Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Day 12 of “The 12 Days Of Christmas Music” & "Italian Cenci Cookies"

Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever….. Bess Streeter Aldrich   
Welcome to Day 12 of “The 12 Days Of Christmas Music.” Well here we are at the last day of “The 12 Days of Christmas Music,” Christmas Eve…I hope that you have enjoyed all of my stories, and recipes now and throughout the last year! So, thank you for your continued support and please do come back for a visit in 2014! Tomorrow is Christmas Day, and I have a special message for you my readers, so please stop by.  

On this Christmas Eve, I want to share the Christmas Carol of “Silent Night” with you, as I feel that this carol shows the essence of what Christmas is all about. The origin of the Christmas carol we know as “Silent Night” was a poem that was written in 1816 by an Austrian priest called Joseph Mohr. On Christmas Eve in 1818 in the small alpine village called Oberndorf, Austria, it is presumed that the organ at St. Nicholas Church had broken. Joseph Mohr gave the poem of Silent Night (Stille Nacht) to his friend Franz Xavier Gruber (a school master/organist) and the melody for Silent Night was composed with this in mind.

Silent Night Memorial Chapel in Oberndorf
The music to Silent Night was therefore intended for a guitar, and the simple score was finished in time for Midnight Mass, which they both performed at the Christmas Eve Mass. In 1859, an Episcopalian bishop John Freeman Young published the English translation that is frequently sung today. The version of the melody that is generally used today is a slow, meditative lullaby. The carol of Silent Night has been translated into about 140 languages. Silent Night is the most famous Christmas carol of all time!

Day 12: (Christmas Eve): “Silent Night” 

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth "

Everything in Italy has a story and this recipe is no different. I remember when I was young; my grandmother (Nanni) would fry these cookies called “Ceni” for Christmas. It is traditionally meant to be made at Carnevale time, but my Nanni had to make them for Christmas. She would call them, many names such as Ceni, Bow Ties, or what I loved which was Angel Wings. Every region, village, and family tends to have its own recipe. As you take one of these sweet strips of dough in your mouth you could hear the crackle and crunch into the delicate, crispy fried pastry. It was fun making lots of noise, spreading crumbs all over, and sprinkling your clothes with confectionary sugar. So I thought that this would be a perfect dessert for today’s post. Enjoy my family recipe, but be careful they are addictive! Ciao!   Buon Natale a tutti! (Merry Christmas Everyone!)

"Italian Cenci Cookies" (Angels Wings)

3 eggs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
1-1/2 teaspoons butter, softened 
Oil for deep-frying
Confectioners' sugar

In a bowl, beat eggs, sugar and salt until frothy. Stir in vanilla. Sift flour with baking powder; gradually add to batter. Add butter and mix well. Turn out onto a floured surface; knead for 10 minutes. Divide dough in half; roll each half as thin as possible (noodle thickness). Cut into 5-in. x 1-in. strips with a knife or scalloped pastry wheel. Preheat oil to 375°F; fry cookies until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar or honey. Cookies are best served the same day. Yield: about 4 dozen.

Till Next Time………………………………............

Copyright 2013 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved


  1. Good Morning dear Dottie , It had been a pleasure and a privilege to have traveled the last '12 Days of Christmas' with you . It was most enjoyable and of course I will take a few minutes to stop by tomorrow , I can't wait to see what's special .
    Merry Christmas from my family to yours , and thanks for sharing and letting me go along :)

  2. Dear Nee, Merry Christmas! I am overwhelmed by your comments, thank you so very much. It has been a pleasure to write these last 12 Days Of Christmas Music! I am so glad that you, all of my friends, and followers have enjoyed reading the posts. I wish that you and your family have a glorious Christmas Day!

  3. I don't mind saying I have saved the best stop for last. I've been looking forward to today's post all day, Dottie. And now that the day is winding down, I wanted to drop by to wish you a most Blessed and Joyous Christmas.

    Your posts these past 12 days has touched my heart, a wonderful gift from once a stranger. Thank you so much Dottie. It truly has been wonderful getting to know you and your spirit this holiday season. I will try and stop by tomorrow. Good night and pleasant Santa dreams:)

  4. Dear Louise,
    Merry Christmas! Your words are so heartfelt, and I thank you so very much. The same to you dear Louise...You are my angel as if it were not for you, I never would have known so many new people and you yourself. I feel the same way you do, it is a pleasure to call you my friend as well as fellow blogger. I am so glad that these last 12 days have made so many people happy and have added light to their Christmas season.. I have brought back memories for everyone and new /old recipes. To me that is what it is all about, bringing happiness to everyone, that is why I do this.
    So, with all that being said, I wish to you my dear friend a joyous and yummy day with your family...and can't forget dear Marion! Thank you again for your friendship, your beautiful words, and most of all blessings from the Lord above for all!
    See you soon...
    Love Dottie :)