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Traditional Italian Christmas recipe from Umbria: walnut crunch

This yummy Italian Christmas recipe comes from Umbria and is a kind of walnut crunch called “le nociate”.
Walnuts are frequently to be found in Italian cooking in various regions, including “nociate romane” from Rome and “copete ternane” from Terni, also in Umbria.

This is a particularly simple version of this Italian dessert that many families from Perugia use.

Ingredients are: 1 kg of honey, 1 kg of crushed walnuts (the weight refers to the crushed quantity), some bay leaves.
The method isn’t difficult and will fill your house with these lovely spicy perfumes.

Melt the honey in a large saucepan, but be careful not to burn it.
It needs to cook slowly for about a quarter of an hour.
Add the crushed walnuts and mix together.
Tip over a work surface (preferably marble) oiled with a little olive oil and then roll out with a rolling pin until obtaining a sheet about half a centimetre high.
Cover with bay leaves (washed and dried first) which form where you’ll cut the sheet along diamond-shaped lines.
Leave the mixture to cool completely and then after you can cut this.

The walnut crunch can then be eaten.
Some recipe versions add a spicy touch of grated orange peel to the mix.
The soften bay leaves help to eat the crunch and give it perfume, while also working as an excellent digestive to that big Christmas dinner.

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