If you love the taste of lemons then this Italian Lemon Stuffed Cookie is for you. A simple dough is stuffed with a delicious Italian pastry cream then baked. So good you can’t stop at one. A dusting of powdered sugar or a lemon glaze makes them dessert worthy!
I should probably have started a Lemon blog rather than a Bread Blog with all the lemon recipes I seem to post! These cookies are based on a favourite store bought cookie that is sold in Italy. Where they are known as Biscotti Grisbi.
Table of contents
Lemon Pastry Cream
- Milk – I use 2% or whole milk
- Cream – be sure to use heavy, whole or whipping cream, it should have at least 30% fat
- Lemon Peel
- Egg Yolk – Room temperature – be sure to remove from the fridge about an hour before using, a little more if your house is cool or cold.
- Sugar – granulated sugar or even fine sugar
- Flour – all purpose
- Flour – all purpose with at least 11% protein
- Baking soda
- Powdered sugar – or also known as icing or confectioners sugar or you can even make your own Powdered Sugar.
- Salt – a pinch if you use unsalted butter then add 1/4 teaspoon
- Lemon zest
- Egg yolks – room temperature
- Butter – soft
- Powdered sugar
- Cream – for this you can use whole cream or half and half
- Lemon juice
How to make them
Start by making the Lemon Pastry Cream
In a medium pot, heat the milk, cream and lemon rind, until very hot but do not boil. Remove from heat and let cool to warm.
In a medium pot add yolks and sugar, whisk together until combined, then add the flour and vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Place the pot back on the stove, and pour into the pot the warm milk/cream mixture through a sieve this is to remove the lemon rind. Whisk the cream continuously until thickened.
Remove from heat and let cool for about 15 minutes. Then move to a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for approximately 1-2 hours.
While the pastry cream is in the fridge, make the cookie dough. In a mixing bowl or food processor whisk together the flour, baking soda, sugar, salt and zest, then add the yolks and butter.
Pulse or mix with the flat beaters to form a compact dough. Move the dough to a flat surface and form into a soft dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
Roll the dough on a lightly floured flat surface to a 1/8″ thickness, cut out with medium round cookie cutters, place a teaspoon of pastry cream in the middle and cover with another round dough cut out, gently make a slight dome with the top round, so that it doesn’t flatten the cream.
Seal the edges with wet fingers, if you prefer you can seal it first with the tongs of a fork, then again with wet fingers. Bake and when cool dust with powdered sugar or a lemon glaze.
How to keep cookies from spreading
To keep your cookies from spreading be sure to use a higher protein flour with at least 11% protein. Refrigerate your cookie dough for at least an hour, and refrigerate the formed cookies while the oven is pre-heating.
How long does cookie dough last in the fridge?
Cookie dough will last up to 3 days wrapped well in plastic wrap in the fridge. Some will insist that It is also a good idea to refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 12-24 hours before baking, this creates a more flavourful cookie.
Can the dough be made by hand?
The dough can be made by hand and in a stand up mixer. If making by hand, whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl, make a well in the middle and add the yolks and butter, mix together with a fork, then move to a lightly floured flat surface and gently knead the dough to form a soft compact dough.
Substitute for Pastry cream
How to store them
The cookies should be stored in an airtight container, they can be kept at room temperature for a day, or refrigerate for up to 4 days. They can also be frozen in a freezer safe container, with parchment paper between the layers. They will keep for up to 6 months.
More Italian Cookie Recipes
This dough is known as a pasta frolla which is quite versatile. Also used in a Crostata or even made into Cookies for Christmas. So if you love lemon and cookies as much as we do, I hope you give these Italian Lemon Stuffed Cookies a try and let me know what you think. Enjoy!
Italian Lemon Stuffed Cookies
LEMON PASTRY CREAM
- ½ cup milk (I used 2%)
- ½ cup whole/heavy cream
- peel from 1-2 lemons (no white)
- 2 large egg yolks
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1½ cups + 3 tablespoons all purpose flour (210 grams total)
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup + 2 ½ tablespoons powdered/icing sugar (78 grams total)
- 1 pinch salt
- zest from ½ lemon
- 2 large egg yolks
- ½ cup + 1 ½ tablespoons butter (cold) (133 grams total)
- 3-4 tablespoons powdered/icing sugar
- ½ cup powdered/icing sugar (sifted)
- ½ tablespoon whole/whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
LEMON PASTRY CREAM
- In a medium pot, heat the milk, cream and lemon rind on medium/low heat, until very hot but do not boil. Remove from heat and let cool to warm. In a medium pot add the yolks and sugar, whisk together until combined, then add the flour and vanilla, whisk again until smooth. Place the pot back on the stove on medium/low heat, and pour the warm milk/cream mixture through a sieve to remove the lemon rind (discard). Whisk continuously until thick. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 15 minutes. Then move to a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap (make sure the plastic is touching the cream) and refrigerate for approximately 1-2 hours.
- While the pastry cream is in the fridge, make the cookie dough. In a mixing bowl or food processor whisk together the flour, baking soda, sugar, salt and zest, then add the yolks and butter. Pulse or mix with the flat beaters to form a compact dough. Move the dough to a flat surface and form into a dough ball. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for approximately 45-60 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough and pastry cream from the fridge. Roll the dough on a lightly floured flat surface to a 1/8" thickness (or a little thicker if you prefer), make 20 cut outs with a medium round cookie cutter (about 3 inches/7cm).Give the pastry cream a stir, then place a heaping teaspoonful of it in the middle of 10 of the dough circles and cover each one with another round (gently make a slight dome), and place on top of the cream, the dome helps to not flatten the cream while baking.Seal the edges with wet fingers, if you prefer you can seal it first with the tongs of a fork, then again with wet fingers. Place on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 12-14 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet, then move to a wire rack, when cool dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with the lemon glaze. Enjoy!
- In a small bowl mix together the powdered sugar, cream and lemon juice. Add more powdered sugar or lemon juice depending on desired thickness.