Mary Ann Esposito’s Walnut Twists are a glorious, sweet and crunchy treat for Christmas or Carnevale. Little pastry gifts enriched with a tasty walnut filling. Bellissimo!
Walnut Twists (Caramelle di Noci)

Walnut Twists (Caramelle di Noci)
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 1 batch
  • 3/4 Cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter; softened
  • 2 Tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 Cup finely ground walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup sugar; plus
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter; melted, for brushing
  • vegetable oil; for deep-frying
  1. In a bowl, mix the flour and butter together with your hands or a fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add the water and mix until a ball of dough is formed. Do not over mix. (Alternatively, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a ball of dough is formed.)
  2. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the walnuts and 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a square, and trim it to an even, 10-inch square, reserving the scraps. With a pastry wheel, cut the dough length-wise into 5 strips, and cut each strip into 5 squares.
  6. Lightly brush each square with the melted butter. Place about 1 teaspoon of the walnut filling in the center of each square, and roll each one up like a small jelly roll.
  7. Pinch the seam closed and twist each end.
  8. Place the caramelle on a clean towel. Gather the dough scraps together and reroll to make more caramelle.
  9. In a deep-flyer or a deep heavy pan, heat the oil to 375 degrees. Fry the caramelle, a few at a time, until golden brown.
  10. With a slotted spoon, transfer to brown paper to drain.
  11. While they are still warm, roll each caramella several times in the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
This recipe yields about 2 1/2 dozen.

Comments: These twisted and fried cookies, which look like wrapped pieces of candy, are a favorite Christmas giveaway. I developed it using leftover pieces of dough and a few teaspoons of ground walnuts that were on hand after making a sweet rotolo. Everyone loves these, and the dough is very easy to work with.

Source: Ciao Italia at <a href="" target="_new"></a>

Yield: "2 1/2 dozen"
Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 9 Fat; 9 Other Carbohydrates.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: serving Calories: 945 Fat: 46 g Carbohydrates: 139 g Sodium: 9 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 1 g Cholesterol: 124 mg

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