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Italian chocolate chestnut tortelli cookies are delicious desserts and also perfect for Christmas cookie exchange recipes. The chestnut filling is really good, as are the dark chocolate and rum flavours. Chestnut cookies are an authentic Italian recipe and their rum-spiked chocolate and chestnut filling really sets them apart from other Italian Christmas cookies.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian chocolate chestnut tortelli cookies. These chestnut cookies are a classic Christmas treat.

This Italian cookie recipe, also known as Baby Jesus Pillows or Jesus Pillow Cookies, boasts the flavours of vanilla, cinnamon, clove, chestnut puree, and more. They are rich and indulgent and a well-loved Italian cookie recipe at Christmas time. So grab your ingredients and get ready to make the best ever chestnut cookies.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian chocolate chestnut tortelli cookies. These chestnut cookies are a classic Christmas treat.

Italian Chocolate Chestnut Tortelli Cookies Ingredients

The key ingredient in this Italian Christmas treat from the Emilia Romagna region in central Italy is the chestnuts. You can take your pick from steamed or roasted ones, as you prefer. I used fresh but but fresh or canned chestnuts will work. Sometimes chickpeas are used instead of chestnuts but I love that wonderful chestnut flavour so haven’t tried that variation myself.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian chocolate chestnut tortelli cookies. These chestnut cookies are a classic Christmas treat.

Either golden or spiced rum also goes into these. Instead of rum use espresso or strong coffee if preferred. Dark brown sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, chocolate, and egg go into these chestnut ravioli treat too. And then you will need pie dough (ready-made pie crust is quickest and easiest!) along with a little salt and water.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian chocolate chestnut tortelli cookies. These chestnut cookies are a classic Christmas treat.
Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian chocolate chestnut tortelli cookies. These chestnut cookies are a classic Christmas treat.

How to Make these Chestnut Cookies

First of all, pule the fresh chestnuts and sugar in a food processor until blended. Then you can add the rum, unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, and spices. Now you can throw in the chocolate and pulse again. It doesn’t need to be completely smooth.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian chocolate chestnut tortelli cookies. These chestnut cookies are a classic Christmas treat.

Now cut 3 inch rounds out of your pie dough using a biscuit cutter or a round cookie cutter. Whisk the egg with some water to make an egg wash. Put one dough circle on a dumpling press (I used this dumpling maker) or prepared work surface. Run some of the egg wash (or even a little water instead) around the edge of the round.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian chocolate chestnut tortelli cookies. These chestnut cookies are a classic Christmas treat.

Add some of the filling, then shape the dough in half to get a half moon shape and press to seal. Arrange each chestnut tortelli cookie on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or sheet pan and bake for around 12 minutes. You might find your Italian chocolate chestnut tortelli cookies take longer or they could take less time. When they’re done they’re a little golden on the edges but still light in the centres.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian chocolate chestnut tortelli cookies. These chestnut cookies are a classic Christmas treat.

Roll the baked Italian Christmas cookies in powdered sugar (icing sugar) while still warm from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian chocolate chestnut tortelli cookies. These chestnut cookies are a classic Christmas treat.

Chestnut Tortelli Variations

Use espresso instead of rum if you want. If you do want to use rum in this chestnut cookie recipe, you can use any dark rum you want. Captain Morgan would be good, or Kraken rum. Spiced rum or a sweet liqueur is always good in cookies! And don’t forget to save some for the cook!

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian chocolate chestnut tortelli cookies. These Italian Christmas cookies with chestnut filling are a holiday favourite.
Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian chocolate chestnut tortelli cookies. These Italian Christmas cookies with chestnut filling are a holiday favourite.

You can also use chestnut puree or canned chestnuts instead of your own, to save on time and effort. Dark chocolate is typically used in the chestnut filling but milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips would work too for these cute, pasta shaped, chocolate filled Italian cookies.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian chocolate chestnut tortelli cookies. These Italian Christmas cookies with chestnut filling are a holiday favourite.
Do you have to use a food processor for this sweet ravioli recipe?

No, you could use a blender if you prefer. If you don’t have either one, you could mince the chocolate and roasted chestnuts by hand, since that’s what they did in Southern Italy in the old days!

How long will these keep?

These soft, squishy, authentic Italian chestnut cookies are, in my opinion, best served warm from the oven. But they do keep for a while. They get softer the longer you keep them but still taste amazing. I would suggest making extra because they make lovely gifts. Italians will recognize the delicious flavour immediately while non-Italians will love how unusual these are.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian chocolate chestnut tortelli cookies. These Italian Christmas cookies with chestnut filling are a holiday favourite.
Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian chocolate chestnut tortelli cookies. These Italian Christmas cookies with chestnut filling are a holiday favourite.
5 from 6 votes

Italian Chocolate Chestnut Tortelli Cookies

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Italian chocolate chestnut tortelli cookies are delicious desserts and also perfect for Christmas cookie exchange recipes. The chestnut filling is really good, as are the dark chocolate and rum flavours. Chestnut cookies are an authentic Italian recipe.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 36 cookies

Ingredients 

  • 10 Ounces chestnuts, roasted or steamed
  • ½ Cup dark brown sugar, packed, plus 1 Tablespoon
  • 3 Tablespoons rum, spiced or golden/dark
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • ½ Teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ Teaspoon clove
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 4 Ounces dark chocolate, good quality
  • 2 Boxes pie dough, 14 Ounce each
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the chestnuts and dark brown sugar into a food processor and pulse until they are ground, scraping the edges as needed.
  • Add the rum, cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, and salt. Pulse again until combined.
  • Chop or grate the dark chocolate into tiny pieces, then add into the food processor. Pulse until the mixture is combined and fairly smooth (some bits and chunks are just fine).
  • Lay out the pie dough and cut as many 3” circles out of each of the pie dough pieces as you can.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the egg and water, this will be your egg wash.
  • Take a circle of dough and place it onto a dumpling press (or on your work surface if you are not using a press). Brush the edges of the dough circle with the egg wash.
  • Place a small amount of the filling in the center of the dough, then fold the press in half and squeeze gently to seal the dough. Place the cookie on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Continue this process until all of the dough has been used.
  • Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes. The cookies will be golden only on some of the edges, but overall will still be pretty blonde.
  • In a medium bowl put about 1 cup of powdered sugar. While the cookies are still hot, roll the cookies in the powdered sugar. Make sure the cookies are covered well, then place on a cooling rack to cool.
  • Once cool, serve. Store leftover cookies in an airtight container.

Nutrition

Calories: 52kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

I know you’re going to love the flavour of these Italian chocolate Christmas cookies. They’re well worth adding to your holiday baking list of Italian Christmas recipes. They’re also lovely for a cookie exchange. Everything from the chestnut filling to the rich chocolate taste makes these chestnut cookies really mouth-watering. One of this chestnut cookies recipe is simply never enough and it is one of my favourite traditional desserts! Buon Natale!

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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