Although it has been stated many times before that Italians typically do not eat a rich dessert after a meal, it is a well-known fact that Sicilians have a sweet tooth! And there is no better time to share some of these seasonal treats than during the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas holidays. One of my favorite “foodie gifts” to give is salame dolce. The traditional Italian confection is made out of chocolate and only “resembles” the cured meat version. Last year after baking my weight in cuccidati, our Sicilian Christmas cookie, I thought I’d try something different with the filling (to be honest, my arms and shoulders were just too tired to roll out one more batch of dough)!
So, I shaped the last of the filling into logs, sprinkled cocoa powder over them and then scattered pistachios down the length of the salami. Everyone enjoyed this so much that from now on, I will not only make my family’s favorite Christmas cookie but, a few cuccidati salami as well. They make terrific gifts and travel well. I packed them in my checked suitcase as well as in my carry on with no problems at the airport.
- Cuccidati filling
- Cocoa powder, unsweetened
- Pistachios, chopped
- Using a piece of plastic wrap, place some cuccidati filling in the center and form a log. The size is up to you. I think 6-8-inches is a good size for gift-giving, particularly if you are also including a chocolate salame. For family or large gatherings I make 12-inch logs.
- Roll up the log in the plastic and then roll back and forth to compress and even it out. Unwrap the log and transfer to a clean piece of plastic wrap and then roll it up and twist the ends tight. (use kitchen twine or twist ties if necessary). Refrigerate until ready to use.
- This dessert salame should be eaten at room temperature. When ready to serve, remove the plastic and transfer to a plate or cutting board and dust with unsweetened cocoa powder on all sides. Scatter chopped pistachios over the salame. I use a wooden bread board and cut a few slices, letting guests cut their own as desired.
- If you are giving this as a gift, wrap in brown paper or parchment and tie with kitchen twine to resemble “salame”