Recipe for Cagionetti or Calcionetti?

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A pastry treat on Christmas Eve. Cagonia (sp)? made with pastry,filled with ceci bean,honey,chocolate,spices and almonds and fried.

Do you have the recipe?

- Marcia

Dear Marcia,

Your request left me quite perplexed as I've never heard of a Christmas treat with the ingredients you mentioned, at least not in Tuscany. But that only made me curious, as it was likely to be a recipe from another region worth finding out more about - what we found out makes us really want to try out making this dessert ourselves!

The Cagionetti, also known as calgionetti, caggiunitt' and caggionetti, are most commonly called Calcionetti outside the region of Abruzzo, where the stuffed cookies are traditionally made during Christmas.

Cagionetti are basically a stuffed pastry in the shape of ravioli (square) or tortelli (half circle) filled with ceci beans or hazelnuts, chocolate, cinnamon, cooked must (grape juice) and orange peel.

It seems using ceci beans (chickpeas) is more traditional, but some use hazelnuts instead depending on the area within Abruzzo.

The pastries/cookies are often fried but can also be baked for the more health-conscious.

The pastry dough is made from water, flour, oil and white wine and some recipes add almonds, lemon peel, candied citron or cedar in addition to chocolate, sugar and cinnamon to the filling.

Most of what I found is in Italian, I've translated one of the recipes that sounds like the best to follow in terms of quantities - feel free to play around with the amounts in the filling!


Ingredients for the filling:
hazelnuts (boiled) or chickpeas (cooked fresh) 300g - about 10.5 ounces
almonds, peeled 150g - 5 ounces
candied cedar 40g - about 1.5 ounces
orange peel from 1 orange
sugar 50g - about 1/4 cup
cinnamon - to taste
cocoa powder, unsweetened - 1 tbsp

for the pastry dough:
flour 500g - about 4 cups
extra virgin olive oil 80g - 6 tbsp
dry white wine - 2 tbsp

oil for frying
powdered sugar for sprinkling on top

For the filling:
1. Heat up the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the almonds on a baking sheet and then slightly roast them in the oven, until they start to turn golden. Remove and let them cool down. Cut up into smaller pieces.
2. Mash the cooked chickpeas, them add the almonds, candied cedar, orange peel, sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder and mix until everything is evenly distributed. Cover and set aside (or put in the refrigerator) while preparing the pastry dough.

For the dough:
1. In a clean surface place the flour in a mound, make a hole in the center and add the oil and wine. Start mixing with your hands towards the center and knead until the dough has an elastic consistency. Roll the dough out quite thin into a large rectangle.
2. At this point you can either place small heapings of the stuffing along the pastry, then fold the pastry over and cut into ravioli squares or, using a pastry cutter or a cup, cut the pastry into circles which you then fill and fold into half circles, pressing the dough well around the filling to seal it well.

Heat up the oil and fry the pastries on each side until golden. Drain well on a paper towel, then sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Additional ingredients:
I found a few other recipes with some variations. One used must (Must - Wikipedia) in the filling as well as a bit of rum.
Another one prepared the pastry dough with egg yolks and added a bit of water. Others used melted chocolate instead of the cocoa powder.

I found a video on YouTube that shows the females in an Abruzzo household busily prepare the cagionetti for Christmas - a whole ton by the looks of it!
YouTube - Donnina, Elisa e Filomena che fanno i cagionetti

If you try making these cookies, let us know how they turn out! :)
Ingredients of the recipe are weird. chocolate and spices???:confused:
Looks like a tasty recipe. Here is a delicious recipe from Italy named fusilli giganti:

1 portion of boiled fusilli giganti, pre-boiled and drizzled with olive oil
1 carton of cooking cream
a pinch of salt and pepper
finely chopped parsley
1 ladle of chicken stock
300 grams of grated parmesan cheese
grilled and sliced chicken breast
Finely chopped onion and garlic
500 grams button mushrooms or shitake
2 tbsp of labneh cheese

Heat the saucepan over a low fire, drizzle with olive oil. Saute onion and garlic until golden brown.
Place the sliced chicken breast, mix and pour a little cooking cream. Place the pre-boiled fusilli, be sure not to overcook until the desired al dente textured is achieved. Afterwards, you will notice that the cooking cream thickens and place two tablespoons of labneh. Drizzle with parmesan cheese and place the pasta in a plate and garnish with chopped parsley.
i was interested on this recipe i wanna try this one in my home :)
My favorite! Cagionetti

Hey Marcia! We used to make these (the way you describe) when I was a kid. My mom and I were just talking about making them. Do you still need the recipe lol 5 years later?:cool:

A pastry treat on Christmas Eve. Cagonia (sp)? made with pastry,filled with ceci bean,honey,chocolate,spices and almonds and fried.

Do you have the recipe?

- Marcia
Ciao Terric,

If you're open to sharing with all of the rest of us, we'd like to hear you you prepared them and whether they are as complicated as they seem to prepare!
Do you know that's a traditional dessert for Cristmas

I found in one site a very curious extract from Life in Abruzzo:

No matter how you pronounce them, Abruzzo’s traditional Christmas treats Caggionetti are one of the best Christmas treasures around. Chocolate, chestnuts, almonds, rum, lemon zest, cinnamon & honey are just part of the filling, enclosed within a paper-thin white wine fried ravioli casing, who could possibly resist? apart from those allergic to nuts perhaps…

Christmas TimeWithin our village stories are told about how they used to trade corn, normally an animal food, and food crops with those in Seranica and other chestnut enclaves so that they could enjoy these divine treats over the Christmas period.

They were a rare treat, a Christmas indulgence most commonly first served after Mass on Christmas Eve in bygone times; now you will see them served in Abruzzo from November as soon as the Chestnut sagre commence.

Yes, they are a little bit time-consuming and a 2-stage job for which fillings need to be prepared the day before and left to marinate. I, a self-confessed lazy cook, would even say a little fiddly, but they are worth it! Remember, each family, village town and city will have slightly different interpretations of the recipe, so do experiment with less or more in the filling depending on your own taste preferences, and of course what is available in the cupboard; these are the Bascianella variety:
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