Mini ‘ciambelloni’ – a healthy snack for children at school

Three days ago Costanza, our 6-year-old daughter, started attending primary school. While helping her out with her smock and backpack at home, trying in the same time to make her a decent pony-tail (how come other mothers know how to dress their daughters’ hair with perfect braids and I can’t even make her the simplest of tails?) and figure out where the heck were her shoes, Costanza goes: ‘mummy, what about my snack’ (which in Italian sounded like: ‘mamma…e la merenda?’).
Yes, what about her snack?

Suddenly I had a vision. Did you see the movie ‘Airplane’ (of course you did), the scene where everyone panics and the flashing writing goes first: ‘DON’T PANIC’, and after a while it turns into: ‘OK  PANIC’?

My vision was: perfectly well-groomed little girls seated at the desk around Costanza, taking out of their backpacks healthy, home-made, organic ‘merende’, lovingly prepared by their mothers/grandmas/baby-sitters/nieghbours (!), whereas Costanza – with her wild hair – would open her rucksack, finding inside a box containing a packaged snack. Shame on me and on my progeny up to the 7th generation!!!

Well, the first and second day we actually sent her to school with Mulino Bianco cookies (I know I shouldn’t write this… not Mulino Bianco!), but this morning, well, Costanza went to school with a healthy, organic, home-made ‘merenda’ baked by the two of us: mini-ciambelloni!

But what is ‘ciambellone’? As Walter wrote on this blog a few years ago: “Ciambellone” (literally, “big donut”) is a typical family cake of the spongy, sandy variety, very common in the Marche and subject to so many variations that a cook friend of mine one day noted that the Marche have about a hundred typical cake recipe, all of them a ciambellone” (Hi Rolando!).

Arguably the dullest cake on Earth, the ciambellone’s disarming simplicity can become addictive. At breakfast, it’s healthier and more satisfying than biscuits, and tastier than bread while still being spreadable (I suggest raspberry marmalade).

Also, its simplicity makes it a perfect candidate for last-minute occasions.

Costanza and I, instead of baking a traditionally-shaped ciambellone (i.e. with a hole in the middle), decided to make some mini-ciambelloni, snack-box size: the healthier snack ever, OGM/palm oil/additives free and guilt free 😉

If you want to try our typical ‘ciambellone’, have a look at grandma Lella’s recipe HERE.





    • Hi Francine,
      if I can do ciambellone, then ANYBODY can do it 🙂
      As far as Costanza’s wild hair… well, Costanza’s hair is in a constant fight with barrettes, rubber bands, headbands… what can I do?
      I usually blame it on Walter when talking to other moms: ‘You see? Walter did her hair again this morning…'(I usually say these words shaking my head). It works!

  1. this bought back memories – my daughters hair was wild. Almost impossible to get a brush to tame it! Now she’s fourteen and does her hair herself in a slightly different style every morning and she does much better than I ever did. Hope that your daughter is enjoying school.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience with your daughter’s hair with us 🙂 She does her hair herself? That sounds great! Cannot wait till Costanza does the same! Actually my daughter has straight hair. But it’s very thin and goes everywhere. Difficult to tame 🙂
      Costanza is loving school so far, thank you!
      Happy school to your daughter. When did school start in the UK (by the way, Walter is leaving tomorrow to Derry, Northern Ireland)?

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