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Cookies without Nuts
Molisani lemon cookies
Traditional Molisani Pasticcini Lemon Cookies (using lard, flavored with lemon juice; topped with egg white and table sugar)
Originated from: Casacalenda, Molise, Italy
Occasion: Christmas and other special festivities
Contributed by: Madeliene (her mother's recipe)

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For Cookie Batter*
7 medium eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 box of Crisco (1/2 lb lard, melted and then cooled)
3 cups flour
Juice of 2 lemons
7 teaspoons Magic baking powder

1 egg white, beaten
A touch of regular table sugar to sprinkle on top of cookie batter

*Makes 3 dozen cookies or more


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat the 7 medium eggs.

Mix the eggs, 1 cup sugar and lemon juice together, then add the Crisco and the flour (Makes a very soft dough, or "drop" cookie-style batter.).

Take a small portion of the dough (about 2 tablespoons) and form round-shaped cookie on the greased cookie sheet, or one lined with parchment paper.

Continue processing the dough, making sure that the cookies are placed at least 2 inches apart as they will expand substantially in the oven.

Beat the egg white.

Brush the tops of the cookies with the beaten egg white, and then sprinkle a bit of sugar on them.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.


In the 1930s the cookies made with the recipe in this entry were called "pa'sticc'" in Casacalenda, Molise. That's possibly Molisani dialect for the word, "pasticcio," (singular) and "pasticci" (plural). The word, "pasticcini," means a small-sized pasticcio; so in dialect it would also be "pas'sticc' or "pas'tic." In actual fact the Italian word, "pasticcio," does not necessarily mean a lemon cookie, it simply is the generic word used to describe any kind of cookie, small tart or sweet. In Casacalenda, Molise these "pasticcini" cookies were (and still are) generally presented in round shape. They're similar in texture to ladyfingers, but they have a heavier lemon flavor. "Pasticcini" cookies are not the only type of lemon cookies made in Molise; another type of lemon cookies are glazed and have a heavier texture (See this website for a variety of such recipes). Photo: Mary Melfi.

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