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.
Finally some real cookies to bake
Love my italian cooking chefs and bakers 😘
Thanks Lili I hope you enjoy them.
Hi Salma, thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed it.
I am not a fan of cookies but these are absolutely delightful! Disappeared in the shortest possible time! Made them twice already. I reduced the quantity of cornstarch to just a quarter cup and increased the quantity of flour to make up the required quantity of corn flour… Excellent recipe!
Hi Lena, thanks so much, so glad you liked them. Take care.
Hello! The recipe sounds great! I want to definitely try it. But can I substitute corn starch for potato one? If so, should I modify its quantity?
Hi Helen, this recipe does have corn starch, do you substituting the corn starch with potato starch? If so yes you can.
The recipe looks easy enough for a non baker, but I am allergic to eggs. What can I use instead of the eggs?
Hi Letty, unfortunately I really don’t think there is a substitution for eggs in the recipe. The eggs are what help to make them crumbly. Sorry.
Simple and delicious. I will definitely make these cookies again. Thank you for sharing your recipes.
Hi Helena, thanks so much, I hope you enjoy them.
I made this today and im impressed. I adjusted my temp to 320F. Thank you so much.
Thanks Cindy, glad you enjoyed them.
How wide is your flower cutter? I could only get 25 with a 2 inch wide cutter and my dough was just under 1 centimeter thick. Did you double the recipe? They have just cooled and sprinkled with powder sugar. They are very tender and perfect for afternoon tea. Thanks for nice treat!
Hi Christina, mine is quite small so I would say 1 inch. Glad you like them.
Hi thanks for the recipe, just finished making these and are Devine, just taste a little corn starchy, is it possible to cut down on the corn starch.
Hi Tina, you can substitute the cornstarch for flour, so substituting 1/4 cup of cornstarch then add 1/2 cup flour and see how that works out.
May I ask whether you used cake or all purpose flour?
Hi ET, I used all purpose flour. Hope you like the cookies.
Nina L. says
So pretty but also delicious!!
Thank you for sharing Rosemary!
Hi Nina, thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed them.
I know you said you use salted butter as your unable to find it in Italy, but what would be your preferred choice for this recipe, salted or unsalted butter for this cookie recipe and the chocolate version. Thank you
Hi SR, to tell the truth I would have to say salted, because I have never made them with unsalted butter. But either way it will work, just add a little more salt to the recipe (1/4 teaspoon). Hope that helps. Have a great weekend.
Becky Bowman says
Can the flour be replaced with GF Jules all purpose gluten free flour? And also can tapioca flour replace the corn starch.
Hi Becky, I have never made these with GF flour or tapioca, you could try it and see how it goes. Let me know if you do.
Just mixed up and got it pulled together and in fridge. Recipe says old butter. Your idea looks like it is almost melted butter. That would make it easier to pull it together. It took awhile but I got it into a piece and shaped so I pull hill it. So is it old butter or really soft butter. Thank you!
Hi Rosanne, it actually says cold butter, not old butter. 🙂
Lol…yes cold butter! My iPad had water and c didn’t work!
That video looks like very soft butter
Hi Rosanne, oh ok lol, the butter probably wasn’t extremely cold but you can use either, (not too soft though), it will all work in together. Hope that helps. Have a great weekend.
Abby Jablin says
I would love to make these cookies however American ovens do not have a 335 degree option. We have 325 degrees or 350 degrees. Most of my recipes call for 350 degrees. Should I use the 325 setting? None of the comments raised this concern,
Hi Abby, interesting. I would go for 325 then, because the cookies need to bake in a slow oven. Let me know how it goes. Have a great weekend.
Chris Lyson says
Hi Abby! I wondered how the cookies turned out at 325 degrees? I’m in the U.S. as well and would like to try these cookies, they look AMAZING!! Happy New Year!! Chris