Our Favorite Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe

Cooking With Nonna’s Recipe for Italian Christmas Cookies

When it comes to authentic Italian cooking, you can’t do any better than going to the source itself – an Italian grandma! So it’s no wonder that we love the site Cooking With Nonna, filled with delicious Italian recipes straight from the kitchens of Italian grandmothers.

Cooking With Nonna’s mission is “Sharing Grandma’s Italian recipes with the new generations”, and we love the idea. From appetizers to entrees, lunches to dinners to desserts, the site features some great Italian classics and modern spins on your favorite old-world Italian dishes.

You MUST try this almond coffee Italian Christmas cookie recipe. (Photo credit: Cooking with Nonna)
You MUST try this almond coffee Italian Christmas cookie recipe. (Photo credit: Cooking with Nonna)

Cooking With Nonna is the creation of Rossella and Vito Rago. Rossella travels to the kitchens of grandmothers from all regions of Italy, bringing you the greatest recipes (and secret family recipes!) from all over Italy.

This recipe for Almond Coffee Cookies is one of our all-time favorites, and will be one of the recipes that we use when they make Christmas cookies this year. We’re looking forward to taking it to our parent company Peter Salerno Inc.’s flagship showroom and making another batch myself!

Try it out for yourself, and see how these amazing flavors combine in your mouth for a beautiful Italian holiday dessert experience.

Italian Christmas Cookie Recipe: Almond Coffee Cookies (from Cooking With Nonna)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Lb Almonds
  • 1/2 Lb Sugar
  • Zest of 2 medium lemons
  • 3 Egg whites
  • 1 Tbs Espresso Ground Coffee
  • 2 Tbs Unsweetened Cocoa powder
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar for glazing (put it in a flat plate for rolling)
  • 50 Whole coffee beans

Preparation:

  • To prepare the paste, boil the almonds and remove the peel. Once they are cold and somewhat dry, put them in a food processor or a blender and chop them finely.
  • Put the chopped almonds in a bowl, add the zest of the two lemons, the sugar, the ground coffee and the cocoa powder.  Mix everything very well.
  • Add the egg whites and mix until the egg whites dilute the sugar and the mixture becomes a paste.
  • Take a lump of mixture in your hand, roll it into a ball the size slightly smaller than a golf ball.
  • Roll the ball completely into the sugar and place it on a baking sheet.
  • Slightly insert a coffee bean on top of each cookie.
  • Roll all your cookies and bake them for 30 mins. at 350F.

See more by clicking on this link and visiting Cooking With Nonna!

The 2017 Peter Salerno Inc. Christmas Party Photos

The 2017 Peter Salerno Inc. Christmas Party Photos

Peter Salerno Inc. held its 2017 Christmas party inside the beautiful confines of its award-winning design showroom in Wyckoff, New Jersey earlier this month. As usual, the event was attended by family, friends, associates, staff and a few very special (and very cute) guests!

2017 brought several new babies into the Peter Salerno Inc. family – Gabrielle Salerno-Mayer’s daughter Brielle and Nadya Russov’s daughter Olivia join Anthony Salerno’s daughter Jesse as the next generation of passionate designers! As you’d expect, these beautiful little ladies were the main attraction at this year’s Christmas festivities.

Of course, something that’s always a featured treat at Peter Salerno Inc. showroom gatherings is Peter Salerno’s culinary creations! For 2017, Peter made a few of his special sauces . The first two sauces was a bolognese sauce with three meats, sweet peas, shredded prosciutto and a splash of merlot. The second sauce was a metro sauce, featuring plum tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, prosciutto and heavy cream.

Peter Salerno was joined by some of his most cherished business associates at the Christmas 2017 party as well. Guests included longtime friend and photographer Peter Rymwid, Nicole Sakosits (owner of Stratta, the Tile Boutique), and staff from New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Peter is also blessed to be surrounded by his family this holiday season – his wife Tracy, son Anthony, daughter Gabrielle, daughter-in-law Eve, son-in-law Bryan, father Rosolino, and two beautiful grandchildren (the adorable Jesse and Brielle mentioned earlier).

There are many reasons for Peter Salerno and the Peter Salerno Inc. family to feel blessed during Christmas and the 2017 holiday season. The most important of all, as always, is the love and bond of family and friends, and the time and talents of Peter’s professional family.

Enjoy these exclusive photos from the 2017 Peter Salerno Inc. Christmas Party – we hope they add a little warmth and love to your day!

Your Christmas 2017 Pantone Color Design Palette

Your Christmas 2017 Pantone Color Design Palette

The 2017 Christmas season is upon us – party hosts and decorators, that means it’s time to rejoice! The holiday season brings countless opportunities (and excuses) to entertain guests, re-decorate your living spaces, or to just have a great party!

The mark of a memorable Christmas party, get-together, or occasion is always the ones you’re with, and the warmth of their company. But don’t underrate ambience and presentation! A unique, well-thought-out design approach can set your living space up as the Christmas party people will be talking about for years to come.

Christmas 2017 Pantone color design collection, courtesy Design Your Lifestyle.
Christmas 2017 Pantone color design collection, courtesy Design Your Lifestyle.

From the award-winning design firm at Peter Salerno Inc. to the expert publications we source, “Design Your Lifestyle” knows that color -and color design – is key in the presentation of any party or in the refreshment of any living space.

Based on the color design schemes, patterns and trends of 2017 – and the traditional colors of the season – we’ve created a Christmas 2017 color palette for designers, decorators, party hosts, or those of you just looking for a holiday-inspired design project this year.

From greens to neutrals to pops of natural red, here’s your Christmas 2017 Pantone color design palette (along with Pantone TCX numbers for easy reference)!

Your Christmas 2017 Pantone Color Design Palette

1. Peppermint (Pantone 16-6329 TCX)

Any color design palette based on 2017 trends starts with a natural, crisp green (see Greenery, Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year). For the 2017 Christmas season, that color is Peppermint (and why wouldn’t it be?). A slightly cooler green, Peppermint is reminiscent of winter foliage, mint leaves, and is a generally pleasant and inviting tone.

Christmas 2017 color design: Pantone Peppermint
Christmas 2017 color design: Pantone Peppermint

2. Poinsettia (Pantone 17-1654 TCX)

Poinsettia is a fiery red that will liven up any design – be it graphic, wardrobe or living/home space. A classic Christmas red, Poinsettia will instantly bring up visions of Santa’s suit, candy canes and Rudolph’s nose.

Christmas 2017 color design: Pantone Poinsettia
Christmas 2017 color design: Pantone Poinsettia.

3. Marshmallow (Pantone 11-4300 TCX)

2017 was a year where neutral colors dominated the design landscape. Our 2017 Christmas homage to that trend begins with Marshmallow, a gentle off-white with just a hint of warm yellow. A fresh white neutral that can certainly serve as a primary or complementary design color, Marshmallow will instantly open up your design options.

Christmas 2017 color design: Pantone Marshmallow
Christmas 2017 color design: Pantone Marshmallow

4. Holly Green (Pantone 16-5932 TCX)

If you want a green shade in your Christmas 2017 design that’s a bit more “blue spruce”, then Holly Green is for you. Holly Green pairs well with cooler colors, with blue-tone neutrals, and more natural, earth-tone hues (browns and tans). And if we’re going to have Holly Green…

Christmas 2017 color design: Pantone Holly Green
Christmas 2017 color design: Pantone Holly Green

5. Holly Berry (Pantone 17-1633 TCX)

…then why not have its counterpart, Holly Berry? These two shades actually work quite well together – as they do in nature, of course. A far less dominating red than Poinsettia, Holly Berry is a great shade of red for parties and design schemes with a more “vintage” feel.

Christmas 2017 color design: Pantone Holly Berry
Christmas 2017 color design: Pantone Holly Berry

6. Gingerbread (Pantone 18-1244 TCX)

And now, for the neutral tone that pulls the collection together. Gingerbread is a warm, inviting brown neutral that ties our Christmas 2017 Pantone color design collection together. If you want to work with strictly neutrals, try a Gingerbread and Marshmallow combination as well!

Christmas 2017 color design: Pantone Gingerbread
Christmas 2017 color design: Pantone Gingerbread

Best Food Gifts of 2017, According to NorthJersey.com

Best Food Gifts of 2017, According to NorthJersey.com

The season of stylish 2017 gift-giving trends continues here on “Design Your Lifestyle”! In this article, we feature another wonderful list of gifts for the 2017 holiday season – this time, centered around food, the kitchen and kitchen design.

The list, compiled by NorthJersey.com (part of the USA Today Network), is a fine collection of food items, pantry items, cutlery, glassware and sweets. Much like the previous list we featured, we selected Esther Davidowitz’s piece for its scope of options, selective nature and inclusivity (there’s a little something for everyone on your list). Ms. Davidowitz serves as the Food Editor for NorthJersey.com, and her expertise certainly shines here.

Try a pickle subscription as a cool 2017 holiday gift idea! (Photo credit: Wiki Commons)
Try a pickle subscription as a cool 2017 holiday gift idea! (Photo credit: Wiki Commons)

For the rest of Esther Davidowitz’s wonderful list of 2017 holiday food and kitchen gift ideas, please visit her full article on NorthJersey.com!

We’ll admit a little bias – as we’re based in northern New Jersey, this list is of particular appeal to us. Each item on the list is created by a local artisan, shop or chef in the northern NJ area. However, that doesn’t exclude the rest of you – a majority of these items are available to buy online, or to ship directly to you through the individual storefront or merchant.

The intent of this article is not only to inform holiday gift buyers, but to support local business and small businesses during the 2017 holiday season – a concept we absolutely love. As Esther Davidowitz explains in the opening to her article:

Of course you can show your appreciation with a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers, but if your host is a food lover (isn’t everyone?) consider giving a food gift. Not just any food, but rather a treat that isn’t just delicious but also made in North Jersey. This way you can nourish your host and support your local businesses simultaneously.

That’s the kind of smart, stylish thinking that we can get behind when it comes to 2017 Christmas shopping and holiday shopping in general, Esther!

Here are a few of our favorite gems from Ms. Davidowitz’s list of 2017 food gifts and kitchen gifts, as featured on NorthJersey.com.

Selections from Esther Davidowitz’s 2017 Food Gift Ideas

1. Pickle Subscriptions from Pickle-icious

We know this one made you look twice – and that’s why we love it. Never mind that Pickle-licious is well-known in northern New Jersey as a go-to for pickle lovers – the store ships nationwide and offers a variety of pickle options in 3 and 6-month subscriptions. Pickle-icious offers subscriptions in quart and gallon sizes as well. What’s not to love?

2. Essie Spice Blends, Essie Spice

Essie Spice Blends are a tremendous way to introduce yourself to the flavors of west Africa in a genuine way. Owner Essie Bartels grew up in Ghana and sources all of her core spice blend ingredients from west Africa directly. Essie’s spice blends have achieved enough acclaim to be available in northern NJ Shoprite and Whole Foods locations – so they certainly have a place in the kitchen of any adventurous, flavor-loving cook.

3. Custom Handmade Cutlery, EDGES Custom Cutlery

EDGES Custom Cutlery Sommelier Collection, 2017.
EDGES Custom Cutlery Sommelier Collection, 2017.

Avid readers of “Design Your Lifestyle” already know all about our obsession with EDGES Custom Cutlery, one of the finest unique, hand-crafted cutlery houses in the United States. Rather than talking about the EDGES collections again here, check out what we’ve said about them in the recent past!

4. Chocolate Ganache Leather Notebook, Sook Pastry

Sook Pastry’s “The Notebook” isn’t just another chocolate gift assortment for the holidays. “It’s a gift of a lifetime,” owner Izzy Yanay told Esther Davidowitz in her article. Not only do you get a beautiful assortment of chocolate ganache pieces, but you receive them in a stunning faux-leather memory box that you can re-purpose after eating your treats!

For the rest of Esther Davidowitz’s wonderful list of 2017 holiday food and kitchen gift ideas, please visit her full article on NorthJersey.com!

A Papal Panettone: A Sweet Gift Commissioned by The Pope!

A Glimpse At the Delicious Panettone Commissioned by Pope Francis

If you are an Italian (and especially an Italian Catholic), chances are you’re familiar with the Italian presepe (Il Presepe), or representation of the Nativity scene. A presepe nativity scene is the special exhibition, particularly during the Christmas season, of art objects representing the birth of Jesus, that is traditional to the Napoli (Naples) region of Italy.

The Pope's Panettone: a Dolce Presepe commissioned by Pope Francis!
The Pope’s Panettone: a Dolce Presepe commissioned by Pope Francis!

Nothing’s quite as sweet as the Dolce Presepe, a beautiful Panettone created by Fiasconaro. The Dolce Presepe is a delectable Panettone with white chocolate Nativity elements, and is a staple of the Italian Christmas tradition.

Every year, a small batch of Fiasconaro Dolce Presepe are commissioned by Pope Francis himself to celebrate the Christmas season. This year, one of these rare “Papal Panettones” was given as a gift to Peter Salerno and his family by his cousins Setimo and Joe, owners of E&S Foods.

This Panettone was crafted by dessert artisans in Castelbuono, Sicily. With an annual allowance of just 4, these Pope-commissioned Dolce Presepe are a treat to be savored with love and gratitude!

The Pope's Panettone: a Dolce Presepe commissioned by Pope Francis!
The Pope’s Panettone: a Dolce Presepe commissioned by Pope Francis!

Precious gifts like this one remind us all that Christmas is truly about two things – celebrating the miracle of the birth of Jesus on Earth, and celebrating the miracle that is the love and warmth of our families and loved ones.

On behalf of our parent company Peter Salerno Inc., Peter Salerno and his family (wife Tracy, Anthony and Eve, Gabrielle and Brian), we wish you happiest of holiday seasons and healthiest, most blessed of New Years to come.

Give The Christmas Gift of Custom Handcrafted Cutlery in 2016!

Click Here for Exclusive Christmas 2016 Custom Cutlery Deals!

For the serious home chef, restauranteur, fine chef, sommelier, or culinary arts expert in your life, there’s nothing quite like a handcrafted piece of custom cutlery. For our money, there is no better Christmas 2016 custom cutlery gift option than a piece of fine knifeware from EDGES Custom Cutlery.

The brainchild of designer and knifemaker Anthony Michael Salerno (AKTI, NKBA Member), EDGES is a state-of-the-art custom cutlery and knifeware line designed for the individual user in mind. Each piece of EDGES cutlery is handcrafted and made to order based on client specifications – ensuring that your piece of EDGES custom cutlery is wholly unique, never to be duplicated.

Yes, every piece in the EDGES custom cutlery line is made by hand!

EDGES Custom Cutlery is a line that brings pro chefs and serious home chefs some of the finest performing ergonomic cutlery that can be offered. EDGES is distributed in Wyckoff, NJ at Peter Salerno, Inc., and is available at BuyKitchenKnives.com.

Each of the knives pictured below (and on BuyKitchenKnives.com) is currently priced TO MOVE for the 2016 Christmas and holiday season. This includes the stunning, world-class Sommelier Collection, in which each piece uses genuine American White Oak from used wine barrel staves.

The EDGES cutlery Sommelier collection: the perfect 2016 holiday gift for chefs and wine lovers.
The EDGES cutlery Sommelier collection: the perfect 2016 holiday gift for chefs and wine lovers.

Anthony designed these knives with three aspects in mind: Performance, Handling, and Looks. Each knife has its own distinct look and feel while remaining balanced, ergonomic, and light. All EDGES custom knives are perfectly balanced at the ricasso with contoured handles to ensure your knife feels like an extension of your hand.

Since its inception, EDGES has quickly established a reputation as a state-of-the-art balance of performance, handling, and looks. The ergonomic design of each custom EDGES cutlery piece is perfectly balanced at the ricasso with meticulously contoured handles.

The rest of the active EDGES custom cutlery line currently available for sale can be viewed (and purchased) at BuyKitchenKnives.com, the premier online source for custom-crafted knives, cutlery, and artwork – OR by contacting Peter Salerno Inc. at (201) 251-6608 or via the contact form below.

Signature Series Acid Splash High Carbon Blade from EDGES Custom Cutlery. Retail $750 (with custom leather pouch).
Signature Series Acid Splash High Carbon Blade from EDGES Custom Cutlery. Retail $750 (with custom leather pouch).
Black and Blue Paring Knife from EDGES Custom Cutlery. Retail $250.
Black and Blue Paring Knife from EDGES Custom Cutlery. Retail $250.
The Red Monarch, one of the debut knives in the EDGES custom cutlery collection from Peter Salerno Inc.!
The Red Monarch, one of the debut knives in the EDGES custom cutlery collection from Peter Salerno Inc.!
EDGES custom cutlery is now available at BuyKitchenKnives.com!
EDGES custom cutlery is now available at BuyKitchenKnives.com!

Peter Salerno Inc.’s Design Showroom Is Decked Out For Christmas!

Peter Salerno Inc.’s Design Showroom Is Decked Out For Christmas!

When you’re the Most Innovative Showroom in North America, it’s hard to get more festive. But Peter Salerno Inc. is out to Deck the Halls for Christmas 2016 in a big way, and you’re invited to celebrate!

The flagship Peter Salerno Inc. custom home design showroom was awarded the prestigious KBIS Most Innovative Showroom award, and is truly a sight to behold. Add a glass or two of champagne and fine wine, a visit from Harper the office puppy and Elliot the Elf, and the Wyckoff, New Jersey showroom is the place to be for the holidays!

Elliot the Elf wishes you a Merry Christmas from Peter Salerno Inc.!
Elliot the Elf wishes you a Merry Christmas from Peter Salerno Inc.!

The Peter Salerno Inc. building at 511 Goffle Road, Wyckoff, NJ, is also home to Stratta, the Tile Boutique, and Oberg & Lindquist Fine Appliances. Together, this trifecta of storefronts is your one-stop luxury stop for the pinnacle in custom home, kitchen and bath design, decor and appliances.

Part of Peter Salerno Inc.'s award-winning staff (circa 2015)
Part of Peter Salerno Inc.’s award-winning staff (circa 2015)

There’s so much to see at the flagship Peter Salerno Inc. showroom, including the world famous Corvette bar (pictured below), the La Cornue kitchen, and the brand-new Miele transitional kitchen that provides a new “wow” factor!

Can you find Elliot the Elf in Peter Salerno Inc.'s showroom?
Can you find Elliot the Elf in Peter Salerno Inc.’s showroom?
Even Harper the office puppy is ready for Christmas!
Even Harper the office puppy is ready for Christmas!