The Cagionetti, also known as calgionetti, caggiunitt’ and caggionetti, are most commonly called Calcionetti outside the region of Abruzzo, where the stuffed cookies are traditionally made during Christmas.
Cagionetti are basically a stuffed pastry in the shape of ravioli (square) or tortelli (half circle) filled with ceci beans or hazelnuts, chocolate, cinnamon, cooked must (grape juice) and orange peel.
It seems using ceci beans (chickpeas) is more traditional, but some use hazelnuts instead depending on the area within Abruzzo.
The pastries/cookies are often fried but can also be baked for the more health-conscious.
The pastry dough is made from water, flour, oil and white wine and some recipes add almonds, lemon peel, candied citron or cedar in addition to chocolate, sugar and cinnamon to the filling.
Ingredients for the filling:
hazelnuts (boiled) or chickpeas (cooked fresh) 300g – about 10.5 ounces
almonds, peeled 150g – 5 ounces
candied cedar 40g – about 1.5 ounces
orange peel from 1 orange
sugar 50g – about 1/4 cup
cinnamon – to taste
cocoa powder, unsweetened – 1 tbsp
for the pastry dough:
flour 500g – about 4 cups
extra virgin olive oil 80g – 6 tbsp
dry white wine – 2 tbsp
oil for frying
powdered sugar for sprinkling on top
For the filling:
1. Heat up the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Place the almonds on a baking sheet and then slightly roast them in the oven, until they start to turn golden.
Remove and let them cool down.
Cut up into smaller pieces.
2. Mash the cooked chickpeas, them add the almonds, candied cedar, orange peel, sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder and mix until everything is evenly distributed.
Cover and set aside (or put in the refrigerator) while preparing the pastry dough.
For the dough:
1. In a clean surface place the flour in a mound, make a hole in the center and add the oil and wine.
Start mixing with your hands towards the center and knead until the dough has an elastic consistency.
Roll the dough out quite thin into a large rectangle.
2. At this point you can either place small heapings of the stuffing along the pastry, then fold the pastry over and cut into ravioli squares or, using a pastry cutter or a cup, cut the pastry into circles which you then fill and fold into half circles, pressing the dough well around the filling to seal it well.
Heat up the oil and fry the pastries on each side until golden.
Drain well on a paper towel, then sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.