Copete Piemontese

The holidays are fast approaching  and I am doing my annual holiday baking.  I make trays of goodies for my neighbors every year. Most of what I make are things you don’t usually find here.  Chocolate Chip cookies, pecan brandy chocolates, decorated sugar cookies and popcorn balls among other things…it depends on the year.  I have also learned to make a few local treats and thought I would share my favorite recipe here. Copete are an ancient treat that were made for special occasions during the winter and my father-in-law, Pino, always made them before Christmas.  Made with just 4 ingredients, Ostie (communion wafers) honey, walnuts and hazelnuts, they require patience more than anything else.
Here we go…I use a terracotta pot to make these but you can use a heavy steel pan as well. Make sure it’s big enough as the honey will bubble up a bit while cooking. As you can tell the honey to nut proportion is equal.  You may have a few communion wafers left over with the recipe below.  My kids like to melt marshmallows between the leftover wafers so they never go to waste.
2 packages of 2 3/4″ communion wafers (100 pieces)
250gr. walnuts
250gr. hazelnuts
500gr. honey I use Mille Fiori (mixed flower), nothing too strong!
Roughly chop your nuts.
Put them in the pot with the honey and start heating over a medium flame.
Stir frequently and make sure the heat isn’t too high.  You don’t want them to burn…as the honey starts to boil they will look like this.


Getting started


Ready to go!

I cook my nuts for 30 minutes or so. Turn the heat to low and prepare the communion wafers  Once you have spooned on the honey nut mixture you are going to put a weight on top of them. I use a cutting board so I make sure the wafers are laid out so they fit.
Center the mixture and don’t overfill them, work with just a few at a time so the mixture doesn’t cool off too quickly. Make sure you don’t drip honey on the counter or the wafers will stick and tear when  you turn them.img_1083
Once they are sandwiched, put some weight on the wafers. I top my cutting board with my fruit bowl…not very elegant but it does the job.img_1084
After a few minutes I turn the Copete over and let them cool a little more.  The honey is still soft and it helps glue them together.
I work these in batches and keep the mixture over very low heat while making them.
img_1097They are not the prettiest of things but I promise they are very tasty and will easily keep for a week if they aren’t devoured in the meantime. Let me know how they turn out!
Buone Feste!
Happy Holidays!

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