The Canestrelli Recipe is a delightful Italian cookies are as light as air and are traditionally made with a flower-shaped cutter, a fitting shape for such a delicate cookie.
3 large egg yolks, unbroken
11 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 1⁄4 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted finely grated zest of 1⁄2 lemon
3⁄4 cup potato flour
3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour (or potato flour if you are wheat intolerant), plus extra for dusting
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Gently slide the egg yolks into a pan of simmering water over low heat.
2 Poach for 5 minutes, until completely hard, then take them out of the water and set aside to cool. When they are cool, push the egg yolks through a fine metal sieve with the back of a spoon. Scrape into a small bowl.
3 Cream together the butter and confectioners’ sugar with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and lemon zest, and beat well to combine.
4 Sift the flours, baking powder, and salt together and add to the cookie batter, beating well to form a smooth, soft dough.
5 Place the dough in a plastic bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up.
6 Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
7 Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured work surface to 1⁄2in (1cm) thick.
8 Cut out traditional flower-shaped cookies, or other shapes. If you have no flower-shaped cutter, you can use a larger and a smaller cutter to make ring shapes instead.
9 Place the cookies on several non-stick baking sheets and bake in the top third of the oven for 15–17 minutes, until just turning golden.
10 The canestrelli are very delicate when warm, so leave them to cool for at least 10 minutes on their baking sheets before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. STORE The canestrelli will keep in an airtight container for 5 days.
These delicate cookies originate from the Liguria region of Italy. Their light texture comes from the traditional use of potato flour in the recipe. If you cannot find potato flour, an 00 grade flour (from larger supermarkets and Italian delicatessens), or even allpurpose flour, will make a good substitute.