Here's another traditional holiday treat I thought I would try my hand at this year. This pastry is made in different parts of southern Italy with many variations. These ones have the filling made with chickpeas but they are also traditionally made with chestnuts. The filling is usually flavoured with Vin Cotto, a thick syrupy substance made from the leftover must of wine production. I always think of these as Italian mincemeat because the filling is made with a mix of fruit and whiskey and has a complex flavour. Like mincemeat, the flavour is completely distinct but not any one flavour, a true sum of its parts. The recipe I used has apples, orange and lemon zest, chickpeas, dark chocolate, walnuts, raisins, sugar and whiskey, all ground together. I have no exact measurements for this recipe; you mix it and add ingredients until it tastes right. The filling is stuffed into a pastry dough, deep fried and sprinkled with icing sugar and sometimes sprinkled with more whiskey. Here is the pastry recipe I used: 3 cups of flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 cup butter 3 eggs Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut cold butter into the flour. Add the eggs and toss together. Press the dough together, warp and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll the dough thinly and cut into circles, I didn't measure for these but it was probably a three inch cutter, some people make them quite a bit bigger. Place some filling in the centre, don't over stuff. Fold over and crimp the edge well. Deep fry the pastries in hot oil until golden brown. There's still cookbooks to give away - all you have to do is subscribe!