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      In the kitchen with Sandra: Cookie Contest!

      Dec. 3, 2013

      It’s the season to be jolly, fa la la la la lalala la.  It’s also the season to break open Nonna’s or Mamma’s famous Christmas cookie recipes… The ones we have been waiting for all year long… The ones we are going to gain at least five pounds eating. Ahhhh Christmas!

      It’s also time for Italocanadese’s second annual “Italo” Christmas Cookie Contest!  We hope you have been testing out your recipes all year long!

      THE CONTEST is on the search for the best homemade “Italo” Christmas cookie. We want to hear about that special treat that Nonna or Mom only made – and hopefully still make – during the Christmas holiday. Is it a special recipe Nonna brought from the paese? Is it something Mom created when you were young? Or perhaps it’s something you whipped up on a whim a few years back to everyone’s delight.

      The winning entry will be featured in a special installment of  “In The Kitchen with Sandra” on December 23, 2013. The winner will receive a gift bag of Epicure Selections’ Baking Supplies, including their famous baking powder containing no aluminum!


      Please submit a complete recipe (including ingredients and instructions), along with a short story about why these cookies are so special. Also include a photograph that compliments your story and/or recipe. Submissions must be written in English. There is no word length requirement.

      The submission must also include your full name, mailing address and email (your mailing address and email will remain confidential).

      The winning entry will be published on


      All submissions must be received by December 15, 2013.

      Please email your submission to:


      In the meantime, here is a delicious recipe to get you started.

      Warm Amaretto Bites

      500 gr pitted dates
      1 cup amaretto liquor
      ½ cup roasted, salted cashews
      ½ cup shredded, sweetened coconut flakes
      2 packages each 450 gr puff pastry, found in your grocer’s freezer
      1 tbsp melted butter

      Soak the pitted dates in the amaretto overnight until they are plump.

      Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

      In a blender, chop the drained dates and cashews until a rough paste is formed. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the coconut. Roll the puff pastry and cut into equal triangles, about 20 per sheet. Spoon one tsp of the filling onto the widest part of the triangle and roll to resemble a small croissant. Place one inch apart on the baking sheet. Brush with the melted butter and place in the oven for about 12 minutes. These delicious cookies are best when eaten warm.

      Enjoy and happy baking! We look forward to receiving your stories!

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