There are fancier desserts out there for sure, but only a few make our eyes wide open with joy as a huge platter of Italian cookies. We made a list of some of our favorites, from 20th century Italian-American masterpieces to ancient Roman recipes that are hundreds of years older than Christmas itself. Each of us can find a favorite, but seriously, it’s a tough job to pick only one.
These lovely almond-flavoured biscotti were supposedly first made during the Middle Ages. Their name is derived from the ‘Amaro’, which means bitter, in reference to the strong flavor of bitter almonds or apricot kernels, which are conventionally used in the recipe, together with egg whites and sugar.
Similar to the popular amaretti cookie, ricciarelli were conceived in Tuscany in the 14th century, and they are served until today on Christmas. Crunchy and chewy, the flourless almond cookies can be stored for weeks in a sealed container, making them perfect for baking ahead.
Baci di dama
The origin of these cookies is ambiguous, but we know where they got their name, which in Italian means "lady's kisses." Superb hazelnut butter cookies, held together with a dollop of Nutella; now who wouldn't want to kiss the person who gave them these.
Hailing from Tuscany, these twice-baked cookies are made for dipping in a strong cup of espresso, though milk or hot chocolate wouldn't be a bad choice either.
Light, airy, sweet sponge biscuits shaped into a large finger. They were first made in the 15th century at the Duchy of Savoy for a visit by the King of France. These authorized court biscuits were frequently served to guests as a token of local cuisine.
The simple, yet delightful Italian butter cookies have been made since the Middle Ages, habitually regarded as a gift on festive junctures such as weddings or religious feasts.
Biscotti al Cocco
These powdery, buttery cookies feature coconut as the key ingredient. The dough has a mixture of eggs, butter, sugar, and grated coconut. It is usually rolled into balls or flat discs when combined. These cookies are baked till golden and crispy and can be presented plain or adorned with liquid chocolate or powdered sugar.
Originating from Abruzzo, the crisp, flat waffle cookies are made in a special hot iron. Pizzelle cookies predate Christmas and are said to be the oldest cookie recipe on Earth, dating back to the 8th century B.C. In olden times, when electric irons were absent, presses were made from cast iron and were heated over a fire or directly on the stovetop.
Though the colors are meant to signify the Italian flag, they also make it perfect for Christmastime. To ensure they're bright, get gel food colorings from a kitchen or craft store as the liquid drops from the superstore won't produce the required deep red and green color.
The delicate almond cookies with a rich toffee flavor can be cast into cups, rolled into cigars or shaped into dessert taco shells as they come out of the oven. Can be customized in various ways: Try coating them with chocolate, replacing the espresso with a liquor of your choice, or making gentle cookie sandwiches filled with a little bit of Nutella.
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Lazzaroni family is frequently credited for the original Amaretti cookies. Since 1718, the Lazzaroni family has manufactured amaretti cookies in Saronno, Italy from their family recipe. Their legendary amaretti cookies are crafted from a combination of sugar, apricot kernels, and egg whites. The outcome of Lazzaroni's traditional process is crisp, airy cookies with a characteristic bittersweet flavor. Ideal with espresso, dessert wine, and after-dinner liquors.
Source(s): TasteAtlas, FoodNetwork