Warning! This recipe is very rich in sugar, butter …but it is really tempting! Canestrelli are wonderfully delicious cookies you will definitely fall in love with. So crunchy and light, they literally melt in your mouth. Dusted with plenty of powdered sugar, they will literally melt in your mouth as they are crumbly and sweet to the right point! In a word: unforgettable!
Daisy shaped shortbread cookies with a small central hole, they are delicious treats from Liguria and Piedmont. You may encounter plenty of recipes; mine is an easy one: you will bake the typical small crunchy melt in your mouth cookies.
A few simple products (flour, butter, powdered sugar, eggs) and a particular ingredient: the dough wants a hard boiled egg yolk: not a whole egg, not a raw fresh egg!
Canestrelli cookies well fit every moment of your day: they may be enjoyed for breakfast, or they are perfectly paired with a good aromatic tea in the middle of the afternoon. Wrap them into a nice paper for a tempting present to those you love!
A few tricky moments of the recipe …
It is a very simple recipe, but watch out for a few hidden traps:
- Use softened but compact butter; if you combine melted butter with the other ingredients, your canestrelli won’t keep their shape;
- Don’t haste and let the dough sit in the fridge until compact to give canestrelli the right texture: they must not be too soft;
- Use a 3 cm diameter hollow flower cookie cutter, or make the hole yourself with a straw.
- Knead the dough very fast and and for short time, not to warm it too much;
- Divide the dough and knead it a piece a time, it is easier;
- Use the handle of a spoon to remove the dough from the cookie cutter: as it is very small, it is not an easy operation; gently push the dough out of the cookie cutter and place it directly onto the baking tray lined with parchment paper;
- Let them cool down completely before dusting with powdered sugar.
How can you store Canestrelli?
Once cooled and dusted with powders sugar, Canestrelli keep up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. I am sure you will eat them all much earlier!
Canestrelli Italian Cookies
- 100 gr butter
- 180 gr flour
(use pastry flour)
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- 70 gr sugar
- 1 tsp Baking powder
the tip of a teaspoon
- 1 Egg yolk
- Vanilla powdered sugar
- 1 pinch Salt
- Dice the butter and let it sit at room temperature to soften (do not use the microwave oven), because it must be compact.
- In the meanwhile cook the egg in boiling water for 5-7 minutes, until hard boiled.
- Then blend the egg yolk with the butter until a consistent and yellow mixture without lumps;
- Sift the flour on a pastry board and make a well in the center. Put vanilla powder, baking powder, sugar, softened butter with the egg, and a pinch of salt in the middle of the well.
- Knead with your hands until an ecstatic dough.
- Use your hands to compact it, make a ball, then wrap it in a dampened tea-towel and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or more.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to 5-6 mm thickness. The dough must be very cold and hard to cut perfect cookies.
- Cut out the cookies using a flower cookie cutter, make a hole in the center with a straw or a small pastry tip. Knead again the leftover dough and repeat the operation to make more cookies.
- As soon as you cut the cookies transfer them onto a baking sheet lined with buttered parchment paper, leave about 5 cm between one and another.
- Pre-heat the oven at 180°C (356°F) bake for 10-12 minutes. Canestrelli should remain pale.
- Remove the cookies, and let them cool completely. Generously dust with powdered sugar.