Divine Dinner Party

Best Italian Cookie Recipes:
Italy's Best Cookies and Pastries

The best Italian cookie recipes are always the most authentic-- you know... the ones your grandmother got from her mother, and all the way down.

Well, I'm not Italian. But I was lucky enough growing up to have a step-Mother who was. So when I talk about recipes for Italian cookies and pastries, you know that I take the subject pretty seriously: my step-mother made the most wonderful ones!

So read on for some great recipes for Italian cookies. And if you're into authentic Italian food, check out some of my other !


Italian Nut and Currant Biscotti Recipe

When most people think about the best Italian cookie recipes, Biscotti often comes to mind. One of the reasons that Biscotti is such a great treat is that it offers bakers a chance to play with a variety of flavors. Biscotti can be sweet or savory, have nuts or fruit, and just makes a great addition to any dessert tray.

Easy authentic italian biscotti cookie recipe
All About Biscotti. Biscotti as we know it originated in Rome where it was called biscotto (literally "twice cooked"). At this point Biscotti wasn't so much a sweet as it was a functional food to take on the road. Being dry, the wafers lasted nearly forever, which is why the Roman Legions used them as a staple.

When bakers in Tuscany started making Biscotti, they added a twist – serving the cookie with sweet wine. This tradition remains to this day, with the alternative being enjoying them with coffee.

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Ingredients:
1/4 C. cooking oil
3/4 C. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
2 eggs
1 3/4 C. flour (sifted)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. dried currants
1 1/2 C. coarsely chopped nuts (your choice)

Instructions: 1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Using a mixing bowl and an electric mixer, combine the oil with the sugar.

2. Once that's blended add vanilla and almond, followed by the eggs (pre-beaten).

3. Next, mix together all the dry ingredients but for the currants and nuts. Using a wooden spoon, slowly add this to the liquid portion of the recipe. Fold the fruit and nuts in by hand.

4. Create two logs from the cookie dough and put them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

5. Bake for 35 minutes at 300 degrees (the logs will be light brown). Cool for 15 minutes. While you do that, reduce the heat of your oven to 275 degrees.

6. Slice the logs into finger sized pieces (3/4" thick is good). Lay each piece on its side and return them to the oven to cook for about 10 minutes more (until completely dry).

HINT: One reason this is one of the best Italian cookie recipes? Flexibility. You can use different dried fruit in this recipe – in fact it's traditional! Nearly every region of Italy has its own version of Biscotti, each one flavored in a unique way.


Italian Wedding Cookies with Brandy and Preserves

Some of the very best Italian cookie recipes are those designed for weddings-- where special cookies are a tradition. Perhaps that come from the Italian tradition of a "cookie dance," where the bride and groom dance their way to a table of dessert cookies along with their guests. The symbolism here is quite simple: that life for the couple be as sweet as the treats served!

This recipe is for a standard Italian wedding cookie, and will make about 100 cookies. Or visit this page for more Italian wedding cookie recipes! (Coming soon!)

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Ingredients:
2 C. sugar
8 large eggs
2 C. vegetable oil
8 C. sifted flour
2 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Fruit preserves, as needed
Fruit brandy, as needed
Granulated sugar, as needed

Instructions: 1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a cookie sheet lightly.

2. Mix together the sugar, eggs, oil, flour, extract, and baking powder. (Note that you may need to add a little more flour to get the right consistency to form balls out of the dough.)

3. Form the dough into 1" balls then press them flat with a spoon (leave a little indentation so you can fill it later with the preserves.

4. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until the cookies are lightly brown.

5. After cooling, lightly brush each cookie with brandy and fill the center with a dollop of fruit preserves. Sprinkle granulated sugar on top and serve.

This is the best Italian cookie recipe if you like to play with flavors... switch up flavored brandies and preserves for new flavors!


Traditional Italian Pignoli Cookies (Pine Nut Cookies)

Traditional Italian Cookie With Pine Nuts- PignoliFor this recipe, pine nuts get combined with almond paste for an amazing tasty treat that's got a fabulous texture... a bit of chewy and a bit of crunchy, with a wonderful, deep nut flavor. This is one of the best Italian cookie recipes you'll ever try! And one of the most traditional.

Like all of the best Italian cookie recipes, this recipe is simple and the resulting flavors are clean and understated. Want to up the almond flavor? Add about 1/2 tsp of almond extract.

Yields about 25 cookies.

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Ingredients:
7 oz. almond paste
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 large egg whites
3 tbsp. flour
Pinch salt
1/4 - 1/3 C. pine nuts

Instructions: 1. Prepare your cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Mix together the almond paste and both sugars using a beater until crumbly. Add eggs, continuing to beat until smooth (about 3 minutes).

3. Add flour and salt. The batter should then be refrigerated for an hour before cooking.

4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

5. Taking one teaspoon of the chilled batter at a time, dip into the nuts then transfer to the cookie sheet (nuts up). Bake for 15 minutes, then cool completely before removing from the parchment. One of my favorite recipes for Italian cookies or pastries!


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