Note: Sorry for the delayed posting! Things at kitchen frolic are going to be a little off as Toronto is dealing with a really bad ice storm. There are over 300,000 people without power (us being one of them). We haven't had heat or power for almost 24 hours as I write this (and for half of that time, no cell phone service or internet access either). So please bear with me as the Cookie Advent Calendar may be a little behind schedule!
One of the things I love most about social media is that sometimes the most random interactions can lead to a real conversations that can are more than just passing. In the past (almost) two years that I've been blogging, I've met so many really friendly and interesting people and it's been so amazing being able to watch as some of them celebrated milestones and launched projects.
One of these was Jerry of Zeppoli's. We originally connected over Twitter. I remember exactly how we met - I was waiting for the bus and was browsing Twitter on my phone - I randomly entered a Twitter contest that Zeppoli's was running and I won. The emails and tweets exchanged after that contest have continued for over a year as I watched Jerry turn his dream of an Italian comfort-food catering company in Niagara Falls (and one-day brick&mortar restaurant) into a reality.
This is Jerry's second year with the Cookie Advent Calendar, and he almost wasn't able to join in because this year he was WAS busier with catering orders than last year - and I hope that next year he's even more busy (perhaps because he'll be running a restaurant as well?)
Also, because of scheduling demands, Amanda and Jerry's crescent cookies are back-to-back - it wasn't planned, but that's the thing with Advent Calendars - you never know what's going to be behind that window!
You can connect with Zeppoli's by visiting:
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guest post by Jerry from Zeppoli's
These cookies are universally loved in my home. We make them in 3 or 4 batches (each batch makes about 4 dozen) and they’re eaten through-out the holiday season. We only make them at Christmas and then they’re gone. Just one of those traditions that began with my mom and just stuck. If you’re going to make them please note that you can substitute the vanilla bean with one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and the hazelnuts can be easily swapped with walnuts and almonds.
Nonna's almond cookies
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, butter, nuts, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, salt, and vanilla. Hand mix until thoroughly blended. Shape dough into a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, place sugar in a bowl. With a sharp knife, split vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape out seeds, and mix them into the sugar. Cut pod into 2 inch pieces and mix into sugar.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and form into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball into a small roll, 3 inches long. Place rolls 2 inches apart on cookie sheet, and bend each one to make a crescent shape.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven or until set but not brown.
- Let stand 1 minute, then remove from cookie sheets. Place hot cookies on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with prepared sugar mixture. Turn gently to coat on both sides. Cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
The recipe and all photos used in this blog post belong to Jerry Buccilli / Zeppolis and should not be reprinted without his express permission.