Authentic Italian Recipes from Italy




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  Roccoco (Neapolitan Christmas Cookies)

   Roccoco Photo
Category: Holidays - Christmas, Desserts
Servings: 12 - 16
Total time: 1 hr + 1 hr resting time
Level: Easy
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An authentic Italian recipe from our kitchen to yours. Buon Appetito!


- 4 cups flour

- 1 cup whole almonds, roughly chopped

- 2 teaspoons baking powder

- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

- Zest of 1 large orange

- Zest of 1 small lemon

- 1 1/2 cups sugar

- 1/3 cup honey

- 1/2 cup water + more as necessary

- 1/4 teaspoon salt

- 3 large egg whites


1.  In a mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients as well as the zests and the chopped almonds. Mix well.

2.  Make a well in the center of the mixing bowl by pushing the dry ingredients up along the sides of the bowl. Whisk the honey and water together until the honey dissolves mostly into the water. Pour this mixture into the center of the well.

3.  Using a wooden spoon or heavy spatula, begin to mix the dry ingredients into the water and honey. Add more water as necessary until you begin to form a shaggy dough. At this point, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Continue kneading the dough until it is relatively soft and pliable.




4.  Form the dough into a ball, cover it well and let it rest for at least 1 hour. If letting it rest overnight, place the dough in the refrigerator and remove it 1 hour prior to making the cookies.

5.  When you are ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

6.  Uncover the dough and place it on a floured work surface. Divide it into 3 - 4 sections to make it more manageable.

7.  Take one section and divide it again into about 3 - 4 pieces. Roll each of these pieces into a rope about 5 inches long, and then form each one of the ropes into a ring, pressing the ends of the rope together well.

8.  Place the prepared cookies on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

9.  Repeat steps 7 and 8 until all cookies are formed.

10.  Beat the egg whites well to break them up, and then lightly brush them over the tops of the cookies.

11.  Place the cookie sheets in the center of the oven and bake for 20 minutes, rotating the sheets after 10 minutes so that the cookies bake evenly. Bake until dark golden brown.

12.  After baking, remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool for 30 minutes prior to serving.


This is a hard cookie. Like Italian cantucci cookies, Roccoco should be served with vin santo or coffee so that the cookies can be dipped in the drink and softened before eating.