Ligurian Canestrelli cookies
  • 150 g powdered sugar
  • 150 g butter (softened)
  • 45 g boiled egg yolks
  • 250 g flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • zest from 1/2 lemon
  • or zest from 1/2 orange
  • or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
  1. Boil the eggs for 8 minutes from the moment the water starts boiling and then let them cool. Take the yolks out and press them through a fine mesh strainer. (To get 45 g boiled egg yolks, I boiled 3 medium size eggs).
  2. Soften the butter either leaving it long enough at room temperature or, chop it and warm up in a microwave oven (take it out every 5-10 seconds, stir well and repeat until your butter is soft enough, but it absolutely MUST NOT start melting).
  3. Mix the softened butter with the egg yolks using a wooden spoon, add the finely grated lemon zest (or orange zest or vanilla seeds) and the powdered sugar. Stir well until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous.
  4. Add the flour sifted with the baking powder and work the dough just the time necessary for all the flour to get absorbed.
  5. Wrap the dough and let it cool in the fridge for 1 hour.
  6. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface (however, I prefer rolling it out between two sheets of baking paper) to 4 mm thick.
  7. Using a flower shaped cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and place them on non stick baking sheet (or lined with baking paper).
  8. Bake them in an oven preheated to 190°C for about 12 minutes leaving the door open 10 cm (watch out, they should stay white).
  9. Let them cool on a cooling rack, sprinkle with some powdered sugar and keep in an airtight container. They’ll keep well for up to 60 days, but I’m sure they’ll disappear much sooner.
These cookies are originally from Italian region of Liguria. Wonderfully simple and delicious. In the past, they were traditionally prepared and offered at Easter time.