Milk Cookies (Biscottoni). Easy to make, with simple, basic ingredients, these milk cookies are rustic and fragrant. They have the flavors of my childhood and the aroma of small towns' Italian bakeries.
Song of the day: You Need To Calm Down - Taylor Swift
Golden, crunchy on the top, crumbly and soft on the inside, these milk cookies are the perfect breakfast cookies. We love to dip them in coffee or cappuccino because they stay firm without crumbling into the liquid. They are also great with milk and served at an afternoon tea.
[This post was first published on February 19, 2015. It has been updated for photos, recipe, and writing.]
My parents are from a small town about an hour east of Rome, where I spent most of my childhood holidays. I have so many beautiful memories of people and food. Every time I go back to the small town I try to buy as many local products as I can, and cookies like these, called biscottoni (because of their big size), are always part of the "bounty". Moreover, I really love small towns’ bakeries: they have that delicate, fragrant smell of homemade bread, biscotti, and pizza.
- flour (I used type 0)
- cane sugar
- salt (just a pinch)
- egg (preferably organic, free-range)
- vegetable oil (I used peanut oil)
- milk (any kind you want)
- orange - or lemon- zest
- baking powder
The steps of the preparation
- In a large bowl sift the flour, a pinch of salt, and baking powder. Make a well in the center and add sugar, egg, lemon or orange zest. Mix with a fork.
- Then, add oil, milk, and vanilla extract (if using). Blend with a fork.
- Start incorporating the flour from the sides.
- When all the flour has been incorporated, work the dough with your hands until it comes together.
- Take pieces of dough about 50 grams each (I used a scale), and give them an oval shape.
- Place on the baking sheet as you go. You can line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or use a non-stick cookie sheet, like mine).
- After you placed all the cookies on the baking sheet, flatten them with your hand and set in the fridge for 15 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F).
- After the resting time in the fridge, brush the cookies with milk and sprinkle cane sugar on top.
- Lastly, after all the cookies are brushed with milk and have sugar on top, place in the preheated oven, on the middle shelf.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until they are golden brown. Let cool completely on the baking sheet.
The taste test
The cookies have to cool completely on the baking sheet, so imagine the will power we needed to patiently wait until then. However, as soon as they were cold, I placed them on a towel-lined basket, poured a glass of milk and set to taste one right away.
These Milk Cookies are soft and crumbly, with a sugary crispy topping, with a delightful orange and milk flavor throughout. They taste exactly, if not better, like the ones we buy in the small town bakery, although a little smaller in size. The recipe you see here is half of the original one because we are living in a time where we have to make do with what we have. I would definitely recommend doubling the recipe if you have enough ingredients.
This is the third week of working from home, not being able to go out, and living in fear. I have multiple anxiety attacks, but one thing is certain, baking relaxes me to the utmost and making these cookies brought a smile to my face and some peace in my life.
Song of the day: You Need To Calm Down - Taylor SwiftPrint