Pizzicati Italian Pinch Cookies, a delicious crunchy Cookie Recipe. Traditionally filled with your favourite Jam or why not a little Nutella? These simple, buttery cookies make the perfect snack or even dessert.
A little while ago I received a message from a reader telling me about this Italian Cookie she had eaten and explaining what it looked like and if I knew what it was called.
Well I actually did, and this cookie is sold in most bakeries (forni) in my small town. After some searching I discovered they were called Pizzicati, but also known as Pinch Cookies, Bow Tie Cookies or Envelope Cookies.
How to make Pizzicati
In a large bowl, food processor or standup mixer whisk together the flour, cornstarch, sugar and baking powder, make a well in the centre and add the egg and butter, combine with a fork until mixture almost combined.
Move to a lightly floured flat surface and gently knead until you have a soft smooth dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight.
Roll half the dough at a time on a floured flat surface until the thinness of a pie crust or a little thicker if you want, cut out with a small round cookie cutter. Place a teaspoon of jam in the middle of the circle and take the two ends and pinch them together.
Place cookies on the prepared cookie sheets and bake for approximately 12-15 minutes. Let cool completely then dust with a little powdered sugar.
How to keep the dough from opening while baking
What has always worked for me is pinch the dough then pinch it again with wet fingers and then place them on the prepared cookie sheet.
How to store Italian them
The cookies should be stored in an airtight container, each layer separated with parchment paper. They are best stored in a cool dry area. Stored properly they will last up to 4 days.
You can even make the dough in advance, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate, it will last up to 3 days. Just work the dough a bit before rolling.
They can also be frozen in a freezer safe bag or container and will last up to two months. Be sure the cookies have cooled completely before freezing. The dough can also be frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap then placed in a freezer tight bag. The dough will last up to four to five months.
Sometimes I am asked about a certain recipe, and if I have ever heard of them. If I am not familiar then I will ask friends and family and more times than not they can help me out. Unfortunately sometimes we don’t have a clue (sorry).
Could be the translation is not correct, could be the recipe is only made in a certain part of Italy and after searching and searching it appears to be nowhere to be found, or maybe it was invented in another part of the world by an Italian Expat!
Italian Dishes that aren’t really Italian
- Spaghetti and Meatballs – For Italians this is two separate meals, Primo and Secondo Piatto
- Garlic Bread – I love it and my Mom would make it, but nope not on an Italian dinner table.
- Chicken Parmigiana – Which was actually invented by an Italian Expat.
- Fettuccine Alfredo – Which strange as it sounds, was invented by an Italian in Rome but is rarely if ever served in Italy!!!
- Italian Salad Dressing – No thanks just give me some Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar and sprinkle of salt.
- Cioppino – Was actually invented by an Italian Fisherman in San Francisco.
If you are in a Cookie making mood this weekend here are a few more recipes worth discovering!
More Italian Cookies you may enjoy!
- Strawberry Filled Soft Italian Cookies
- Double Nutella Stuffed Cookies
- Nutellotti Cookies / Nutella Cookies
- Chocolate Almond Biscotti
- Amaretti Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies
- Pumpkin Baci di Dama
- Lingue di Gatto
- Italian Sandwich Cookies
- Italian S Cookies
- Italian Butter Cookies
- Occhio di Bue / Italian Sandwich Cookies
- Italian Butter Cookies
Christmas Cookies you are definitely going to want to make.
Most of these recipes were my Mom’s and believe me she was known for her amazing Christmas Cookies. We could never get enough and she was always asked for her recipes.
- The Best Two Way Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Chip and Nut Fruitcake Cookies
- Easy Chocolate Chip Whipped Shortbread
- Almond Crescent Cookies
Cookies for Weekend Baking
These yummy cookies are the perfect weekend baking idea. Some need time to chill, some just take a little bit more effort. All are delicious.
- Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
- Thick Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Maple Leaf Sandwich Cookies
- Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies
Italian Breakfast Cookies
Whether you are looking for the perfect cookie for dunking in your morning caffe latte or eat along side a tea or coffee then these delicious cookies are meant for you.
Easy Cookies to make
Whether you have very little time or you just need a cookie fast, these quick and easy and so tasty Cookies are perfect.
A few Hard to Resist Crunchy Cookies
Sometimes all you really want is a hard crunchy cookie, nothing like pouring yourself a glass of cold milk and grabbing a few of these delicious cookies.
- Crunchy Cinnamon Sugar Cookies
- Crunchy Pecan Cookies
- Crunchy Nutella No Yeast Roll Ups
- Best Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookies made with Fruit
These delicious made with fruit cookies are sometimes exactly what we need!
So I hope you get inspired for baking up a cookie or two or even giving these Italian Pinch Cookies a try. Enjoy!
Pizzicati Italian Pinch Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (with at least 11.5% protein)
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons icing / powdered sugar (75 grams total)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup butter (soft)
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup jam*
* Choose your jam of choice, a thick jam is the best or even Nutella.
- In a large bowl sift together the flour, cornstarch, icing sugar, baking powder and salt, make a well in the centre and add the egg and butter combine with a fork until mixture is almost combined. (if you wish you can use a food processor or stand up mixer with the paddle attachment).
- Move to a lightly floured flat surface and gently knead until you have a soft smooth dough (do not over knead) (if too sticky then add a little extra flour if too dry add a little more butter (a tablespoon at a time).
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the fridge and roll half the dough at a time on a floured flat surface until a little bit thicker than a pie crust (about ¼ inch), cut out with a medium (2¼ – 2½ inches / 7 cm) or small (2 inch /5 cm) round cookie cutter.
- Place a teaspoon of jam in the middle of each circle and take the two ends and pinch them together, dip fingers in a little water and pinch the dough again, just to make sure that the dough sticks and doesn't open while baking.
- Place the cookies on 1-2 parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Preheat oven to 350F (180C), while the oven is preheating refrigerate the cookies, then bake for approximately 12-15 minutes. Let cool completely then dust with a little icing / powdered sugar. Enjoy.
Updated from May 5, 2018.
David Scarminach says
I have made them twice. Both times with homemade jam. They were a big hit both times. I am very fond of your site and use it often. I have both your snooks too. Thanks for sharing.
Hi David, thanks so much, so glad you enjoy the site and the books. Take care and have a great weekend!
They turned out great. I halved the recipe. I kept the ingredients cold. Put them through the food processor. Chilled dough then rolled it between two sheets of parchment paper. Used only half a teaspoon of jam on each one. Used a small spatula to lift edges of cookie then pinched. Made 22 cookies! Wanted to post a pic but don’t know how.
Hi Chris, thanks so much so glad you liked them. Unfortunately it’s not possible to post photos. Take care!
I have made these several times with the same results. Spreading, all the jam leaks out and dough is never smooth. A complete mess! Not sure what I am doing wrong.
Hi Joyce, the flour you use could be a low protein flour which will cause spreading. You could also chill the cookies before baking, while the oven is pre-heating. 🙂
Mine cracked when I folded them and pinched them. I wonder if it was because I cut them too small. Any suggestions?
Hi Rick, if you find the dough too dry, start with 1 1/4 cups of flour, and add a tablespoon at a time if needed. Making them a bit bigger will also help. Let me know.
The taste was very good, but we found these to be a little dry. I might try increasing the butter a bit.
Hi Mary, maybe take a minute or 2 off the baking time, over baking can cause dryness in the dough also. 🙂
I am going to tell when i bake the Cookies thank you.
Janice Fieldman says
Thank you for sharing this recipe! The cookies were very lovely. I love the texture and how they weren’t too sweet.
I think I might try cooking down my jam before making them next time. I found that a good amount oozed from the sides of my cookies while baking.
Hi Janice, thanks so much so glad you enjoyed them. Yes good idea with the filling. Take care and have a great weekend.
Has anyone tried this with dulce de leche?? wonder if it will hold or burn.
Hi Ana, I haven’t heard of anyone trying it, but if you do let me know.
Frances Franzone says
Cookie collapsed in oven. Do you think my dough was too thin?
Hi Frances, it could have been too thin, chill the cookies for about 30 minutes before baking and be sure to use a flour with at least 11% protein. Hope that helps.
Vincenza Berardi says
Delightful!! They were a big hit! Thankyou!!
Hi Vincenza thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed them. Happy New Year.