Growing up in an italian family, my grandmother Iris made cookies all the time. She had her staple recipes, and as a kid everyday was a cookie day in her house. Christmas was not the only time she made cookies. I remember us living next door, I could smell them while playing in the front yard.
Even though she lived next door to us, I never got to see my Grandmother making a mess during baking, unlike me. Cookies were always just finished and ready when I showed up, neatly stacked in her deep Tupperware cake keeper, which ironically was never kept in the kitchen. It always felt like she made so many because I would eat the same cookie for days until they ran out. Then magically a new cookie would appear. To this day, I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like.
Filled with excitement and anticipation, I would race to the spot where she stored the cookies trying desperately to reach them. Without fail, every time she would be racing behind me saying “Ash-pet, ash-pet”, while she reached over and unsealed the tupperware container. “Aspetta” means wait in Italian, and that tupperware container had an indelible suction noise that I can still hear today. While she only handed me one cookie at a time, I never felt unsatisfied. There was always so much joy in one little cookie, which seemed to linger forever.
Gram gave me her recipes for some of those cookies and among my favorite is the Ricciarelli. Its this dense, moist chewy almond cookie dusted with a thick layer of confectionary sugar. After researching many Ricciarelli recipes and many messy kitchens, I have modernized Gram’s recipe slightly to create my own. Citrus Hazelnut Ricciarelli and Ginger Ricciarelli. She is the inspiration behind these cookies and even though they are delicious, they are not like hers.