Cujidatta (coo-ji-da-ta) Italian cookies are what is cooking in the kitchen today. I have promised my dad to make his most beloved Christmas cookie again this year, but they are a pain in the you-know-what!
My great grandparents were both from Palermo, Sicily and this is a cookie that they brought with them from the “old country”. As the story goes (as told by my dad), my great grandmother and her sister would start making these cookies around Thanksgiving. My father and his cousin would plant themselves in the kitchen when they heard all the swearing. They knew what that meant. Cookies! The sisters would make batches and batches and store them in old potato chip tins. When my great grandfather would try to sneak one, his wife would slap his hand away and yell in Italian. The two boys would giggle and she would hand them each a cookie. This would make my great grandfather throw up his hands in defeat.
My father loves to tell stories; and he is a great at it. He would reminisce about this every holiday, hoping that one day he would be able to once again taste his childhood treat. See, when my great grandmother passed away, so did the making of this cookie. My father could never find the recipe. Then, one year, his cousin told him that he had the family recipe. He sent it to my father and he in turn gave it to me. We held onto it for a few years because we could not find the one ingredient needed for the cookie- sour cherry jelly.
When apple picking one fall, I was looking through the gift shop and could not believe that on the shelf among the pretty packaged jars of jams and jellies sat sour cherry! I immediately bought 2 and surprised my father with his cookie. The first year I made them they were ok…the flavor was there but the size and shape of the cookie was not quite right. The following year, I hit the jackpot and my dad has requested them ever since. When sharing a tin with his cousin, they are both brought back to the days of being young boys and the magic that happened in that Italian kitchen.
—- There is a printable recipe below this one. —-
Cujidatta Cookie Recipe
3 lb. (9 cups) Flour
1-1/4 lb. (2-1/2 cups) melted Crisco
1-1/2 Cups sugar
1 Tbsp Baking powder (heaping)
1-1/2 Cups milk
On stove, melt sugar and milk together. Add to flour, crisco and baking powder. Dough should be pliable and easy to handle.
1/2 lb. each (or 1-3/4 Cups), chopped
Mix all filling ingredients together and set aside.
From dough ball, pull a ping-pong ball sized piece. Shape and roll about an 1″ thick disc between plastic wrap. Fill carefully with about Tablespoon of filling mixture. Fold over to one side to cover filling and seal. This should take on a crescent moon shape.
Bake in a preheated 350′ oven on ungreased cookie sheet for 15 minutes.
Cool on rack.
1/2 Cup powdered sugar, melted in 3/4 Cup water. Add enough water to mix to hold together, not too watery. Dip top of cookie into icing and let set.
When I saw the ingredient list, I knew why my great grandmother and her sister would swear while making these. It’s like it never ends!
So when I call my dad in a few hours to let him know how much I hate making these &*@$ cookies, I’ll make sure the pot of coffee is on and get a plate ready to share while waiting for him to arrive.
- 3 lb. (9 cups) Flour
- 1-1/4 lb. (2-1/2 cups) melted Crisco
- 1-1/2 Cups sugar
- 1 Tbsp Baking powder (heaping)
- 1-1/2 Cups milk
- ½ lb. each (or 1-3/4 Cups), chopped
- *Almonds (toasted)
- 1lb. (2-3/4 Cups) Dark raisins
- ½ lb. Light raisins
- 1 small jar of Sour Cherry Jelly
- ½ tsp. ground cloves
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- For dough:
- On stove, melt sugar and milk together.
- Add to flour, crisco and baking powder.
- Dough should be pliable and easy to handle.
- Mix all filling ingredients together and set aside.
- From dough ball, pull a ping-pong ball sized piece.
- Shape and roll about an 1" thick disc between plastic wrap.
- Fill carefully with about Tablespoon of filling mixture.
- Fold over to one side to cover filling and seal.
- This should take on a crescent moon shape.
- Bake in a preheated 350' oven on ungreased cookie sheet for 15 minutes.
- Cool on rack.
- /2 Cup powdered sugar, melted in ¾ Cup water.
- Add enough water to mix to hold together, not too watery.
- Dip top of cookie into icing and let set.
Want to try an easier cookie recipe? Try these!
- Paddington Orange Cake Mix Cookies
- Watermelon Slice & Bake Cookies
- Monster Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cranberry White Chip Cookies
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