Occhi di Bue, Italian Sweet Treats

Occhi di Bue, Italian sweet treats

5 from 2 reviews

Occhi di Bue, Bull's (Ox) Eyes, are are delicious, traditional Italian shortbread cookies filled either with jam or chocolate that you can find in every pasticceria, bakery, in Rome. They are my absolute favourite childhood treat. 


  • 100 g butter, unsalted, cold, cubed
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 50 g vanilla sugar (or 100 g granulated sugar total)
  • 200 g flour type 00 or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • icing sugar for topping
  • jam for filling


  1. In a large bowl, add the flour and in the center, the sugars and cold cubed butter. Work fast the ingredients with a pastry cutter or with your hand, until you get a pebble-like texture.
  2. Add the egg and mix briefly.
  3. Empty the mixture on the work surface and work it fast until you get a smooth and homogeneous dough.
  4. Shape it in a ball, press it down to a flat rectangle, wrap it in plastic and set it in the fridge to rest for half an hour, at least.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350° F (180°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat.
  6. After that time, unwrap the dough, dust the working surface and the rolling pin with flour and start rolling the dough, turning it and adding flour as you stretch the dough if you feel it is sticking to the surface or the rolling pin.
  7. Roll the dough to about a 3-4 mm thickness.
  8. With the bigger biscuit cutter, cut the dough in as many rounds as you can, taking the leftover dough and reshaping and rolling. Remember that half of your rounds will be cut in the center.
  9. With the smaller biscuit cutter, cut a hole in center of half of the rounds.
  10. Place on the prepared baking sheets.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for about 12/15 minutes.
  12. Let them cool slightly to room temperature.
  13. Dust with the icing sugar only the cookies with the hole (which will be the top of your Occhi di Bue). Set aside.
  14. Place a teaspoon of jam of your choice in the center of the cookie bottoms without the hole (do not spread it throughout the cookie bottom, just keep it a little wider than the hole).
  15. Place the cookies with a hole on top of the cookies with the jam, gently squeeze and your Occhi di Bue are ready!


The total time includes the resting time in the fridge. The cookies keep for 2-3 days in a partially covered container, without losing their crunchiness.

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