My only complaint about Italian cookies is there is not nearly enough chocolate. Admittedly, it’s not that there is not an abundance of chocolate everywhere around the holidays - some of the best chocolate in the world comes from Italy in my opinion (I imagine I am a little biased). But cookies tend to be of the fruit and nut variety or simple buttery biscuits, what the Italians call “tea cookies”. The beauty of these tea cookies is that they are perfect canvas for enhancements - sprinkles, candied fruit, sandwiched with jam and yes, dipped in chocolate.
These shortbread type cookies (called pasta frolla in Italian) is just wonderful in its simplicity. Let your imagination go wild!
Italian Shortbread (from Cooking with Nonna)
For the Cookies:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks, room temperature
3 tablespoons whole milk
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Combine the butter, sugar and vanilla in another mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy.
Beat in each of the egg yolks one at a time until fully incorporated.
Add in the dry ingredients and beat until a stiff dough forms. Add in the milk until fully absorbed. Do not over mix.
Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe out swirls onto the baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. I made about 6 per sheet.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Cool completely then dip about 1/3 of the cookie into your choice of chocolate (you can even add sprinkles before the chocolate hardens)