Sunday, March 29, 2015

My Mom's Cuzzupe "Easter Dolls"

Italian Cuzzupe, an Easter tradition.

For as far back as I can remember, my mom made Easter Dolls every year for our Easter baskets.  The traditional Italian name for them is called Cuzzupe (ca-soup-ee) and I never even knew how to spell it until today, when I just looked it up online.  Ha!
I've followed her tradition all my life, and have made them for my children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors.  It's a bread and cookie all rolled into the cutest little doll-like shape, with an egg being the head.  As with most Italian cookies, it's not too sweet and tastes great with a cup of coffee! 
I'm including more pictures than usual with this post, so you can actually see the process.  They move along quickly, once you get the hang of rolling it out into logs.

Ingredients:  (Double the recipe if you'd like to give them out for Easter.)

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
6 eggs
rind of orange or lemon, grated (I always grate the rind from a fresh orange)
1/4 c. orange juice
1/4 c. baking powder
5-6 cups flour, DO NOT add all at once! (Just enough to make a soft dough, but not sticky)
8-10 hard boiled eggs, shells left on
Vanilla glaze

Beat the shortening and sugar until fluffy; add eggs, orange juice, orange rind and mix.  Gradually add flour and baking powder.  (I always add the b.p. with the first cup of flour.)

Roll into logs, two at a time.  A longer one for the body, and short logs for the arms.

Shape into dolls and/or wreaths.
Make a loop at the top big enough to fit an egg.

Put on baking sheet, add arms and criss-cross dough over egg.  Pinch ends of arms and legs to make fingers and toes.
Bake in a 325'F. oven for 15-20 minutes or until just starting to brown.  Do not bake too long or they'll be dry.

You'll fit about 4 on a baking sheet, and they'll rise and be plump little dolls.
Here are some of mine, just hanging out after baking.  Waiting to be frosted and decorated.
Frosted and ready to be devoured by family and friends!
Now, grab a cup of coffee, slice off a piece and enjoy!  You can "dunk" them too!

When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.  -Psalm 61:2

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