Turdilli & Chinudille
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Turdilli & Chinulille

Dino gets together with his dad and uncle around this time every year to make his grandma’s Christmas cookies. They’re the kind that she used to make when she was back in Calabria, Italy. They’re dense, honey-coated cookies, some of which (the Chinulille) are filled with nuts and raisins. It’s a tradition that they want to keep in the family. It’s always a lot of fun when they come together to bake these, and it’s the one time of the year that I avoid the kitchen for a few hours. Our tiny kitchen isn’t big enough for more than that many people. This recipe makes a TON of cookies, and I’m glad to have it as a family tradition.

Turdilli & Chinudille

Here’s a shot of the 3 of them consulting the recipe (and drinking some wine!):

Turdilli & Chinudille

And here’s Uncle Tony coating the baked cookies in honey:

Turdilli & Chinudille

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A plate of Turdilli & Chinudille Italian Christmas cookies

Turdilli & Chinulille

  • Author: Covelli Family Recipe
  • Prep Time: 30 Mins
  • Cook Time: 60 Mins
  • Total Time: 90 Mins
  • Yield: 30-50 Cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian




  • 5 lbs All Purpose Flour (plus extra flour for dusting)
  • 1 Bottle Sweet Vermouth (750 ml)
  • 2 Cups Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Cups Olive Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsn Sugar
  • 2 Tbsn Orange Zest (approximately 2 oranges)
  • 1 Tbsn Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon


  • 1 lb Crushed Walnuts
  • 1 Cup Honey
  • 1 Cup Raisins
  • 2 T Grape Jelly


  • 3 lbs minus 1 Cup Honey


  • 2 Very Large Mixing Bowls
  • 1 Medium Sized Sauce Pan
  • 2 Cookie Sheets
  • 34” Diameter Circular Cookie Cutter, Jar or Coffee Can
  • Rolling Pin
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Optional: Silpat® Non-Stick Baking Mat



  1. In a very large mixing bowl, whisk the the oil, sweet vermouth, salt and sugar.
  2. In a separate, very large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, orange zest and cinnamon. Create a pool in the center of the flour. Crack the eggs into the pool and beat them until they begin to absorb the flour.
  3. Incorporate the wet ingredients into the flour, slowly folding them together. Kneed with your hands until the mixture is the consistency of a thick paste. Cover the bowl with a towel and let stand.


  1. Heat 1 cup of the honey in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Stir in the Raisins, Crushed Walnuts and Jelly. Keep warm.


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Dust the counter with flour and add a large handful of dough.
  2. Using the rolling pin, roll the dough evenly until it is fairly thin
  3. Cut 3-4″ circles out of the dough
  4. Add 1 Tbsn of filling to each circle, fold in half and crimp closed with a fork
  5. Bake on a greased cookie sheet (or Silpat) for 20 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Remove cookies and let cool


  1. Dust the counter with flour and add a large handful of dough
  2. Roll the dough into a pipe, about 1/2″ in diameter
  3. Cut on a slight angle into 1 1/2 inch long, diagonal segments
  4. Using the tines of a fork, push backwards on the dough to shape “gnocchi” with fairly deep grooves
  5. Bake on a greased cookie sheet (or Silpat) for 20 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Remove cookies and let cool


  1. After the cookies have cooled, add about 1″ of honey to a medium sized saucepan over high heat. When the honey begins to boil, remove it from the burner and add a couple handfuls of cookies
  2. Using a slotted spoon, stir and coat the cookies. Drain the excess honey and allow cookies to cool. Add more honey, reheat and repeat as necessary


Allow the cookies to cool for at least an hour before serving.

Keywords: Chinulille, Turdille, Calabria, Calbrian, Calabrese, Cosenza, Italian, cookie, dessert, holiday

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  • Anne

    I’m so happy to have found this recipe! The Chinulille was a favorite of mine as a kid, and I used to make them at Christmas time with my grandma. This was a passion of hers, and the recipe was never written down…only passed down. So i’m so excited to try to make these. She used to use strips of dough and spread the filling on the strip and then roll them. I do have a question. How long do i let the dough sit after i make it? Can i use it after an hour? Or just a few minutes?

    • Ashley

      I’m so glad you came across this recipe, Anne! I asked my husband and he said, “We haven’t tried letting the dough rest but if she’s going to make that very large batch I’m sure it will be fine for an hour. She should put it in a bowl and cover it with a towel so it doesn’t dry out too much” – hope that helps! Let me know how they turn out!

  • Beth Ann Lombardo

    These are AMAZING! I made them today. My question is how do you store them? In a tin so they stay crispier or in plastic which will make them soft. I was thinking tin.
    Also, does the honey completely dry or will it be sticky? I have made them and they are cooling. We eating them just dipped in room temp honey. lol Thank you! Buon Natale!

    • Ashley

      I’m so glad to hear they were a hit!!! Yes they do get sticky – we usually keep them in a tin with wax paper in between layers. You may at some point need to re-dip them in honey if it starts to slide off and they aren’t coated any longer. Merry Christmas!!

  • Beth Ann Lombardo

    Thank you!!! I may just dip a batch or so at time. However they are so good a batch won’t last long. I do believe this will be a new family favorite for years to come.

    • Ashley

      We were actually supposed to make these again with my husband’s uncle today but the timing didn’t work out. I’m so, so glad you were able to make them and that you’re enjoying them so much

  • Janice

    My ancestors are from Calabria. My family made these cookies every Christmas season.
    It was a wonderful gathering. Uncles, Aunts, even the kids helped to make them. Many years have passed and so have most of the Aunts and Uncles. I think the uncles drank more wine than made cookies:)
    However, their version of these cookies were
    deep fried. It was exciting to find that they can be baked. Hanging on to this recipe for next year.

    Thank you!

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