Italian Chifferi Cookies with Espresso and Cinnamon-Sugar are a sophisticated and delicious twist on crescent cookies. They are perfect for Christmas cookie exchanges and Holiday cookie tins!
The minute I saw these Italian Chifferi Cookies I knew I was making them. Actually, if I am honest, I felt that way about these cookies and another one in the same article, but I have not gotten to that one yet. Darn germs! But anyway…
I love Christmas cookies. That must be apparent by now. And I love just about anything that celebrates holiday cookies–special issue cookie magazines, December/holiday issues of magazines, cookbooks, treasured family recipes, etc. Over time, some sources have proven to be particularly reliable, and one of those is the December/Holiday issue of Fine Cooking. It always includes recipes for candy or cookies by a name I trust, and out of the three years I have subscribed, I have immediately bookmarked the treats featured two of those years. I made Christine Tosi’s Potato Chip Oven Brittle two years ago. This year, when I saw that Domenica Marchetti had a feature on Italian Christmas cookies, well, it felt like a sign after our fabulous Italian summer.
As long as we are talking about holiday cookies, I do want to pause a moment, since this is a subject near and dear to my heart, and describe to you what makes a good holiday cookie–and then point you to the newly created Holiday and Christmas Cookies section of my archive (if you forget later, you can find it in the archive page above).
First, please know that if I do not consider a cookie a good holiday cookie, it does not mean I don’t think it is a good cookie. I think chocolate chip cookies, for example, make terrible holiday cookies and yet they are my favorite cookies in the world. Second, I do make some exceptions to my rules; invariably the exceptions are traditional holiday cookies from around the world. Those cookies may not satisfy my rules, but by dint of being consider a winter holiday cookie in their culture they will make it onto my index.
Now what are my rules, you ask? Simple. It needs to be able to last at least 3 weeks in a basic cookie tin. Because to me, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, the Winter Solstice, or some other holiday I don’t know about, the point is having cookies on hand because it is the holidays. Being able to whip out, at a moment’s notice, a beautiful tray of an assortment of cookies (and candies–check out my candy section too!) for guests to peruse. So my cookies tend to be biscotti, shortbread, butter cookies, meringues, wedding and crescent cookies, etc. Cookies that do not go stale easily. And I thought about doing a round-up, and maybe someday I still will, but guys I have so many Christmas cookies. Think of me as a resource you cannot afford to waste and go check it out!
These Italian Chifferi Cookies were totally new to me, aside, of course, from the fact that they are a variation on a wedding or crescent cookie. But the addition of espresso was new, as well as rolling them in cinnamon-sugar. Because of this, I decided to follow the recipe exactly.[Update October 2020: Fine Cooking appears to have been purchased by a different media conglomerate and removed access to their archives. This recipe was created by Domenica Marchetti of Domenica Cooks, so I am sending you to her site for the recipe.] I really like them, but the bitter edge from the espresso is a bit too much for Sammy and John (not sure about Alex–she has fixated on some other cookies and I am not sure she has tried them!). I would call them a sophisticated flavor. If you are concerned about it, reduce the espresso to two teaspoons. Personally I consider them the perfect wake-me-up cookie with a cup of coffee! Because I did not change anything, I have linked to the recipe at the beginning of this paragraph.
For the collage lovers….