Nocelli – Italian Walnut-Raisin Cookies

These airy, light, soft cookies are from the Italian region of LiguriaThey are very sweet and would be delicious served with fruit salad.  They keep unusually well. Our featured photograph is of Vernazza, one of the “Cinque terre” of the Ligurian coast.


  1. 2 cups raisins
  2. boiling water
  3. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  4. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  5. 1 ½ cups sugar
  6. 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
  7. ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 3 large eggs
  9. 3 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped


  1. Place raisins in a medium sized bowl.  Pour enough boiling water to cover.  Let stand 1 minute, and then drain well.
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until creamy.  Beat in vanilla.
  4. Beat in 1 egg and 1/3 of the flour mixture, continue to add eggs and flour mixture in 2 more batches.
  5. Add raisins and walnuts.
  6. Chill dough 1 hour to firm slightly. 

Pre-heat oven to 375 and line baking sheets with parchment paper

 Drop by rounded teaspoons about 2 inches apart.

Bake until cookies spread and golden brown (about 14 minutes…start checking at 12 min).Transfer to racks, and cool completely.


 Yield:  4 dozen cookies

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