More >

Ligurian Tea Cookies

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.


There are no comments yet.

Leave a Comment

Want more Recipes? See My Latest Book

Ciao 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