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
  • Ingredients


  1. In a medium size bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the mashed yolks until blended. Blend in the zest and vanilla.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together then on low speed blend into the butter mixture until a rough dough begins to form.
  3. Gather the dough up with your hands and form it into a disk.
  4. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F or 350°F if using a convection oven.
  6. Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  7. Divide the dough into quarters; work with one at a time and keep the rest covered.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Dust with confectioners’ sugar to serve.

This recipe was featured on Season 22 - Episode 2215.

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made these many times family loves them thank you for the recipe

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