Cookies, Dessert

Ciambelline Sarde (Sardinian Sandwich Cookies)

Nicoletta December 3, 2019

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Ciambelline Sarde (Sardinian Sandwich Cookies). Filled with jam or chocolate hazelnut spread these Sardinian sandwich cookies are beloved by adults and children alike. They are excellent to accompany breakfast but also to eat as a snack or as a dessert at the end of a meal. The traditional shape is that with a double flower but they are also cute in a double star shape.

Song of the day: It’s Time – Imagine Dragons

Ciambelline Sarde (Sardinian Sandwich Cookies)-on a rack

Is there anything better than a buttery shortbread cookie? Oh yes, a sandwich cookie with a luxurious chocolate hazelnut filling, some icing sugar on top, and a cute flower shape.

 

 

The Sweetest Season Cookie Exchange

The Sweetest Season Cookie Exchange is celebrating its eighth year of spreading holiday goodness! It’s a few years, now, that I am invited to contribute with a cookie recipe to the #sweetestseasoncookies virtual exchange. Cookies = love and the holiday season is all about sharing and spreading love, so a group of talented bloggers gets together and shares their most delectable and beautiful cookies. Last year I shared my Orange and Chocolate Star Cookies, the year before, Abbracci Cookies.

Inspiration for these Ciambelline Sarde (Sardinian Sandwich Cookies)

This year inspiration struck during our summer holiday in Sardinia, the beautiful island off the coast of Italy. These typical flower-shaped cookies that you see in the first picture below, accompanied us through our vacation (the second picture is of the house we were staying, overlooking the sea). Once we discovered Ciambelline Sarde at a local bakery, we kept going back to buy more. They were enjoyed at breakfast and also after lunch with an espresso. Crumbly, buttery, with a delicious chocolate filling, they were a pleasure to the eye and the palate.

Making Ciambelline Sarde (Sardinian Sandwich Cookies) at home

Once back home, I was eager to recreate the experience. Of course, I missed the ambiance: our friends, the seaside, the warm weather and relaxation of the holiday. Nonetheless, I knew that these cookies could bring back all the emotions. As for most Italian recipes, there are as many recipes as there are cooks. After thorough research online, I set on the recipe that I am sharing with you.

Ciambelline Sarde (Sardinian Sandwich Cookies)-dough

What you need (to make a lot of cookies)
  • 500 g flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • the zest of 1 small orange (or lemon)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150 g sugar
  • 90 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 90 g vegetable shortening
  • 10 g baking powder
The short pastry

The Ciambelline Sarde (Sardinian Sandwich Cookies) have a beautiful short pastry that I made with a combination of butter and vegetable shortening. Many recipes list lard as the fat of choice, you can choose to use all butter, as you wish. The short pastry has a citrus flavor, like many Italian cookies, and a touch of vanilla. I chose orange, but lemon would do, too. 

Rolling and cutting

There’s a lot of rolling and cutting involved. I decided to use half dough at a time and divide the preparation in two days. The dough can rest in the fridge overnight, you just need to take it out of the fridge about 10 minutes earlier, to bring it to room temperature before rolling. As for the flower shape, the original cookies have 8 petals but I could only find a 6-petal cookie cutter, which works just as fine. The sizes are 3.5 inches (8 cm) for the bigger/bottom cookies and 2.5 inches (6 cm) for the smaller/top cookies. The top cookies have a hole in the center which I did with a piping nozzle.

Because the Ciambelline Sarde (Sardinian Sandwich Cookies) are quite thick, you need to roll the dough to a height of about 4-5 mm (1/2 cm).

Ciambelline Sarde (Sardinian Sandwich Cookies)-top cookies with icing sugarCiambelline Sarde (Sardinian Sandwich Cookies)-bottom cookies

Baking the Flowers

The baking part is as important as the making. As a matter of fact, you have to watch the cookies carefully as they bake, since you don’t want to overbake them. They will tend to harden and get crispier if kept too long in the oven. 

The Flavors

The short pastry is buttery and crumbly and with a lovely orange and vanilla fragrance that marries well with the chocolate hazelnut spread. The cookies are not too sweet, as most of my baking. I used a good quality chocolate hazelnut spread as the filling, you can also use jam as I did in these cookies here and here. And you can dust just the top with icing sugar, or dust the finished sandwich cookies.

Ciambelline Sarde (Sardinian Sandwich Cookies)-filling some with chocolate

The prettiest cookies!

I might be partial, but aren’t these the prettiest cookies of all?

Since cookies for breakfast is typically Italian, I would suggest you try these Ciambelline Sarde (Sardinian Sandwich Cookies) with your morning coffee, tea, or cappuccino. You won’t regret it, lol. Besides, they are perfect as a snack, for your tea time with friends, or dessert. They would also make a beautiful edible gift this holiday season. I know our family, friends, and neighbors enjoyed them a lot when we delivered some to them.

Ciambelline Sarde (Sardinian Sandwich Cookies)

Have fun in the kitchen, and enjoy!

Song of the day: It’s Time – Imagine Dragons

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Ciambelline Sarde (Sardinian Sandwich Cookies)-filling with chocolate

Ciambelline Sarde (Sardinian Sandwich Cookies)

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Ciambelline Sarde (Sardinian Sandwich Cookies). Filled with jam or chocolate hazelnut spread these Sardinian sandwich cookies are beloved by adults and children alike. They are excellent to accompany breakfast but also to eat as a snack or as a dessert at the end of a meal. The traditional shape is that with a double flower but they are also cute in a double star shape.


Ingredients

  • 500 g flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • the zest of 1 small orange (or lemon)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150 g sugar
  • 90 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 90 g vegetable shortening
  • 10 g baking powder

Instructions

For the dough:

  1. Sift flour and baking powder.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the K (paddle) attachment, add the eggs and the sugar, and mix just to combine.
  3. Add a pinch of salt, butter and shortening, grated orange zest, vanilla. Mix.
  4. Finally, add the flour mixture. Mix just until it comes together. Do not overwork.
  5. Shape it into a ball, flatten it and wrap it in plastic. Let it rest in the fridge for about half an hour.
  6. After the resting time, dust your work surface (I use a wood board) and rolling pin with flour and roll the dough to a height of about 1/2 cm (4-5 mm). I divided the dough in two (kept the other half in the fridge) and worked one at a time.
  7. With 2 cookie cutters (of two different sizes, 3.5 inches/8cm and 2.5 inches/6cm), cut an equal number of cookies. In the smaller cookie make a hole in the center using a piping nozzle. Set the holes aside.
  8. Arrange the bigger cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet, slightly apart from each other, and bake them in the preheated oven at 340° F (170° C) for about 12-13 minutes, or until lightly golden. Once ready, let cool on a wire rack.
  9. Arrange the smaller cookies (the ones with the hole in the center) on a parchment-lined baking sheet, slightly apart from each other, and bake them in the preheated oven at 340° F (170° C) for about 7-8 minutes, or until lightly golden. Once ready, let cool on a wire rack and dust with icing sugar.
  10. You can bake the holes on a separate baking sheet for about 8 minutes.

Assembly:

  1. Once cooled, with a small spoon, put some chocolate hazelnut spread in the center of each of the larger cookies. Top each with one of the small cookies with the hole in the center, pressing lightly to release a little chocolate from the sides.

Notes

Some recipes use lard. You can use lard, butter, or like I did, half butter and half vegetable shortening.

You can fill some cookies with jam and some with chocolate hazelnut spread.

Stored in a tin box, or any airtight container, these sandwich cookies lasts quite a few days. If you want to freeze them, freeze the cookies without the icing sugar dusting and filling. Then, when ready to use them, let thaw, fill them, sandwich them, and sprinkle with icing sugar.

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Ciambelline Sarde (Sardinian Sandwich Cookies)-filling with chocolate

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12 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply Colleen December 4, 2019 at 9:32 am

    These cookies really are so pretty, and perfect for any time of year. I love your cookie cutters, they are adorable shapes. These will be the star attraction of any cookie exchange!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 4, 2019 at 5:30 pm

      Thanks! I think they would steal the show for their cute look, but once you taste them, it’s even better. So crumbly and delicious!

  • Avatar
    Reply Kathie December 6, 2019 at 6:06 am

    These are simply lovely! Can’t wait to give them a try.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 8, 2019 at 3:50 pm

      Thanks! We enjoyed them so so much! Hope you love them!

  • Avatar
    Reply Angi December 6, 2019 at 7:34 am

    These are so cute and I love shortbread cookies. I’ll be trying them soon, for sure.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 8, 2019 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks! They are delicious as well as pretty. A win win 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Lauren Schmidt December 8, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    These are seriously so beautiful!!! I would love one with my morning coffee!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 8, 2019 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks! They are amazing with coffee!

  • Avatar
    Reply Amy Nash December 8, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    Wow these cookies are beautiful! And I love the flavor too!

  • Avatar
    Reply Rebecca Costa December 9, 2019 at 8:08 am

    how cute are these! love them! can’t wait to give it a go

  • Avatar
    Reply Sheila Thigpen December 10, 2019 at 4:48 am

    These cookies are just beautiful! Perfect for special occasions.

  • Avatar
    Reply Cheryl - Pook's Pantry December 10, 2019 at 9:16 am

    These cookies are beautiful! I can’t wait to try the recipe!

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