Canestrelli are a wonderfully delicious Italian Cookie, an almost shortbread type cookie but with a crunch, fast and easy. The perfect afternoon tea cookie. A touch of Lemon makes them irresistible.
I have returned to Italy and of course I am missing all my family and friends, especially my eldest Daughter that unfortunately I didn’t see nearly enough.
She is off on adventures of her own and is now living in Vancouver (this was 2 years ago and now she is back in Toronto!) for the time being. So we only had a few days together.
Although we did have a great time and now we look forward to her visit back home.
Naturally with the return to your home that was mainly kept up by the Italian, well you can imagine what I came home to! To tell the truth it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined.
At least the dog, the cat and the plants were still alive.
Needless to say I have a to do list the length of my arm, starting with grocery shopping. So while I was shopping I of course noticed the difference between Canadian aisles and the Italian store aisles. Yeah big difference.
While checking out the cookie aisle (believe me that aisle kept me staring forever in Canada) I noticed how unstuffed the cookies tend to be here. The lack of cream, chocolate, caramel, marshmallows etc.
The very basic cookie, from breakfast cookies to snack cookies with this delicious Canestrelli front and centre. These cookies are sold year round but are very popular at Christmas.
And yeah I actually like the basic ones better. Because sometimes less is more!
Canestrelli Delicious Italian Cookies
More Italian Cookies you may enjoy!
Wine Cookies – Ciambelle al Vino
Abbracci – Italian Hugs Cookies
Traditional Italian Breakfast Cookies
I decided to make these Canestrelli, which are one of my favourites! This is a simple crunchy but an almost melt in your mouth cookie delight. The dough comes together in minutes especially if you use your Food Processor.
What are the ingredients in Canestrelli?
They are made with butter, powdered sugar and hard-boiled egg yolks. Yes that’s right, egg yolks, strange right? That’s what I thought, but I was told this helps make them crumbly, which is what we want.
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Canestrelli are originally from Monferrato which is in the region of Piedmont in Northern Italy. If you are looking for a tasty, yummy Italian Cookie why not give these a try.
Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee or just when you want a cookie. Enjoy!
Cookies should be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 3 months.
I love my Biscotti handmade bowl from Nelle Design!
Canestrelli Delicious Italian Cookies
- 1 cup all purpose flour (130 grams)
- 1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar (75 grams)
- pinch salt
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons corn starch (100 grams)
- 2/3 cup cold butter cut into pieces* (150 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 hard boiled egg (use just the yolks)
- zest 1/2 lemon
*I use salted butter if you use unsalted add 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- Place eggs in a pot and cover with cold water, heat until boiling, then remove from heat and let sit 8-10 minutes. Place under cold water. Remove shell when cooled, separate the white from yolk and mash just the yolk part, well with a fork.
- In a food processor whisk together flour, sugar, salt, corn starch and zest, then add cold butter and vanilla, pulse a few times to mix, add egg yolks and pulse until almost combined, move to a lightly floured flat surface and knead gently until combined. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and refrigerate for at least an hour or two or even overnight.
- Pre-heat oven to 335° (170° celsius). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove dough from fridge, on a lightly floured flat surface, start with rolling out half the dough to 1 centimeter thickness and cut with a small to medium size flower cookie cutter, using a straw or any small round hole cutter**, cut a hole in the middle of the flower. Place cut out flowers on prepared cookie sheets and bake for approximately 12 -14 minutes, cookies should not brown. Let cookies rest 5 minutes then move to wire racks to cool, then dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!
**I used a small pastry tip.
Updated from September 2, 2016.
Lutzy Lu says
Hi !! this is the first time I would try to make it but I dont have a food process, can I use a stand mixer?
It would came out?
Hope u can help me ! I really want to make this cute cookies !!
Hi Lutzy, yes it would work with a stand mixer, use the flat beaters and it should be fine. Let me know how it goes. Take care!
How long will they keep in tins?
Hi Pettia, if they are kept in an airtight container they should keep for up to 8 days. 🙂
I have a few recipes from my family, but you have wonderful recipes that I have not seen before. Already planning for next year.
Hi Melissa, thanks so much, let me know what you try. Happy New Year.
You think that these cookies will never come together. And then, magically, the crumbles form a dough. I rolled them into little balls, dipped the tops in colored sugar, and flattened them. I might need to add a little more flavor of some form, because they honestly do taste a little eggy to me. I will totally try these again.
Hi Julie, thanks, maybe some almond flavouring would work. Have a great weekend.
Exquisite recipe, thank you.❤
Hi Elizabeth, thanks so much, glad you liked them. Take care.
Superbly excellent delicious cookies.
Hi Rosalia, thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed them. Take care.
Maria Cilea says
I haven’t tried these yet but I certainly will; they are so easy to make. But, I do need to get a flower cookie cutter first…
Thanks, all your recipes are great!!
Hi Maria, thanks so much, you could always make them with a small round cutter. Have a great week.
Cathy Hennessey says
Made these tonight they are amazing thank you for sharing the recipe.
Thanks Cathy, so glad you liked them. Have a great week.
Has anyone tried making these in a cookie press? I just mixed up the dough (Yay for using up the egg yolks leftover from mixing up the pignoli cookies!) and it’s chilling.
Hi Carolyn, I have never used a cookie press, I find the dough too stiff, but you could try it if you like. Let me know if you do.
This recipe, along with the chocolate version, sounds wonderful! Would it be possible to split this cookie dough in half and add the cocoa to one half of the dough to make the chocolate version? If so, how much cocoa would you add to one half of this cookie dough? Thank you for this recipe!
Hi Barb, I think you would be better off halving each recipe, because of the addition of cocoa, you need to add less corn starch, so I don’t know how that would work out. Let me know.
Cook from Saskatchewan says
Made these yesterday and really enjoyed the recipe. May try them in my cookie press. Interesting texture and I liked the hint of lemon. Also like cookies that let you make the dough one day and bake the next.
Thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed them.
I don’t know why they lost their shape a became very thin?
Hi Soha, it’s probably your flour is too low in protein. A higher protein around 12% keeps cookies from spreading. Hope that helps.
Excellent recipe! They loved them at home. They melt in your mouth literally. Thank you!
Hi Silvana, thanks so much, so glad everyone enjoyed them. Take care!