Cri Cri are chocolate pralines of Piedmontese origin, and if you’re wondering what they have to do with me recounting the cuisine of Emilia-Romagna, I’ll tell you right now.
On January 6 in Italy, we celebrate the Befana, which closes the festivities of the Christmas season.
That day, I would wake up early while the house was quiet.
Quickly, I would move the covers to leave the warmth of the blankets without regret for once.
I was in a hurry to rush to the living room in search of the passing of the Befana, who, it must be said, has never disappointed me.
I thank my grandmother first and my dad later for making the ritual of the Epiphany stocking memorable for so many years, even when I was already an adult.
Year after year, I always found a large Epiphany stocking waiting for me hanging by the fireplace.
The stocking contained packaged sweets and candies, but its composition was homemade.
I have only a fleeting memory of a stocking filled with homemade sweets made at home by grandma: chocolate pralines, cookies, and almond brittle. And even tangerines, peanuts, small toys, and sugar coal.
Then, sweets became industrial, but Dad was able to preserve the magic of the stocking by filling it with the most diverse, often funny things. I still don’t know how he could fit a book into it every time.
Of those memories and flavors, I leave you with a recipe for Piedmontese chocolate pralines called Cri Cri.
The recipe is the one Grandma Sara used and makes no claim to be faithful to the original.
She used to wrap chocolates in shiny, colorful papers before filling the stocking. When she made them on the occasion of some guest’s visit, she would arrange the pralines on a plate and never once had one left over.
The recipe is easy and quick to make; it is also egg and gluten-free.
My chocolaty truffles
In my last newsletter, I wrote about the Epiphany’s origin and shared my recipe for chocolate truffles.
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Cri Cri chocolate pralines
- 100 g of dark chocolate
- 60 g of unshelled walnuts
- 40 g of peeled almonds
- 20 g of granulated sugar
- rum to taste
- sugar sprinkles or grated coconut for decoration
- Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan, in a bain-marie. Set aside.
- Then, chop walnuts, almonds, and half the sugar in a food processor.
- Add the chopped part and the rest of the granulated sugar to the melted chocolate and stir.
- Pour the mixture onto a clean surface or a large plate and form equal-sized balls.
- Dip each ball in rum before dipping them in grated coconut or sugar sprinkles.
- Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Store the chocolates in a box in the refrigerator for a few days.