Canestrelli cookies!!!!

Canestrelli cookies!!!!

Canestrelli are a classic shortbread cookie from the Liguria and Piedmont regions in northern Italy.  They have a characteristic flower shape with a hole in the center and are buttery, light and crumbly.  Canestrelli are not very sweet but are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The interesting ingredient in these cookies is the  addition of hard-boiled egg yolks.  The dough is easy to roll and work with.  Canestrelli are traditionally served at Easter but you can enjoy them any time of year.


Makes 16-18 cookies

  • 2 eggs

  • 160 g ( 1 cup) plain flour

  • 4 tablespoons cornflour

  • 50 g ( 1/2 cup) icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

  • 100 g ( 7 tablespoons) softened butter, cut into cubes

  • 1–2 tablespoons milk (optional)


  1. Drop the eggs into a small saucepan of boiling water and cook for 8 minutes. Drain the water and plunge the eggs into a bowl of cold water to arrest the cooking.

  2. Meanwhile, mix together the flour, cornflour and icing sugar in a bowl.

  3. Peel the eggs, extract the yolks and pass them through a fine sieve, straight into the flour mixture. Add the soft butter and mix until the dough comes together in a smooth, firm ball. Add a little milk if it feels a little dry. Wrap the dough in plastic film and rest it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

  4. Preheat your oven to 180°C, conventional (340 F) and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

  5. Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper to a thickness of 4 mm.

    Cut out the dough using a flower, then cut a small hole through the centre to resemble Italian Canestrelli cookies. I have a tiny hole cutter in my collection, but you can be creative and use whatever you have got on hand. Reuse the cut outs for more cookies.

  6. Place the cookies on the baking tray and bake for 15–17 minutes or until firm and pale golden.

  7. Cool them on the tray at room temperature and dust them generously with icing sugar. Store in an airtight container for up 2 days

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