Added Nice Chice!

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Jeff’s family is Italian-American. I give a nod in his direction this holiday with what has become my favorite cookie, Cavallucci. Easy to make and a crowd-pleaser to boot! I put these in the category of adult cookies; not too sweet, laced with anise, walnut, and candied orange for sweetness. Although not traditional, I add some adultness (not something I’m often known for) with a splash of amaretto.

These make for a fun holiday snack. Dunk them into hot tea, Vin Santo, or even our 2021 Gentleman Farmer Napa Valley Rosé.



Medium bowl
Large bowl
Sheet pan
Silpat or parchment paper


1 ½ cups sugar
⅓ cup water
1 tablespoon amaretto
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 ounces/57 g candied orange peel
2 tablespoons anise seed
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups flour

How To Make

Read the entire recipe (always a good idea) and gather the ingredients.
Preheat oven to 350º F.
In a saucepan, add sugar and ⅓ cup water with 1 tablespoon amaretto and cook over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes, stirring regularly, until slightly thickened but not colored.
In a bowl, add sugar syrup to walnuts, orange peel, and spices.
Sift or whisk the flour in a larger bowl. Add the syrup mixture and mix together with your hands.
On a floured surface, roll out small balls of dough, about 1 inch/2.5 cm in diameter.
Place balls on a sheet pan lined with Silpat or parchment paper.
Bake until firm to the touch and not browned, about 15 minutes. They should be soft and chewy on the inside.

2020 Napa Valley Chardonnay

Farmed by direct descendants of naturalist and conservationist John Muir.

2021 Rosé

The 2021 Rosé is a vibrant, fuscia. It shows bold notes of wild strawberries, ruby red grapefruit, and Campari.