nasprati li farai asciugare nel forno aperto e dipoi te ne potrai servire cosi semplici o anche ripieni se ti piace con qualche marmellata raddoppiandoli ed allora li nasprerai per interi facendoli sempre asciugare nel forno aperto."


The recipe in this entry was taken from the book, "Cucina Teorico-Pratica" by Ippolito Cavalcanti (Naples: Di G. Palma, 1839). For the complete copyright-free Italian cookbook visit www.archive.org. P.S. This is one recipe I could not do as I was unable to figure out the directions. First of all, the word, "raffioletti," does not appear in any Italian-English dictionary. Besides looking up the meaning of the word, I googed images for it, and was asked if I were looking for "maffioletti" which I obviously wasn't. Only one google image came up with the word "raffioletti" and that was at acozinhasanta.blogspot.ca. On this site there's a picture of a nun making cookies. The article that goes with it makes a reference to "raffioletti" cookies but there is no description of what they look like. Strangely enough I found clues to what they look like on my own website (I had no idea I could find the information there as I had added it months ago.) In the list of desserts from Campania on this website cookies called "Raffiuoli" are noted. The spelling is not exactly the same as "raffioletti", but it does come close. The word, "raffiuoli," lead me to an article in the Italian Wikipedia which gave a good description of what these cookies are like: "The raffiuoli, or, raffioli, are sweet Christmas typical of Neapolitan cuisine. They are made ​​of a paste-like sponge cake and covered with a glaze made ​​with white sugar. They have an elliptical shape. The raffiuoli, are often sold in the Neapolitan tradition, along with mustaccioli, Rococo and susamielli." Even though I am not 100 per cent sure that "raffioletti" cookies are the same cookies now known as "raffiuoli" I suspect they are very similar. In the 19th century it seems the cookies were made with starch (Whether this was wheat starch or corn starch it's hard to say) and nowadays wheat flour is in use. Obviously, this will affect the taste of the cookies, but not all that much, as the taste of these cookies comes from the beaten egg whites and egg yolks. In any case I found this recipe difficult to do (Diamond-shaped sponge cookies are hard to get right unless you are using molds, and this recipe does not call for molds). Also, these cookies don't have much in the way of flavoring. I would not recommend doing this recipe. Comments and photo: Mary Melfi.

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