italian butter cookies

italian butter cookies

Have you ever visited a place and felt immediate inspiration? I have, a handful of times. Not in Paris, where a sense of wariness and the scent of garbage marred anything good; nor in Berlin, where a cold snap and room service tempted me away. But, a few weeks ago, Rome caught my eye.

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With family holidaying in the city, it was a hard opportunity to pass up. Stepping off the plane, I was struck by two things: first, the heat – warm and dry even by Indian summer standards – and second, the beauty. Having never visited a Med country, I didn’t have any expectations. But if I had, Rome passed them.

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But it wasn’t just the architecture, or the sun-soaked streets dotted with tourists, or the history hidden in every avenue – it was the feeling, the atmosphere… and, perhaps most importantly, the food. As someone whose entire hobby list can be boiled down to ‘food’, experiencing Rome was a dream. From cacio e pepe to homemade gelato and exquisite carbonara, it was everything I’d hoped it might be.

And when I returned, brimming with dreams of food and travel and writing, it only seemed right to mark the occasion with Italian butter cookies – tiny, melting shortbreads with chocolate-dipped tips – as elegant and fleeting as Rome itself.

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Italian Butter Cookies 
YOU’RE GONNA NEED: a piping bag with a large star tip

1 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 egg + 2 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1-2 bars dark or milk chocolate, for melting and dipping

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and two sugars until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

2. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat to combine. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to the butter mixture and beat to combine.

3. Scoop the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe into roughly 2in logs onto the baking sheet, about 1in apart.* Bake for 10-12 minutes until just golden.

4. Cool on a wire rack. When completely cooled, dip the ends into the melted chocolate and allow to set on parchment paper.

*Tips:
The dough is difficult to squeeze out of the piping bag. To make it a bit easier, warm the bag in your hands for a few seconds before piping.

Notes:
Recipe adapted from The Kitchen McCabe.

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