As we are getting closer to Christmas holidays we are always looking for old traditional recipes for cakes and cookies. One of the most interesting inherited things from my grandma Nena (family Tartaglia, one of the oldest families in Split) were two notebooks with old recipes. They are more than 110 years old notebooks with all kind delicacies. From generation to generation we prepare pretty much always the same cakes and I would like you to have a few of my favourite recipes.
There was no Christmas without Dates cake (and I don’t really know why do we bake it only for Christmas). Very simple but very sweet…
180 g dates
200 g almonds
80 g bitter chocolate, melted
9 whipped eggwhites
1 vanilla sugar
Finely chop almonds and dates. Mix with chocolate and vanilla sugar. Slowly add eggwhites.
Bake on the low temperature till the crust is made on top.
When cold, coat the cake with apricot marmalade.
Another simple recipe is for cookies Pandoleti, wonderful biscuits, dry type and crunchy, well known in every traditional Dalmatian house. They were prepared mainly for the holidays, birthdays and weddings. It is also the dessert which was usually made to greet the guests as this fine cookie is really easy to make and can stand in a box for quite a long time.
The best thing about Pandoleti is that they are served with rakija (grappa). Simply dip the cookie in rakija (avoid rakija near kids J ).
If you are not fan of rakija you can always serve it with coffee or tea.
4 eggs (divide white and yellow; whip eggwhite)
200 g sugar
200 g flour
100 g almonds
arancini – candied orange peel – as much as you have
Leave almonds and arancini in one piece (do not chop) and mix all ingredients together. Form rolls.
Bake 25 minutes/190C. Cut it while it is still hot.
As those previous 2 recipes are not for those on restricted diet, we have another suggestion for gluten free cake. You can call this one a healthy natural power bar.
Dried figs and walnut balls
150 g walnut
150 g dried figs
1 squeezed orange juice
1 orange zest
Place the chopped dried figs and nuts, orange juice and zest in a bowl. Mix well. If desired, you can even use chop stick blender. Just a 3-4 times short zvrr, zvrr and that’s it! There will be small pieces to chew but we prefer it that way. If you want it all the more homogeneous chop more. Form small balls or bars.