Thursday, November 12, 2020

Cookies Con Amore Offers Gourmet Italian Cookies Made with Love -- A Perfect Gift Idea for Shipping to Family & Friends This Holiday Season (Review)

 Disclosure: I was sent a sample from the vendor in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

This Christmas and holiday season is going to look different for most people, especially those who are used to traveling or having family come and stay during the holidays.   Usually I have my family over for Thanksgiving and then go to my parents' house for Christmas. But, this year, everyone is staying put, and we will celebrate the holidays through phone calls, Zoom calls, and video chatting.  It will be different, but we are all making the best of it, and know that Covid will not stay around forever. We all have to do our part to stay well and keep those we love and care about safe and well, as well, so social distancing will be the norm come the holidays.  

Because we can't all be together this year, many people are looking for gift ideas that can be mailed directly to loved ones, and that will also remind them of traditions and things that are usually shared during the holidays, like enjoying a warm meal together, baking cookies, or sipping tea or cocoa while watching holiday movies together.  I know for me, I will be sending a lot of gift baskets and care packages to family and friends, not just as a reminder of how much I love and miss them, but also as a way to help them enjoy delicious seasonal treats and goodies, that they would have otherwise picked up in a bake shop, but can't this year.  We have so many holiday traditions in my family, that were started when I was a child and have been passed on to my children, as well as new ones my husband and I started when we got together and then when we welcomed our girls years later.  

One things that holds true for every Christmas season is a lot of baking goes on in my house, thanks to my late Italian Nana who loved to bake and have the grandchildren over when we were younger to decorate the cookies she was turning out in her kitchen.  She was a true Italian baker and chef, and learned all her cooking skills from her mother and aunts, and then passed that love of cooking and baking onto her sons and then her grandchildren.  Unfortunately, like many Italian born Nana's recipes were not something that were written down. They were kept in their heads, and measurements were a pinch here, a pinch there, and always done in their hands.  I never saw my Nana reach for a measuring spoon or cup. She could fill the palm of her hand and know what she was adding, or grab a coffee cup and scoop flour to the precise amount.  I took this for granted as a child, as like most kids, I thought my Nana would be around for a long time, and that over time I would learn her recipes and be able to recreate them on my own.  Sadly, my Nana developed dementia and Alzheimer's and passed a few years after I finished my cancer treatment.  She never got to meet her great grandchildren, and my girls never got to meet an amazing woman, who instilled a love for cooking and baking, especially around the holidays, and feed her family and friends not because they were hungry, but because it was a way to show your love for them. I can still hear her saying, "Mangia, Mangia" in my head, as I am reminded of her leading us into her kitchen to sit at the table to enjoy a warm meal.  There were times we would drop by as children unexpectedly, and would find her cooking or baking in the kitchen. It was liked she sensed someone would be stopping by, and she wanted to make sure she had food ready to share.  Those are the memories I remember most, and cherish.  And, when the holidays roll around, I am reminded of her a lot, as I start to pull out recipes and cookbooks I have purchased over the years, in hopes to find recipes that I could make to recreate some of her Italian cookies, which I loved so much.  

Over the years, I have made many cookies and Italian dishes that have resembled my Nana's cooking, but none have truly replicated the taste...that was until I recently enjoyed cookies from Cookies Con Amore.  

I was sent their popular 3-lb Christmas Tree Basket with assorted high quality, hand crafted, delicious,old-fashion Italian cookies.  

Buy Now from HSN for only $60.79

Cookies Con Amore 3 lb. Assorted Cookies in BasketThis holiday tree basket cookie arrangement is perfect for gifting and sharing with friends and family. It will make a heartfelt impression on your loved one or a special friend.

What You Get

  • (6) 0.7 oz. Almondine Cookies
  • (4) 1.5 oz. Apricot Jelly-Filled Chocolate Tree Cookies
  • (12) 1oz Assorted Jelly-Filled Cookies
  • (6) 0.7oz Chocolate Peppermint S-Biscotti
  • (8) 0.6oz Ginger Star Cookies
  • (9) 0.7oz Nonpareil S-Biscotti
  • (4) 1.3oz Sprinkled Star Cookies
  • (20) 0.3oz Wedding Cookies
  • Holiday Tree Basket

The Italian cookies that make up this beautiful cookie basket are inspired by recipes that can be traced through five generations of the Polini-Capraro family.   You can tell just by looking at the homemade cookies that fill the Christmas tree-shaped basket, that they were all made with love, hence the name of the company, Cookies Con Amore -- or Cookies with Love in English.  Just looking at the packaging of this cookie arrangement, I didn't want to eat it, as it looked so pretty and worth displaying.  But, then I was reminded that family and friends weren't coming to visit, and I wouldn't have unexpected visitors stopping by to enjoy tea/coffee and some tasty treats, so I carefully unwrapped the cookie basket and took a whiff.  OMG, I couldn't get over just how authentic these cookies smelled. In an instant, I felt like I was transported back to my Nana's little kitchen in the Boston area, and was a little kid, sitting at her metal table, with my legs dangling from the chair, not long enough to touch the flour. My Nana was her in her apron, and was throwing this and that into a bowl and mixing it up, as she was turning out tray after tray of assorted Italian cookies. From pizzelles, to wedding ball cookies to thumbprint jam cookies and amaretti cookies.  I can still smell her kitchen and boy does it smell amazing!...just like what I was smelling as I peeling back the plastic wrapping to these made from scratch cookies from Cookies Con Amore.  

Just like my Nana would do, I offered up these cookies to my family first, before I tried one for myself.  I ended up grabbing a few of the cookies and putting them on a napkin, to bring to the kitchen table with a cup of tea.  I was still lost in memories swirling through my head of my Nana, missing her dearly, but feeling happy that all these years later, I can remember these special moments I shared with her.  As I bit into the powdered wedding cookies, I found myself tearing up.  Now, let me say that I have never teared up over a cookie.  At first, I thought maybe it was because I was missing my Nana.  But, then, I understand what the tears were from.  This cookie tasted as close to my Nana's wedding ball cookies as I could remember.  It has just the right amount of crunch and crumble with the nuts in the center, and it melted in my mouth.  Wiping back tears that were falling, I sampled the other cookies on my napkin, and the same thing happened...I was overwhelmed with emotion as these cookies all tasted like what my Nana would have offered up if we were in her kitchen this time of year.  

My family and I loved all the Italian cookies that made up this 3-lb. Christmas tree basket.  The jam/jelly filled cookies were personal favorite with my girls, while my husband loved the wedding cookies. I, on the other hand, loved them all. 

And, when the last cookie was eaten -- shhh, I hid it in a napkin so that I could enjoy the other evening while enjoying tea, after everyone went to bed.  Just like the first time I bit into one of the Cookies Con Amore cookies, I found myself tearing up yet again, as I sat looking at my tree and thinking of Nana.  I found myself realizing that I have stumbled upon the perfect gift to give my father and brothers this year...a little nostalgia and rememberance of my Nana, and her love of cookies and making sure those she loved are fed well.  I can't wait to see what they think of these cookies, and see if they are moved just like I was when they take a bite of these cookies, and see just how spot on to my Nana's Italian cookies they are.

If you are missing your Italian Nana/Nonna's cookies, or are just looking for a tasty gift idea to gift family and friends, or to pick up and share with your own family this holiday season, I highly recommend you check out Cookies Con Amore.  

These cookies have been showcased on HSN where they received rave reviews and sold out, and are also available on the Cookies Con Amore website, along with Amazon.  You have no excuse not to try this Italian cookie basket, which comes in the Christmas Tree basket I was sent to review, along with other holiday packaging that would be well received by family and friends this holiday season.  

You can learn more about these Italian cookies by visiting  Cookies Con Amore also has a separate facility to make gluten free cookies where there is growing demand -

More about Cookies Con Amore:

Cookies Con Amore is located in San Marcos, California which is located near San Diego. Fernanda and Angelo Capraro were childhood friends from the village of Sant Elia in the south of Italy to grandmothers who baked for love and honor.Cookies were a mainstay in their homes, always on hand to be enjoyed over conversation and coffee or wine with family and friends. Their cookies were so delicious that when a young man in the village popped "the question" to his beloved, the next question was what would Nonna bake for the wedding. Fernanda and Angelo took their love for cookies to California in the 1970s,where they started a family of their own and opened a series of Italian delis and the much loved Villa Romana restaurant in Laguna Beach. During each holiday season, the Capraros followed in family tradition and baked batch upon batch of homemade Italian cookies for friends, family and favorite customers using recipes handed down for generations. They have been known to bring suitcases full of cookies to family weddings by popular request. In 2005, Cookies Con Amore was born when Fernanda and Angelo decided to devote themselves to what they love best: cookies. The company has grown to more than 45 employees, but all orders are still baked with love and in small batches at the company's 33,000 square foot bakery in San Marcos,California. 

 Disclosure: I was sent a sample from the vendor in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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