Italian Cenci Cookies

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As a way to preserve our Italian tradition, every year around Thanksgiving, my family and I make Christmas cookies- Cenci (fried dough twist) cookies. Grandpa Anthony’s mother passed after he went to America, and he was beyond distraught, but what changed him was when he found the love of his life, my grandma; my grandpa knew he needed to start a tradition that DeSabatos could enjoy for generations. The recipe originated from my grandpa Anthony DeSabato who came from Italy when he was eighteen years old.   My father has been making the cookies with my mother for years before my sisters and I were born but we started making them as a family when I was five years old. I remember getting my matching hat and apron to be just like my dad and he always let me pour the topping on. My dad always makes the dough with eggs, flour, sugar, salt, and butter. When the dough is set, my dad kneads it and gives my sisters and I pieces to cut and twist. They are then fried and put into containers, some with powder sugar and some with honey.  Thanks to my fantastic grandpa, I now look forward to the holiday season because these cookies always bring us together making us laugh and smile.

Place(s): Italy

– GD

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant