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Cuddura Siciliana

Coddura

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The cuddura, ‘Kulloura’ in Greek (meaning ‘crown’) is a sweet cookie which may be found on every Sicilian table during Easter lunch.

Originally the cookies were produced by shepherds, brought with them during their travels through the countryside and the crown shape made them easy to hang on their arms. Also, young girls used to offer heart-shaped cuddura as a love message for their boyfriends.

Every time I see a pack of coloured sugar sprinkles, my childhood memories come back. During Easter time my mother used to spend one whole day in the kitchen, usually with a couple of friends, baking the cudduri.

While children were running around the kitchen table, dozens of eggs were hard boiled, pounds of dough kneaded just by one of them, without weighing ingredients, using just experience. The other women's duty was to cut different shapes out of the dough, while children’s job was to decorate the cudduri with the sugar sprinkles.

It was more than a tradition, it was a ritual. Every year the same one, comforting as all known things.

The cuddura was the Easter present for children, relatives, friends and a lot of cuddure were received! A real exchange and a way to discuss about the taste, shapes, decorations and thing about new variations... to come back to bake the cudduri in the same way next year!

Ingredients

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  • Cuddura

  • 500g of plain flour
  • 125g of suet
  • 100g of sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 8 eggs, hard boiled
  • sprinkles
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Method

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1
To make the dough, mix the flour, sugar, suet and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Gradually add water as necessary to obtain a smooth and elastic dough. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest for 30 minutes
2
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
3
On a floured wooden board roll the dough and cut out your favourite shapes. Brush with lightly beaten egg yolk and place the hard boiled egg in the middle, using offcuts of pastry to create cross 'straps' to hold the eggs in place. Decorate with sprinkles and bake for 20–30 minutes
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