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Pizzicati Italian Pinch Cookies + 30 Cookie Recipes

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.

cookies in a white bowl with jam in a jar


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.

mixing the dough in a food processor

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.

form into a dough ball rolling the dough and cutting and filling

Place cookies on the prepared cookie sheets and bake for approximately 12-15 minutes. Let cool completely then dust with a little powdered sugar.

pizzicati on a baking sheet before and after baking

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.

pizzicati on a black serving plate

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!

pizzicati in a white bowl

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!

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. 

Shortbread Cookies, the ultimate melt in your mouth cookie.Traditional or brown sugar. Your new Christmas Shortbread recipe.

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.

3 peanut butter cookies on a mini stand

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.

Traditional Italian Breakfast Cookies, a fast & easy cookie recipe, crunchy on outside and soft inside. Perfect for breakfast or snack.

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.

up close chocolate chip cookie on a white dish

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.

cinnamon sugar cookies in a bowl with 2 sticks of cinnamon beside it

Cookies made with Fruit

These delicious made with fruit cookies are sometimes exactly what we need!

Homemade Apple Pie Cookies, a delicious made from scratch easy cookie recipe, filled with a delicious apple cinnamon filling. Perfect!

So I hope you get inspired for baking up a cookie or two or even giving these Italian Pinch Cookies a try. Enjoy!

3 pizzicati cookies on a black board
3 pizzicati cookies

Pizzicati Italian Pinch Cookies

Rosemary Molloy
Pizzicati Italian Cookies, a delicious crunchy Cookie Recipe. These simple, buttery crunchy cookies make the perfect snack or even dessert.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 30 cookies
Calories 83 kcal


  • 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.


    Be sure to use an all purpose flour with at least 11.5% protein, this will help keep the cookies from spreading. 
    For Room Temperature remove ingredients from the fridge for approximately 60 minutes before using (longer if your house is cool).
    You can even bring the dough together with a food processor or stand up mixer with the paddle attachment.


    Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 19mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.4mg
    Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

    Updated from May 5, 2018.


    1. 5 stars
      Rosemary, another great recipe. I will definitely be making them again for the Christmas cookie table. I also have your peanut butter chocolate chip cookies in the oven. Another keeper! Have a great Thanksgiving.

    2. 5 stars
      I made the dough last night in the stand mixer and put it in the fridge and bake them this morning. Used White Strong Bread flour as you advised strongly to use high protein flour. I replaced the 1/3 of the butter with full fat greek yogurt. They turned out perfect and delicious.
      Great recipe, thank you Rosemary 🙂

    3. 5 stars
      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.

    4. 4 stars
      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.

    5. 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.

      1. 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. 🙂

      1. 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.

    6. 5 stars
      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.

      1. 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.

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