Ligurian Tea CookiesClick to Play

Ligurian Tea Cookies

Mary Ann Esposito

Canestrelli are rich, delicate buttery tea biscuits. Many regional variations exist but one of my favorites is from Liguria. The word means little baskets. These cookies are popular at Easter time.

Makes 2 dozen 3-inch cookies


1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
10 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
3 large hard boiled eggs, yolks only, mashed
Zest of one large lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups King Arthur unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt


In a medium size bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the mashed yolks until blended. Blend in the zest and vanilla.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together then on low speed blend into the butter mixture until a rough dough begins to form.

Gather the dough up with your hands and form it into a disk.

Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375°F or 350°F if using a convection oven.

Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Divide the dough into quarters; work with one at a time and keep the rest covered.

Roll each piece between two sheets of parchment paper and use a 3 inch scalloped edge cookie cutter to make shapes. Place six on each of the 4 sheets.

Bake the cookies until golden brown, about 7 to 8 minutes. They should remain pale and not browned around the outside edges. Let them cool on the sheets for a few minutes then transfer them to wire cooling racks.

Dust with confectioners’ sugar to serve.

This recipe is featured on show 2215 – Mom’s Cookies / Biscotti della Mamma.

item recipe is featured in Episode 2215 of Season 22.

Want More Recipes? See My Latest Book:

Buy Ciao Italia Family Classics by Mary Ann EspositoCiao Italia Family Classics

Mary Ann returns to her family's humble beginnings to bring us a treasure trove of more than 200 time-honored recipes.

Buy it now from Amazon for just $24.00

Buy It From Amazon

A Testimonial From Mario Batali:

This collection epitomizes the tradition and love that goes into all of Mary Ann Esposito's cooking. Like her award-winning TV series, this book will live on for years with all of those who cook her delicious recipes. My kids love everything Mary Ann cooks!"


Leave a comment

There are no comments yet.

Leave a Comment