This recipe is one that’s been handed down to me from my mom, which was handed down to her from her own mom, then grandmother back generations, originating in Sicily. They resemble biscotti in a lot of ways, only they are Sicilian cookies. When looking up papatelli, I saw pictures of them that looked like biscotti, however none looked quite like the ones passed down in our family. I hope you enjoy.



  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Cloves
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Orange Rind and juice
  • 1 Cup of Raisins
  • 12 oz of Sliced Almonds; (Recipe originally called for 1 lb but we add a little bit less)
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil; (I use Grapeseed Oil)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Milk for Moistening; (just a splash to moisten the dough)
The remaining dough after rolling up half into the shape of a sausage.


  • Preheat over to 375 degrees.
  • Measure and mix all dry ingredients, except raisins and nuts.
  • In separate bowl, beat eggs, vanilla, orange juice, and vegetable oil. Gradually add dry mix into wet mix, mixing on low to medium speed. Add splash of milk as needed. Last, add nuts and raisins, and continue to mix by hand, adding more flour to your hands if needed to keep dough together.
  • On floured surface, split dough into 2 and roll out like sausages, 1 inch wide and slice diagonally, ~ 1-1.5 inches long.
  • Place 1/2 inch apart on baking sheets.
  • Bake for 15 mins.
  • Cool, then enjoy!
What the dough ends up looking like.

Now everyone in my extended family makes these cookies with a white glaze for extra sweetness, however we don’t. My daughters and I love these cookies just as they are out of the oven, once they’ve cooled. The blend of spices, chocolate, nuts, and raisins make these cookies the perfect snack; also deceptively easy to forget how many calories you’re ingesting. We can easily eat several of these before a meal, after a meal, or in place of a meal, but I wouldn’t recommend it. ; )

What are your Christmas traditions? Do you have a favorite cookie recipe that you make in your own family?

Published by KS

I'm sharing my stories from a small town in Oklahoma: Chickens and other birds, cats, bees, a bunny, and art.

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