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I Cudduraci calabresi sono dolci di Pasqua che raccontano la mia storia di bambina. Ho iniziato presto a mettere le mani in pasta e ancora oggi adoro farlo, per regalare affetto ai miei cari.
Sono i dolci di Pasqua che preferisco, questi biscotti dal nome un po’ buffo, cudduraci! E’ uno dei primi dolci che ho iniziato a preparare con mia mamma seguendo la ricetta originale della nonna, nata e vissuta in Calabria.
A questa ricetta per i cudduraci calabresi sono proprio affezionata e non l’ho mai modificata, ho solo aggiunto il mio tocco salutistico usando farina di farro e zucchero di canna al posto dei più comuni ingredienti raffinati.
Il nome curioso di questi biscotti di Pasqua viene dalla parola greca kollura che significa “corona”, la forma più semplice e diffusa di questi dolci.
La loro storia racconta che le giovani fidanzate usavano regalare un cudduraci al proprio amato a forma di cuore oppure di “pupa”, con un uovo sodo sulla pancia come buon auspicio per il futuro. Si dice anche che più grande era il dolce, più forte il sentimento per la persona amata.
I cudduraci calabresi non sono solo buonissimi, ma anche divertenti da preparare; un ottimo modo per passare del tempo in famiglia coinvolgendo i bambini, che adoreranno decorare e poi gustare i loro biscotti.
Li preparate con me?
“Cudduraci” is the name of typical Italian cookies from Calabria, where they are prepared during the week before Easter holidays. The name of these cookies comes from the greek term kollura meaning “bun”, that is the simplest and most common shape for these Italian Easter cookies.
Their wonderfully scented dough made of flour, sugar and eggs marked the end of food narrowness imposed by the Lenten period. The eggs were often used as an ingredient for the cookie dough and boiled, as a decoration added on the top of the cookies just before baking.
Old tales say that young girlfriends used to prepare a “cudduraci” cookie to their boyfriend. It was heart-shaped or “small woman” shaped. In the latter case, the girls would add a boiled egg on the “belly” of the cookie, as a good auspice for their future children. The largest was the cookie, the strongest the love for the loved one.
The “Cudduraci” cookies are made of a soft pastry prepared with simple ingredients, their shapes spring from the work of expert woman hands over the years, a shower of sugar sprinkles makes them perfect to celebrate.
This recipe is an ancient tradition full of love and taste, to be handed down with joy to your children. They will be so happy to help you prepare the Italian Easter cookies!
- 375g all purpose or spelt flour
- 130g brown sugar
- 90g sunflower, corn or soybean oil
- 3 organic eggs
- 12g baking powder
- 1 lemon
- 1 small glass anisette
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- colored sugar sprinkles
- 1 small glass milk
- Sift together flour and baking powder on a board, form a pile with high sides.
- Add to the center of the pile the eggs, sugar, oil, anisette and vanilla extract.
- Start kneading with your hands; when the dough has formed a soft mass, add the whole lemon zest.
- Continue kneading until you get a soft, compact cookie dough that does not stick to your hands anymore.
- Put the cookie dough in the fridge for 15 minutes at least.
- Meanwhile, turn on the oven to 350°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Take the cookie dough from the fridge and form the cookies, into the shapes you like. Just take care that every cookie has a uniform thickness, little less than 1 inch.
- The typical Italian Easter cookies shapes are braided buns. I also choose to make doves. Doves are obtained by two nuts of dough: from the first you have to shape a "U" (the dove's wings), put it on the baking sheet. From a second cookie doughnut form a cylinder to be placed on the "U", to form the body. Slightly pinch with your fingers the ends of the dove's body, to give shape to its head and tail (see photo below).
- Brush the biscuits with milk and decorate with colored sugar sprinkles.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the Italian Easter cookies surface is lightly browned.
- Let the cookies cool completely then serve.
- The Italian Easter biscuits (Cudduraci) keep for up to 2 weeks, closed in an airtight container or a cookie tin.