Mom's Easter Coconut Macaroon Cookie Recipe

There are many recipes for these cookies, some use condensed milk. I have tried some of the other recipes along the way and always come back to this one. When I was a little girl, mom would make these as a treat at Easter. I could never understand why only once a year because they are by far the easiest cookie to make not many ingredients. She absolutely was a huge lover of coconut, as I am. Sometimes she would even tint the coconut green first, let it dry and add to looks like grass.  I think back in those days coconut was something of a luxury to buy. One of her favorites and mine. I made these for Easter this year in her memory. I don't have small children running around but you can decorate them with jelly beans as she did for the grandchildren. No matter how creative you get, they taste fantastic. You won't be sorry.

Mom's Macaroon Recipe:
The Late Margaret Ann Faneilli Colenzo

Heat oven to 325 degrees

4 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar

With a heavy duty electric mixer and whip attachment,  add 4 egg whites to the bowl. adding the 1/4 sugar a little at a time and beat until stiff peaks not dry. I then add 1 drop of coconut oil flavoring or 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

In another bowl, combine 1/2 flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2- 1/2 cups of coconut shredded mix all together evenly.

Gently fold the egg whites into the flour'/coconut mixture until moistened adding alittle at a time. Drop by tablespoons or teaspoons full onto parchment or a silapat mat.

Bake in the preheated 325 degree hot oven until the top starts to brown. Remove to cool to a baking rack with a thin metal spatula.  You can drizzle melted chocolate add the jelly beans for a birds nest look on top when cooled or leave plain.

+claudia lamascolo  Author


Italian Family Easter Feast 2013 Traditional Recipes

Leg of Lamb Traditional
Mom's Lasagna


Honey Bourbon Glazed Ham
Escarole and Beans
                                                  Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

                                                               Italian Stuffed Artichokes

Bird's Nest for the kiddies

Easter Egg Art


Italian Cassata

                                                       Grandma's Easter Bread Recipe

 +claudia lamascolo Author

Happy Easter have a delicious day!

Quick and Easy Easter Egg Bread Recipe

Of course if you want Grandma's Original Recipe version (and hers was amazing) you will

need allot more time than this one will take you to whip it up. If your in a hurry and want something easy, give this one a try. This is light, a touch of sweetness and very impressive to everyone who is a bread lover like I am. It really came alive in both texture and flavor.

Quick Easter Bread!

3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 package dry yeast
3/4 tablespoon sea salt
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 drops of anise oil or 2 teaspoons anisette extract (or use any kind of flavoring you like. Orange peel makes this taste delicious as well. Try a tablespoon of grated orange peel.)
1/4 cup honey
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup melted butter
parchment paper or on a silpat mat
hard boiled colored eggs
Extra flour for rolling
1 beaten egg or just the whites for the tops to glisten

Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water let rest 10 minutes. Add all the rest of the ingredients beat for around 5 minutes until holds together and well blended.

Let rise until doubled in a warm area or place in a plastic container for future use. (This can be save for up to two weeks until ready to use. When ready let rise for around 2 hours before shaping if saving).

To make egg nests, you will need hard boiled colored eggs. Cooled.
Make sure the ropes are the same in length
Braiding is not my speciality!

Make three long ropes and braid on a floured board. Twist together to form a round. I use the silpat mat so I don't have to transfer to parchment paper or another pan. Now just add the egg to the center, brush with egg whites and let rest around 5 more minutes. Bake the breads until light in color browned on the bottoms in a hot 350 degree oven. Cool. Frost and eat! Fun to make delicious to eat they will think you bought it!
Shape after braiding into a ring. Add the egg to the center. 

                              Drizzle with a thick frosting made with powdered sugar and water.
                                                       Sprinkle with colored candies.

Buona Pasqua !!

Easter Pie with Basket Cheese and Meat Recipe

A old time favorite in Italian homes on Easter morning. This one was cooked without a double crust, Easter Pie is usually double crusted depending on what you prefer I love crispy cheese so I leave mine open to brown. I also used a store bought crust in a hurry.

I wanted to show you how packed it the inside with all this amazing cheeses.

The meats, eggs and basket cheese makes this one a unique pie on Easter Sunday.

2 cups chopped prosciutto

2 cups sliced Italian hot sausage

1/2 cup pepperoni chopped

1 cup shredded Mozzarella

1/2 cup Provolone or Fontina

2 tablespoons grating cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

4 hard boiled eggs cut in chunks

1 cup cubed Basket cheese

1 cup Ricotta

3 raw eggs

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of cayenne optional

1 homemade recipe for double crust see below or store bought dough found in the frozen food section of the grocery store.

Mix all meats with all the cheeses, boiled eggs and herbs, seasonings in a large bowl. Put raw eggs, ricotta, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste in the blender for around 1 minutes. Combine this with everything else in the large bowl. This usually is made with a top and bottom crust. Use a deep dish pie pan or cake pan. Fit the dough on the bottom and up the sides. Pour the filling into the dough, top with another piece of dough. Press edges together. You will want to poke holes in the top crust. Brush crust with a beaten egg yolk and bake at 400 degrees until pie is deeply browned. Around 50 minutes.

Crust Recipe: (When you have the time)

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/3 cup lard, shortening or oil

1/2 cup water

1 beaten egg and 1 egg yolk for egg wash

pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Mix everything together except egg yolk. Make a smooth dough. Roll out for bottom and top crusts or two bottom pie crusts. Proceed with above instructions.


Chicken Cordon Bleu Sliders Recipe

 Hard to call this a recipe. No brainer here. I was so amazed when I served them, all the family and guests thought these were their new found favorite sandwich. Nothing really special, simple little bites ended up being the favorite addition to our assorted pick foods!
You will need:
Swiss cheese slices
Ham slicds
Slider buns
Salad dresssing of choice

Place the cooked small chicken bites on the slider bun. Add the ham and swiss cheese. Broil on high until the cheese melts. Great with ranch, blue cheese or your favorite dressing.

For more idea's on these appetizer style foods see below:

Superbowl Appetizers
Simple Crostini
Open Faced Reuban Sandwich
Jack Daniels Beef Sliders


Zeppole Celebration Recipe Rewind

                                                          Buona Festa di San Giuseppe

March 19th St. Joseph's Zeppole Celebration


Zeppole are special fritters, fried doughs, or donuts, made in expectation of the Feast of St. Joseph that falls on March the 19th. They are one of the numerous recipes of the Neapolitan tradition. There are several recipes that varies by years past and present. Here are a few we have made and loved through the years in the family.

San Guiseppe is the day for zeppole. The pastry shops and friggitorie (fried food stands) churn them out in astonishing quantity, for eating Zeppole on the 19th is another of those traditions in Italy that must be observed. Despite their size everyone eats at least two or three, or even four, because the sweet, delicate pasta bigné, flavored with a hint of cream and one or two bits of candied cherry, is so good and a creamy delight.
The current, refined version of zeppole became a tradition quite late, perhaps towards the end of the 19th century. Among the [older] cookbooks called "Tortanetti di pasta bigné" (1865); the zeppole for San Giuseppe are instead made from a flour-and-water dough that's fried, and dusted with sugar and powdered cinnamon or dipped in honey. It's known that this traditional version was quite ancient. It's also known that on March 19th they were made by the ton in pastry shop and frying stall, as well as at home, and that they were offered to guests and whoever else happened to come by and you were really especially lucky to celebrate that day if you were named Giuseppe (Joseph).

1 pkg. dry yeast
11/2 cups warm water
4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup raisins (soaked in Brandy till plump)

Canola oil, for deep-frying (she used vegetable oil)
Honey preferred or
Confectionery Sugar

Mix dry yeast with warm water in a small bowl. In a large bowl, add flour, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the flour with a wooden spoon, and add the eggs, water, and yeast. Mix dry ingredients into well, little by little, until it reaches bread dough consistency (if the dough still sticks to the bowl, add more flour). If using raisins drain, and fold in this point. Cover and let rise until double in bulk.

In a dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat to 375 degrees.  Fry dough by the tablespoonful in hot oil (dip spoon in flour, if necessary, to keep dough from sticking). Drain on paper towels. Place zeppole in large bowl and pour honey(grandma's style) or powder sugar over them.

Zeppole (fritter style)

1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 stick butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water

1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
Olive oil, for frying

Add the 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan combine the butter, salt, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and water over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Take pan off the heat and stir in the flour. Return pan to the heat and stir continuously until mixture forms a ball, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the flour mixture to a medium bowl. Using an electric hand mixer on low speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, incorporating each egg completely before adding the next. Beat until smooth. If not frying immediately, cover with plastic wrap and reserve in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, pour enough oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees F.

Using a large tablespoon carefully drop about a tablespoon of the dough into the hot olive oil, frying in batches. Turn the zeppole once or twice, cooking until golden and puffed up, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Toss with cinnamon-sugar. Arrange on a platter and serve immediately.

Sicilian Style (My husbands family)

2-1/2 cups self rising flour 
1- 1/2 lb. Ricotta Whole Milk( 1- 16 oz and 1- 8 oz container)
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cinnamon and sugar mixture (enough to coat after frying)

Heat a dutch oven 2 inches deep with vegetable oil

Beat 4 eggs, the ricotta, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix well.
Add the flour and mix well. In case batter is a little stiff add a small amount of milk and mix well.
Gently drop by tablespoons into the hot oil. Drain on paper towels.
Roll freshly fried zeppole in cinnamon and sugar mixture or confectionery sugar.

Mom's Favorite Cream Puff Recipe

Zeppole DI San Giuseppe (St. Joseph's Day Cream Puffs)

Mom's Version (Bari Style) Creamy
1 cup water
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Beat eggs in bowl set aside. Measure 1 cup flour and set aside.
In a heavy non stick saucepan, pour 1 cup water and a stick of butter (not margarine) add zests and bring to a boil on medium heat, leave on heat and add flour stirring quickly with a wooden spoon until flour is dissolved and comes together.
Remove from heat, add eggs and beat very rapidly with the wooden spoon until a ball of dough if formed...Note its very important to beat this fast.
Spoon one tablespoon of dough or teaspoon for small puffs on an ungreased cookie sheet. Shape into logs for eclairs or round for cream puffs. Bake on 400 for 1/2 hour, do not open oven or puffs will not cook correctly. When browned remove from oven, cool, cut in half to fill.
You can fill with puffs whipped cream, Italian pastry creme, vanilla pudding. Eclairs also will have chocolate frosting on top filled with vanilla pudding
Remove to rack and cool completely. Cut slit in side of each puff and fill with below filling or sweetened whipped cream:

Ricotta Filling
3 cups Ricotta cheese
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients except chips and beat with electric mixer about 10 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.

or Cafe Style filling:
4 large egg yolks
8 tablespoons or 1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
pinch of sea salt
2 cups whole milk

1/2 tsp almond extract
2/3 cup Ricotta cheese whole milk
2 tablespoons confectionary sugar

In a small heavy weight saucepan, beat the yolks, sugar, salt and flour all at once until all lumps are gone. Slowly add milk and whisk to make a smooth consistency. Heat slowly over medium heat till this mixture thickens stirring constantly.

At the very start, whisk slowly and then a little quicker as the cream starts feeling thicker. Wait for a simmering boil to appear. At this point lower the heat to very low as you finish getting the perfect cream consistency. As the whisk leaves a trail as it stirs, this is the indication that the cream is ready. When the pudding has thickened remove from stove and cover with wax paper not to form a skin. Refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.

In a bowl add ricotta, sugar and almond flavoring, stir till completely mixed. Fold in pudding. Fill cream puffs. Keep refrigerated. These also look nice with a mixture of powdered sugar and water glaze with a cherry on top.

Making a cream puff style dough and creamy filling.. 
1 cup water
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs
Beat eggs in bowl set aside. Measure 1 cup flour and set aside.
In a heavy non stick saucepan, pour 1 cup water and a stick of butter (not margarine) and bring to a boil on medium heat, leave on heat and add flour stirring quickly with a wooden spoon until flour is dissolved and comes together.
Remove from heat, add eggs and beat very rapidly with the wooden spoon until a ball of dough if formed...Note its very important to beat this fast.
Spoon one tablespoon of dough or teaspoon for small puffs on an ungreased cookie sheet. Shape into logs for eclairs or round for cream puffs. Bake on 400 for 1/2 hour, do not open oven or puffs will not cook correctly. When browned remove from oven, cool, cut in half to fill.
You can fill with puffs whipped cream, Italian pastry creme, vanilla pudding.

Other Buona Festa di San Giuseppe Posts:

St. Joseph's 2012
St. Joseph's 2011


Soft Sugar Loft Cookies Just Like the Supermarket Recipe

I hope you all had a wonderful festive St. Patty's Day! Here are the cookies I made for the family gathering!
Wishing you good health and lots of luck today,
tomorrow and always!
From @What's Cookin' Italian Style Cuisine

Our Favorite Loft Cookie:

Recipe from Mccall's Cookbook

(Soft Sugar Cookies you usually find in the supermarket)

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 stick of softened butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond flavoring

Beat the sugar and the butter together until light. Add the flavoring then the salt, sour cream, baking powder and baking soda. Beat in one egg at a time. Add the flour and mix until this forms a ball.

Using extra flour on a board roll out around 1/2 inch thick or more whatever you like these are thick cookies and use your favorite cookies cutters to the theme of the Holiday. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees. Bake until edges start to turn brown around 10 to 12 minutes.

Cool, frost with coordinating tinted store bought frosting using food coloring of choice or make your own homemade. Sprinkle with colored sugars to match.

Open Faced Reuben Appetizer For St. Patrick's Day with Video Recipe

We are huge Reuben fans, love them any time of year somehow they do taste better when we celebrate the Day for St. Patricks, at least it's a darn good excuse for this Italian household!  Of course I would love to just call these my favorite bruschetta/crostini but you get the point  (smile) These are made with my Guinness style Corned Beef. We always make sure we buy a big enough corned beef  to have leftovers for this purpose. The Irish know how to eat good too!   For us Italian families it's like having leftover meatballs for a meatball tunnel and by gosh nothing goes to waste right and it's great no matter how you serve it up! A real special treat as I used my homemade Artisan Rye Bread. Try some of our favorite recipes, links provided at the end.

Open Faced Reuben Appetizer For St. Patrick's Day with Video Recipe
Leftover  Guinness style cooked corned beef slices
Rye bread sliced thick( store bought or homemade click here)
Thousand Island Dressing
Bavarian Saurkraut drained well squeeze out all the juice
Swiss cheese slices cut thick

Olive oil
Garlic powder

On a cookie sheet drizzle all over with olive oil.  Place thick slices of bread onto the oil drizzled sheet dipping these slices on both sides. Sprinkle both sides with garlic powder.
In a hot oven on bake at 400 degrees, brown on one side. These can be a little toasted or more.
Pour the dressing on each piece of  the top part of the bread,  add with kraut, then place meat on top of the kraut, last add the swiss cheese.

Broil until the cheese melts. Serve with more dressing if you like.

Check out our YouTube Video Hangout on Google+

Love St. Patrick's Day foods? Try some of our other favorites:

Guinness Chili
Guinness Corned Beef
Guinness Chili Loaded Baked Potatoes
Guinness Gravy with Colcannon Mashed Potatoes
Old Fashioned Simple Reubens
Low Fat Turkey Reubens
Quick Rye Bread
Pistachio Ambrosia
Irish Coffee and Cookies
Irish Cream Cake Mix Bars
Pistaschio Tea Cakes

My Caturday Saturday Precious Babies

It's been a very long time since I was able to see baby kittens in the house. My son and his girlfriend have the mommy Shelly, she is just a sweetheart. Very protective of her babies. I finally got a chance to go over and see them yesterday. I just couldn't help but share these precious little angels. They are so adorable. I guess it was time to share another side of me other than just cooking and recipes. Yes you guessed it I am a huge cat lover. Our two are Fonzo and Trina. Some who follow me already know that. So today being Caturday, I had to share my Great Grand kitties with you all.  You can skip this segment if your not a fan that's ok.  If your a pet owner you already know these gems are like family. So enjoy as I am.. just love these babies and mommy!  

This is Shelly she is a great mommy!

This is the daddy he couldn't care less and sleeps through everything his name is Eddie.
Shelly and Eddie checking out who is with their babies!
These are my babies! To these new babies, they're their
 Aunt Trina and Uncle Fonzo
Happy #Caturday!


Baked Potato with Guinness Chili Cheesy Topping Recipe

Use your favorite leftover chili recipe over a baked potato


Crockpot Guinness Cheesy Chili Recipe

Just when I thought I make one of the best pots of chili ever this one topped it! The flavors, the hearty chunks of vegetables and great addition of beer just kicked this old average style chili up more than a few notches!

1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin or  chuck raw
1/2 cup stout Guinness beer
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
2 cans kidney beans
3 cans pinto beans
2 tablespoon masa flour (mixed with 3 tablespoons water )to thicken at the end if needed
2 bell peppers chopped or use jalapenos around 1/4 cup chopped
1 onion chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
3 teaspoons chili powder
3 cloves finely minced garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt and pepper or more to taste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
cayenne pepper to taste for a little heat I use around 1/4 teaspoon
Garnish Suggestions:
Tortilla chip, sour cream and shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, jalapenos. salsa, and sliced black olives
I love the new crockpot liners makes clean up a breeze!

Place ground meat in the crockpot raw(you can brown this is your prefer but not necessary), add everything in the pot except the masa flour. Cook on low up to 8 hours or high up to 6 hours. If this isn't thick enough for you thicken with a mixture of 2 tablespoons masa flour mix with water, dump that in and cook on high a few minutes till thickens.

Serve in bowls topped with sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, olives, jalapenos, salsa, and shredded cheese.

Serve with toppings and garnishes of your choice from the above suggestions


Crockpot Corned Beef and Guinness Beer Recipe

Funny how some of us wait once a year to have this fine tasty beef! I really love it like this. I should make it more often! You can cook this in the oven on low heat at 300 degrees covered or I like the ease of the crock pot. Either way the best results will come from making sure the meat is slow cooked. This fell apart, so tender, a hit a sweetness and a whole lot of flavor! I also recommend cooking the vegetables separately and add them at the end. Just boil them add olive oil, granulated garlic to taste, salt, pepper and some butter around 2 tablespoons toss while hot! I used cabbage, carrots and tiny white potatoes.