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Cookies without Nuts
Tarallucci (traditional Southern Italian lemon cookies, with eggs, sugar and Crisco, flavored with lemon zest; glazed)
Originated from: Southern Italy
Occasion: Special times
Contributed by: Mrs. Angela Giulione

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For "Tarallucci"* cookie dough

4 cups (32 oz) flour
2 teaspoons Magic baking powder
1/2 container of Crisco [1/2 pound or 225 grams or 1 cup of lard -- like Crisco or Tenderflake]
3 eggs
12 oz sugar
8 oz milk
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

For frosting
Juice of 3 average-sized lemons
1/2 kilo of icing sugar

*There are two types of "tarallucci" -- taralli-style biscotti and baked cookies. This recipe is not for bite-sized taralli but for lemon-flavored cookies. For taralli-style tarallucci recipes see the categories on this website entitled: "Taralli" and "Taralli Dolci."


For cookie dough

Mix flour and Magic baking powder.

Cut the lard (e.g. Crisco) into tiny slices and mix into the flour and baking powder.

Add the remaining ingredients and work into a cookie dough.

Roll the dough out till it is about 1/2 inch thick.

Cut strips of dough about 1/2 inch wide and 6 inches long.

Using the palms of your hands turn the strips of dough into very tiny taralli-style logs.

Twirl the tiny taralli-style logs round each other so that three concentric circles are kind of formed -- the bottom part is a touch larger than the second one, and the last one sticks out a little. The dough should be soft, so that the logs should easily stick together, and if they don't they can be pinched a little to do so. [See photo].

Place the cookies on a baking sheet [aluminum baking sheets are the best] about 2 inches apart (They spread while cooking).

Bake in a 350 F degree oven for about 25 minutes or until they appear ready.

Remove from oven.

Cool (about 1/2 hour).

After the cookies have cooled, make the frosting by beating the juice of 3 lemons with 1/2 kilo of icing sugar until it is thick and very creamy.

Dip the top of the biscuits into the frosting or alternatively, one can pour a bit of the frosting on top of the cookies.

Air-dry the cookies for about an hour at room temperature.

Cover with plastic wrap.

Store the cookies in the fridge until needed.


An Italian co-worker gave Mrs. Angela Giulione the recipe years ago. In the 1960s Italians from every region of Italy worked together in various places and exchanged recipes. Back then the cookies were simply known as "biscotti con zucchero sopra" -- biscotti with sugar on top, but nowadays this style of cookie in North America often goes by the name of "tarallucci" or "lemon drops." However, in Italy, "tarallucci" can be anything and everything. In some regions "tarallucci" is used as generic term to describe any kind of cookie, while in other regions it refers to a specific cookie. In some parts of Southern Italy the word doesn't describe a cookie at all, but bite-sized taralli. So it's hard to find the "real" recipe for "tarallucci" as there are so many cookies that go by the same name.... In any case, the cookies made by Mrs. Angela Giulione, tasted real good, tarallucci or not. Mrs. Angela Giulione noted that while "tarallucci" are done any old time,in the 1930s, when she was growing up in Southern Italy, cookies were rarely baked. Back then icing sugar was not available in the countryside, so obviously cookies topped with icing sugar couldn't be done. Nowadays, of course, icing sugar is readily available in Italy. However, it is extremely expensive. So expensive, that when relatives from Italy come to Canada to visit, they are shocked to discover how cheap it is here. Some even buy it here and bring it back to Italy.... The cookies shown in this entry were made by Mrs. Angela Giulione, Pauline Fresco's mother-in-law, and the photo was taken by Mary Melfi. P.S. Note that Southern Italians often used the word "biscotti" as a generic term for cookies, rather than for the specific "twice-baked" cookie that the word now refers to.... For taralli-style tarallucci recipes see Italy Revisited/"Taralli" and Italy Revisited/"Taralli Dolci."

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