Friday, May 24 2024

Roccoco (Roccocò) are traditional Neapolitan Christmas sweets .

They are large, flattened doughnut-shaped cookies the size of 10 cm; made with a dough of flour, water, almonds, a pinch of bitter cocoa and the very fragrant pisto; a spice mix of cinnamon, cloves, star anise, coriander and nutmeg!

Depending on how they are baked in the oven, they can turn out to be of two types; classic “splits” with a rather hard texture that are soaked in Vermouth or liqueur to soften them; or with a softer texture that is tender to the bite!

Either way, they are delicious with a unique and aromatic flavor!



Makes about 25 Roccocò


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups almonds with skin
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons ready-made spice mix for desserts (or combine 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoon star anise; from this mixture, take 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking ammonia (you can substitute with baking powder)
  • 1 egg yolk for brushing



First, mix the flour, spice mix, sugar, sifted unsweetened cocoa powder and cake ammonia in a bowl.

Then add the citrus zest and lightly chopped almonds (not completely chopped) and finally the room temperature water.

Start mixing from the center with a spoon, then proceed by hand until the dough is soft and not sticky.

If necessary, dust your fingers and then the surface of the dough with flour.

Next, divide the dough into pieces weighing between 2.3 and 2.6 ounces each (mine are 2.5 ounces).

Form a sausage first, helping with a dusting of flour, then close it into a ring, smoothing the edges well so that the seams are not visible.

As you prepare them, arrange them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, leaving some space between each one because they will expand in the oven.

Once all the baking sheets are completed, brush the surface with egg yolk.

Finally, bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 1 hour.

Your Roccocòs are ready!

For Soft Roccocò:

After forming the rings and brushing the surface with egg, bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 300°F and let them bake for another 15-20 minutes.

Either way, they will keep perfectly for 1 1/2 months if kept in a tin or cookie tin.

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