Italian Christmas Delicacy: Pabassinas from Sardinia

Italian traditions, Italian food, Italian American, Italy, Christmas, Natale, Sardinia, Pabassinas
Pabassinas, delicious cookies from Sardinia

Pabassinas are the typical Sardinian pastries for All Saints’ Day as well as for Christmas. They are also called papassini, papassinos o pabassinus after the name of the Sardinian word for raisins. It’s mainly made of walnuts, almonds, and raisins.


three 3/4 cup all purpose flour; 3/4 cup cane sugar; 1- 1/4 oz package active dry yeast; 1 teaspoon baking powder; half teaspoon fine sea salt; half teaspoon ground orange powder; half teaspoon cinnamon; 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature; one 1/4 cup golden raisins; one 1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped; one cup walnuts, shelled and finely chopped; half cup milk; 1/4 cup water; half teaspoon vanilla extract Icing optional: 2 cups confectioners sugar, one egg white, one teaspoon lemon juice; half teaspoon vanilla extract; colors to add to icing for decorating optional; sprinkles for decorating optional.


Combine flour, sugar, yeast, baking powder, salt, orange powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add butter, using finger rub butter into flour forming pea sized chunks. Add raisins, almonds, and walnuts, use spatula to combine. Add 1/2 cup milk, water, and vanilla, use spatula to combine. Note: you can also use a stand mixer with paddle attachment to make this entire recipe. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out to 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Use a cutter in any shape you like, cut out dough. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Because there is yeast in the dough, and depending on the size cookie cutter you use it can sometimes take up to 30 minutes. Just check until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack until completely cooled before decorating. Icing: While cookies are baking, make icing to decorate (optional). Place confectioners sugar, egg whites, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in stand mixer with paddle attachment, or large bowl with hand mixer. Mix until combined well. Recipe from

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