Easter Traditions

Easter Traditions

I struggled on how I would write this post today. With everything going on around the world the past few weeks, it’s hard to think about what would have been if Covid-19 didn’t take over our lives.

Yesterday was Palm Sunday, a day that commences Holy Week. This week my mother and I would be planning and preparing our Easter Menu for our family gathering. Instead, we now call each other everyday asking what we will be making for our own families in our homes, away from one another. I can hear it in my mother’s voice, how spending this important holiday without her children and grandchildren is affecting her. This whole situation is affecting her well-being, as it is for so many. I reassure her, that us staying home is showing that we love each other deeply, sending the message to stay healthy and hope it will get us to spend time together sooner rather than later.

If there is anything this virus has taught me is we should not take everyday experiences for granted. I am home on maternity leave, so quite frankly I have been self-isolating since my son was born. However, I spent many of my days with my mother, enjoying not only my time with my children, but with her as well. This leave has allowed me to appreciate time. Time that I have with my children, time to reflect on my life and where I want it to go, time to learn and experience things I wouldn’t normally do while working full-time, and time with my best friend, my mother.

Every year, we make these these Easter cookies, they are pretty famous in our household and we’ve been making them for as long as I can remember. The recipe actually belongs to our family friend Loretta, who is so knowledgeable and talented in the kitchen. This was how it was, we shared recipes with one another, we compared how they worked and didn’t work. We would spend days making them together and those were my favourite past times. I loved it when my mom’s friends or my aunts would come over and spend the day making cookies. It was always a good day, exhausting, but filled with laughter and great energy. 

Now that my mother is getting older (don’t get me wrong she still has WAY more energy than I do and she’s almost 70), many of those who we shared and baked these cookies with are no longer with us and nowadays it’s usually my mom and I. This year she didn’t feel like making them and I don’t blame her. When my daughter asked for her cookies, it was clear she needed to get into the kitchen and she dropped some off on our doorstep.

After all this is over I know that I will cherish every holiday, every baking and cooking experience with my mother and continue to cherish the time I have with my children, my husband, my friends and family.

May your Easter this year be filled with love and appreciation for those around you. 

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**Note: This recipe will make approx. 12 logs. You can definitely cut the recipe in half, but I wanted to keep it the way it is written in my mother’s precious recipe book. This is a cookie that is typically handed to other family members as gifts. Also, Italians love to freeze food for future events and this cookie handles the freezer and defrosting quite well.

Our Family Easter Cookie

From Loretta’s Kitchen and cherished in Donatina’s.

Ingredients:

Cookies

12 eggs
3 cups of sugar
1 cup of milk
1 cup of oil
5 cups of grounded toasted almonds (My mother will toast these herself a few days before and then pulse them finely in her food processor)
4 tbsp of baking powder
1 lb. of semi-sweet chocolate (chopped finely, Baker’s Chocolate is usually the brand we use)
6 cups of AP flour (Robin Hood preferred-according to my mother)
Zest of 2 medium sized lemons
Glaze
Juice of two lemons (the ones zested for the cookies)
2 cups of confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  1. In a bowl, whisk eggs, milk, oil and lemon zest.
  2. Mix in baking powder
  3. Mix flour, 1 cup at a time. You don’t want the dough to be too hard, just enough to hold it’s shape when placing it on the baking sheet.
  4. With a spatula, fold in toasted almonds and chocolate.
  5. Add a sheet of parchment paper onto the baking pan.
  6. Create logs onto the baking sheet. In the past, we made cookies in the shape of dolls or bunnies to commemorate the Easter holiday.
  7. Bake until the edges become golden brown. Time varies depending on type of oven, how big the logs are, etc. I would watch the first batch, approx.  10 minutes. 
Glaze
  1. In a bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar a little at a time until you get a thick white paste.
  2. Once the cookies have cooled, brush the glaze overtop the cookies. Optional: Add sprinkles for some Easter fun 🙂
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Antonietta Ferretti
Antonietta Ferretti

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