Living far from home can be difficult. Between trying to make new friends and navigate a new place, it is easy to become homesick. In my experience, I found the best way to cope with missing home is by using comfort food. Comfort food can be anything from chicken noodle soup, biscuits and gravy or even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When I look for comfort food, I usually have a sweet tooth and am missing my giant Italian family. Fortunately for me, I grew up eating the most divine Italian cookies.

Italian cookies are staples in the Italian household and are generally made for holidays or special events like weddings. They can be many flavors and are usually an oval shape or rolled in a ball. These cookies are not like standard American cookies at all. They are much less sweet and are typically pretty dry. Some people even drink them with a tall glass of milk. Out of all the Italian cookies, my favorite and go-to comfort cookie is the Tay Tu's (Thay Thoo's). Tay Tu's is a chocolate ball cookie with cloves as a prominent flavor component. These are surprisingly easy to make and only take 10 minutes to bake. The following recipe is out of my family's personal recipe book and has been published in the American Daughters of Columbus Cook Book of Kansas City, Missouri. 

Cerra Family Tay Tu's

  • Prep Time:25 mins
  • Cook Time:8 mins
  • Total Time:33 mins
  • Servings:0
  • Medium


  • 5 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 medium sized eggs
  • 16 ounces chocolate syrup
  • 1 1/14 cup shortening
  • Step 1

    Beat eggs with mixer. Add shortening and sugar beat well, then add chocolate syrup

    Alex Frank
  • Step 2

    Sift all dry ingredients and mix by hand.

    Alex Frank
  • Step 3

    Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix with a mixture until the batter is fully combined.

    Alex Frank
  • Step 4

    Roll batter into small 1 ounce balls and place on a cookie sheet leaving a 1/2 inch between each cookie. Bake in oven at 375° for 8 minutes. Remove cookies from pan to cool, then add icing.

    Alex Frank

The key to Tay Tu's is to not overcook them. To successfully cook the cookies to the right temperature it is vital to remove the cookies from the pan as soon as they are out of the oven, so they do not burn on the bottom. It is also crucial to wait to frost the cookies until they are completely cooled. Cooled cookies stop cracks and crevices from forming when they are topped with icing. 

Cerra Family Cookie Icing

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:0
  • Total Time:10 mins
  • Servings:15
  • Easy


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 roll wax paper
  • Step 1

    Add together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and sweetened condensed milk. Mix together with a hand mixer until the icing is a uniform consistency.

    Alex Frank
  • Step 2

    After cookies have cooled, carefully dip the top of each cookie in the icing and let set on wax paper to dry.

    Alex Frank

Tay Tu's are bite-sized cookies that fix any chocolate craving. They are a perfect addition to any holiday or family event. These cookies can be paired with coffee wine or milk, but most of all they are an excellent cure for homesickness. If you are looking for a savory comfort food check out this Spoon University article, How to Make Chicken Tomato Soup That Tastes Just Like Home.