Grandma Bracco’s Scalille

Mom gave me this recipe from Grandma Bracco. She was Calabrese and this recipe is very close to what you find on the internet today for scalille in Calabria.  This is a very old and very authentic recipe.  I notice she adds vanilla, more traditional would likely be anise extract or anisette (I suspect someone did not care for anise so they made the switch to vanilla).  Mom says these are very good, the main difference being these tend to get a little harder than hers after they are honeyed.  The ingredients are a little different from mom’s.  Everything else stays the same.


12 eggs (beaten well)

1 cup of sugar

1 TSP. Baking Powder

1TSP. Salt

1 Stick of Butter (8 tablespoons)

1/2 cup of olive oil

2 TSP. vanilla

7 cups of flour



Beat the eggs well..  Melt the butter and let it cool slightly (so it iwll not scramble the eggs).  Add the butter and olive oil to the eggs.  Combine the sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add to the eggs and butter and oil.  Finally, add the vanilla and the flour.

Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.  Braid the dough into 6-inch cookies and then fry in hot oil until golden brown.

Braided and ready for the oil

Braided and ready for the oil


Let them cool on a wire rack.  Honey them as described on the other page.

Let them cool on a wire rack. Honey them as described on the other page.


8 thoughts on “Grandma Bracco’s Scalille

  1. My family is from southern Italy and has made these for as long as I can remember. We have always used anise extract and dusted with powdered sugar rather than using honey. They are delicious eaten when they are still warm.

    • I have seen some people dust with sugar, others use mosto cotto, and still others use a simple syrup of water and sugar. They are a great cookie!

  2. I was a child when my Grandma and her family who came from Cosenza made these one Christmas. They were delicious and I haven’t had them since 1944! Can’t wait to try them.

    • We are just finishing the last of them up from Chirstmas. They freeze well and I keep the extras in the freezer until needed. To make them truly “traditional” you probably want to add the anise flavor and some lemon. I usually don’t because we make a lot of Christmas cookies and there are a ton of anise and lemon cookies already. Also, use a lighter and cheaper olive oil (or even a neutral flavored if you prefer). There is no point in using high end oil. It is one of the few times a cheaper ingredient is better.

  3. our family have made these for many, many years! It’s a tradition the ENTIRE family participates in, everyone has their ‘station’ and we make huge boxes full every year and give them as Christmas gifts. When I lived in Italy I watched how they made them and they don’t use vanilla.

    • Yes. Like I noted, I figured someone in the family did not like anise so they switched it to vanilla. There were a group of women in our town all from Calabria that made these every year. This is the recipe that they used.

    • Grandma Bracco was her married name, her maiden name was Nucci (Calabrese). Bracco is a cognome tipico of the area, especially the city of Canavese. Only my mom’s mother was southern italian. My father’s side and my mom’s dad were all from the Po River Valley.

      P.S. Thanks for the comment Vicki. Glad you found my site!!!!!!!!! I hope you like the recipes.