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Italian Cenci Cookies

 Italian Cenci Cookies
My mother brought this special family recipe from Europe a century ago, Cenci can be "dressed up" for any holiday—at Easter, I sprinkle yellow, pink and lavender jelly beans over them, and for Christmas, red and green candy sprinkles give the cenci a festive look. Even without the garnish, they always disappear fast!
24 ServingsPrep: 30 min. Cook: 20 min.


  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons butter, softened
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • Confectioners' sugar


  • In a bowl, beat eggs, sugar and salt until frothy. Stir in vanilla.
  • Sift flour with baking powder; gradually add to batter. Add butter
  • and mix well. Turn out onto a floured surface; knead for 10 minutes.
  • Divide dough in half; roll each half as thin as possible (noodle
  • thickness). Cut into 5-in. x 1-in. strips with a knife or scalloped
  • pastry wheel.
  • Preheat oil to 375°; fry cookies until golden brown, about 1
  • minute per side. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with confectioners'
  • sugar. Cookies are best served the same day. Yield: about 4 dozen.