In Italy we have just passed one of the most popular holidays here, Ferragosto, which is the celebration of the assumption of the virgin Mary on August 15th and for a lot of people it also signifies the end of summer.
August is the moth of holidays, everyone goes on vacation, stores are closed and all the towns look like they’ve been abandoned. But luckily this state of calm ends after a week or so from Ferragosto and that’s when everything goes back to normal.
For Italians Ferragosto is a very important holiday so my house I usually prepare a big meal for lunch and my husband and I invite our friends over and they stay for the whole day. We talk, we laugh, we drink some good wine and then the evening comes and we prepare a light dinner with the leftovers from earlier.
It’s always a big, pleasant gathering and by the end of the day we are all happy and stuffed.
This year I decided to try making a new kind of Italian cookie that I’ve never made, which I love and my friend makes perfectly. They’re called Occhi di bue in Italian, which means bull’s-eyes and they’re made with a soft and delicate pastry, a round shaped cookie filled with either jam or Nutella. They are full of flavour and just the right amount of richness, but my oh my they are so worth it! You’ll just have to try it in order to understand! Enjoy!
Italian sandwich cookies
- 4 1/2 - 5 cups flour 450-500 grams
- 1 cup sugar 200 grams
- 1 cup butter softened 250 grams
- 3 teaspoons baking powder 15 grams
- 2 eggs and 2 yolks
- For filling
- Jam of choice
- powdered sugar for dusting
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees (180 degrees celsius). Lightly grease 2 or 3 cookie sheets.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar and baking powder, cut in butter till it resembles coarse crumbs. Then add eggs and bring slightly together with a fork, turn onto a lightly floured flat surface, work the dough together to form a soft dough (if very sticky add a little more flour), wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge and knead a few times to soften up the dough. Using a small round cutter or glass form cookies slightly thicker than usual. Leave half the cutouts whole and the other half cut out a small form in the middle. Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes, remove let cool on cookie sheet. When completely cool spread whole cookie with approximately 1 heaping teaspoon of jam of choice or Nutella spread evenly on bottom cookie and top with cut out cookie. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Enjoy!