The Only Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe You Need

The Only Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe You Need

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!

Our Updated Guide to World-Class Grilling | Expert Grill Tips

Our Updated Guide to World-Class Grilling | Expert Grill Tips

When you’re a branch of the most award-winning custom kitchen design firm of the 21st century, the way you cook is very important. And when summer at the shore is your favorite time (and place) of the year, “getting your grill game” up to par is a must!

5 steps to becoming a better grill cook this summer! (Photo: Gyfjonas via Wiki Commons)
5 steps to becoming a better grill cook this summer! (Photo: Gyfjonas via Wiki Commons)

Making the leap from “throwing a few things on the barbecue” to becoming a grill master seems daunting. But like any journey worth taking, you shouldn’t look at it as a “leap” at all. Every skill is learned and mastered over the course of thousands of baby steps. It’s the same lifelong process that led Peter Salerno (CMKBD) to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a master craftsman and artisan. From his father’s cabinetry business in Sicily to Peter’s award-winning custom design firm in America, Peter’s journey to becoming a master wouldn’t have happened if his father hadn’t taken the first step so many years ago.

Using the Salerno backstory as inspiration, let’s break the journey to becoming a grill expert into smaller steps and look at what YOU can do to become a better grill cook this summer!

Expert Grilling Step 1: The Proper Grill

Peter Salerno is an avid grill enthusiast, with stellar grill equipment at his home, beach house, and award-winning showroom in Wyckoff, New Jersey. From Weber grills to Miele grill tops to La Cornue rotisseries, Peter understands that world-class grilling begins with world-class grill appliances.

Regardless of your budget, there is generally a ‘best option’ at most price points for grill hardware. Whether you choose gas, charcoal or pellet is entirely up to you and your personal taste; there are reputable reviews and ratings of every style readily available online. But whether you inevitably choose Weber, NexGrill, Kenmore or another brand, the type of grill is every bit as important as the brand.

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You’re going to get a much different taste experience off a pellet grill, for example, than you would off charcoal. That doesn’t make one better than the other; it’s simply about your preference. Do you like the woodsier taste a pellet grill may provide, or the traditional smoke of a charcoal grill? Do you prefer the clean efficiency of a gas grill? There is no right answer to those questions – the only “correct” answer is what suits you best.

Each type of grill brings its own perks and its own unique cleaning and maintenance regimen; make sure you read up on these as well!

Expert Grilling Step 2: The Proper Ingredients

All else being equal, a great steak is going to taste better than a mediocre one. (Obviously, you can foul up a great steak as easily as a poor one, but let’s focus on the upside here!)

There really isn’t a ton to say here. It’s worth buying better quality raw ingredients. Spring for the fresher, in-season vegetables. Spend a few more dollars on the right cut of meat, or the higher-quality seasoning.

Expert Grilling Step 3: The Proper Technique

Learning how to grill properly is the most intimidating step in this process; don’t be scared! The Internet has made the journey from novice to expert grill cook so much simpler.

Start with the Epicurious Guide to GrillingWe love it. It’s a soup-to-nuts (or in this case, burger-to-chop) guide to grilling techniques and ingredients, from some of the best amateur and professional grillmasters today.

Get yourself a great Bluetooth or WiFi thermometer. Seriously. There are some amazing Bluetooth applications out there that gauge the temperature of your grill AND the internal temperate of what you’re grilling. Whether you’re cooking with the grill top open or closed, you can monitor the process of your meal no matter where you are. Gone are the days when you had to hover over your grill like a vulture, out of fear you’ve over-cooked!

We love the Weber iGrill 2 Bluetooth Thermometer; unless you’re on a smaller budget, it’s currently our favorite product on the market. If you’re looking for a WiFi-based alternative rather than connecting to Bluetooth, we suggest the ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Meat Thermometer

Expert Grilling Step 4: The Proper Accompaniments + Sides

Don’t just slather a ton of sauce on your beautifully grilled meat, vegetables or vegan substitutes! The right sides, dressings, dips and garnishes can make or break your summer grill meals.

We found an awesome treasure trove of Grilling Dips & Sauces courtesy of Patricia C. Wilson. We strongly encourage you to jump over to Patricia’s site and take a look at her grilling dips and sauces; there are some really unique, simple preparations that are going to ‘wow’ your dinner guests!

There’s also a wonderful piece on the Williams-Sonoma blog courtesy of their Test Kitchen chef, Belle English. Belle encourages us to “just buy the sauce or rub” – sometimes, there’s no reason to over-think the process! Belle does go on to provide some highly valuable advice on what sauces and rubs to pair with different types of meats, and how to incorporate them into your meal’s preparation.

Expert Grilling Step 5: The Proper Company

Well-prepared food is like any beautiful creation; it’s best when shared with others and consumed by people who will appreciate it! Expert grilling is meant to be shared with family, friends and loved ones.

So now that you’ve taken the first steps to improving your “grill skills”, it’s time to gather the people you care for around a big table, spread out some big family-style dishware, and have a summer grill celebration to remember!

Food, Family, and Award-Winning Kitchen Design

November brings food, family and award nominations to Peter Salerno Inc. We're very grateful.
November brings food, family and award nominations to Peter Salerno Inc. We’re very grateful.

As the last stubborn leaves cling to the trees here in northern New Jersey, the change in season (and temperature) signals a special time of year. Here at Peter Salerno Inc., we like to combat the chill in the air with the warmth of family and the fire of creativity and inspired interior design and custom cabinetry.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be showing you why November is an extraordinary time of year at Peter Salerno Inc. We’ll be sharing several videos taken directly from our gorgeous showroom in Wyckoff, NJ, where we will be inviting a series of friends, vendors and special guests inside to share their crafts and gifts with us. We’ll also be sharing in-depth articles about the products that help turn our award-winning kitchen designs into investments in your family (and yourself).

We’ll be sharing an insightful conversation that we had recently with Craig Kmiecik, the East Coast Territory Manager for LaCornue at Purcell Murray Company. As we’ve stated before, Peter Salerno Inc. is proud to feature LaCornue’s elegant, world-class French ovens, cooking ranges and rotisseries both in our showroom and in some of our greatest kitchens across the United States (and the world). Craig will share with us what makes LaCornue’s diverse array of products so magnificent – and which one may be perfect for your kitchen and its needs.

Step inside Peter Salerno's kitchen for a taste of some outstanding recipes.
Step inside Peter Salerno’s kitchen for a taste of some outstanding recipes. (Credit Peter Rymwid)

In addition, Peter Salerno will take you inside his own kitchen and share some of his favorite fall and holiday recipes. From Peter’s own spin on traditional Italian dishes, to inspired preparations for pork chops and branzino, we’ll make sure that we don’t just provide you with a beautiful custom kitchen design, but the recipes to fill it with amazing food, flavors, and memories.

(We’re also expecting a visit from a world-renowned chef, who will be preparing several courses on our showroom’s LaCornue Chateau cooking range and oven, as well as our matching LaCornue rotisserie. Stay tuned for that!)

LaCornue creates world-class French ovens and cooking ranges, like the one in this Peter Salerno design.
LaCornue creates world-class French ovens and cooking ranges, like the one in this Peter Salerno design. (Credit Peter Rymwid)

Finally, it is with great humility and gratitude that we will be bringing you some Peter Salerno Inc. office news. Three of our completed custom kitchens have been nominated for national awards. We’ll be displaying those custom kitchen designs for you throughout the month, complete with professional photos, descriptions, and a full list of award nominations. We’ll even let you vote on the design you like the best!

As you can see, November 2013 promises to be one of the most memorable, impactful, and rewarding months in the history of Peter Salerno Inc. We’re glad you’ve decided to share this time with us. Keep coming back!

For more information about Peter Salerno Inc., please visit our official website or call 201.251.6608.