Pizzicati cookies or Italian pinch cookies are delicate and crumbly cookies filled with jam - perfect for breakfast or tea time!
Loved by grown-ups and kids (especially kids!), pizzicati cookies are such an easy, delicious treat!
Growing up in Italy, I used to bake these cookies with my mum almost every weekend, and today I'm sharing exactly the recipe I grew up with (thanks mum!).
I promise these pinch cookies are incredibly easy to make, you can actually ask your kids to help you out, my 4-year-old loves making them with me.
They're also great for gifting! So if you're looking for an easy Christmas cookie recipe or a new cookie idea to add to a wedding cookie table, this recipe is a must-try.
The name biscotti pizzicati means "pinched cookies" in Italian, but they also go by the name of biscotti a fiocco (which literally means "bow tie cookies").
Pizzicati are made by pinching the two ends of the dough together and it is from this step that they take their name.
In Italy, we usually serve them for breakfast with milk or tea, or as an afternoon snack.
You won't believe how easy is to make pizzicati at home!
These Italian bow tie cookies are made with the most simple ingredients, in typical Italian fashion.
You'll need just 7 ingredients:
- Butter: Use cold butter cut into small chunks, it makes it easier to mix it with the flour.
- Flour: I use regular all-plain flour or Italian 00 flour.
- Egg: go for a medium-sized yolk.
- Lemon: Lemon zest adds a beautiful citrusy note to the cookies, you can swap it with orange zest if you like. Opt for unwaxed organic lemons if possible.
- Sugar: you will need only powdered sugar for this recipe.
- Baking powder: a little baking powder gives the cookies a nice slightly softer texture.
- Jam: you can use your favorite jam! I use my homemade apricot jam, but cherry jam, peach jam and strawberry jam all work well.
HOW TO MAKE PIZZICATI COOKIES
This is a quick overview of how to make Italian pinch cookies with step-step pictures.
For the full recipe, scroll down to the easy-to-print recipe card.
STEP 1 - Prepare the dough.
Add flour, baking powder, lemon zest and icing sugar to a bowl and mix briefly. Add cubed butter and work the mixture with your fingertips.
Once you have a sandy mixture, add the yolk and knead for a few seconds. Transfer onto a working surface and knead briefly until the dough comes together.
STEP 2 - Rest the dough.
Transfer the ball onto a sheet of cling film, flatten it into a disk and wrap it well. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
STEP 3 - Cut the dough
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll until the dough is approx. ⅛" thick. With a metal serving ring, cookie cutter or cup, cut circles about 2.5-inch/6cm in diameter.
STEP 4 - Fill, pinch the cookies, and bake.
Place half a teaspoon of jam in the center of each circle.
Bring the sides of the dough together as if to close the circle, and pinch the ends together, gently but firmly to secure them. Bake for 17 minutes, then cool on a baking rack.
Once cooled completely, sprinkle them with powdered sugar and serve.
Store the baked cookies in an airtight container or sealed jar.
Keep them in a cool spot in your kitchen or in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
You can also freeze them. Place them on a baking sheet for an hour, then transfer them to a ziplock bag and freeze them for up to two months.
CAN I MAKE THEM AHEAD?
Yes, you can! You can form your Italian bow tie cookies the night before, refrigerate them overnight then bake them in the morning.
PINCH COOKIES BAKING TIPS
- Make sure you chill the dough for 30 minutes before rolling it out.
- If you chilled the dough for too long, it will crumble while you roll it. Don't despair, just keep rolling it until it's a little warmer and easy to roll.
- Place just a small amount of jam in the center of each cookie.
- Always line the baking tray with parchment paper.
- I use a conventional oven (fan option OFF), if you use a convection oven (fan option ON), decrease the baking temperature by 20° C/25°F.
- If your kitchen is warm, I suggest placing the cookies in the fridge for 5-10 minutes before baking them.
DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE?
Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thepetitecook!
Looking at your pictures always makes me smile *and super hungry*!
Pizzicati Cookies - Italian Pinch Cookies
- Set aside one tablespoon of flour. Add the remaining flour into a large bowl, followed by the baking powder, lemon zest and powdered sugar, and mix briefly. Add cubed butter and work the mixture with your fingertips.
- Once you have a sandy mixture, add the yolk and knead for a few seconds. Transfer onto a working surface, slowly incorporate the remaining tablespoon of flour if necessary, and knead briefly until the dough comes together.
- Transfer the ball onto a sheet of cling film, flatten it into a disk and wrap it well. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 170°C/340°F or with fan option on at 150°C/300°F. Arrange the baking tray onto the middle shelf.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll until the dough is approximately ⅛" thick. With a metal serving ring, cookie cutter or cup, cut circles about 2.5-inch/6cm in diameter.
- Place half a teaspoon of jam in the center of each circle.
- Bring the sides of the dough together as if to close the circle, and pinch the ends gently but firmly together to secure them.
- Arrange the cookies on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake them for about 17 minutes or until golden on top. Remove them from the oven, then cool them on a baking rack.
- Once completely cooled, sprinkle them with powdered sugar and serve them.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
MORE CHRISTMAS ITALIAN COOKIES TO TRY
If you liked this recipe, check out more favorite Italian cookie recipes here: