This post was first published in March 2015, updated in December 2018.
Pasticcini di Pasta frolla are shortbread cookies, very friable, and melt in the mouth delicious. The pastry is so soft that it must be shaped with the sac à poche (piping bag). They are easy to prepare and perfect with a nice hot drink, especially tea. That’s why, in Italy, they are are also called Pasticcini da tè (tea cookies).
Song of the day: Holocene – Bon Iver.
With Christmas approaching fast, I needed a recipe for some cookies I wanted to fit into a festive tin box and gift to people I love and care about. A few boxes of Pasticcini di Pasta frolla are waiting to be delivered to someone’s special and I can’t wait to see the smile on their face when that lid is being open, and mostly, the look of contentment after the first bite.
I just remembered that on the blog, buried deep down in the archive, when we had just started our blog and photography was still at the beginning, there was a fabulous recipe for some Italian shortbread cookies called Pasticcini di Pasta frolla.
Pasticcini di Pasta frolla or Italian Shortbread Cookies
They are the kind of buttery, melt in your mouth deliciousness, that makes my heart skip a beat every time I see it or put one in my mouth. The pastry is so soft that it must be shaped with the sac à poche (piping bag). They are easy to prepare and perfect with a nice hot drink, especially tea. That’s why, in Italy, they are are also called Pasticcini da tè (tea cookies).
I find them extremely adorable, almost fancy, and they are sold in every Italian Pasticceria, bakery, or pastry shop. They are often brought as a gift when invited over for tea or dessert and are the ones you display proudly if you’re hosting a tea party or just a lovely afternoon among girlfriends.
These are the most common shapes you can find for Pasticcini di Pasta frolla, but you can always add your own touch, and yes, I did add my touch. Sprinkles are never seen on these cookies, but I found them so festive and perfect for the Holidays. I also replaced the dark chocolate I used in my previous post for a blend of semi-sweet chocolate chips and a fleur de sel milk chocolate. One word, scrumptious!
Some Pasticcini di Pasta frolla, I decided to leave plain, which means, translated into Italian, with a simple dusting of icing sugar. Pretty as a snowy day in this part of the world.
I left the old post, and the old pictures, for I still feel an emotional connection.
“Our kitchen in Edmonton must be quiet now since there it’s night time. But it’s Saturday morning here in Rome. A beautiful, sunny, mild, spring day. I have a quick breakfast: cappuccino, 2 biscotti and a piece of the last orange ginger yogurt cake. I have no time for frills because I want to start baking some pasticcini di pasta frolla. I had the inspiration yesterday, the first day of spring, to make some very light, melt-in-your-mouth cookies. And I remembered that here, in every cafeteria, bakery and pastry shop, they sell the most amazing pasticcini in different shapes but made of the same “friable”, super light texture, with one end dipped in chocolate. They’re considered “afternoon” cookies, to have with tea, to bring to friends when you’re invited over or when you’re hosting a tea party. Anyway, this pasticcini are simply delicious, not very difficult to prepare, with a great result. The dough is buttery and creamy (like that of a shortbread cookie), thanks also to the icing sugar in the mix and -my addition- the potato starch, which adds more softness, lightness, and crumbliness. It’s time to have some fun with the sac-à-poche (the piping bag) and make some shapes. The sugary smell of the butter coming from the oven, mixed with the fragrance coming from the dark chocolate melting on the stove it’s almost intoxicating… Do you remember how to melt the chocolate in a bain-marie? See how here. I can’t wait to try one. What about you?”
Back to the present
The Christmas tree is up and is beautifully decorated; underneath the tree, the wrapped gifts are sharing their space on the skirt with the cats. Wonton and Bailey love being under the tree! The backyard is looking pretty gleeful, and when Loreto lights up all the decorations at night the whole neighborhood is illuminated!
We are deep into the Christmas spirit, let’s all try and give as much as we can, bring joy, and peace around us. Remember the butterfly effect, every small act can have big effects.
Song of the day: Holocene – Bon Iver.Print
Pasticcini di Pasta frolla are shortbread biscuits, very friable, and melt in the mouth delicious. The pastry is so soft that it must be shaped with the sac à poche (piping bag). They are easy to prepare and perfect with a nice hot drink, especially tea. That’s why, in Italy, they are are also called tea biscuits and are sold in every pasticceria.
- 170 g flour (I use 00 flour, but unbleached all-purpose flour is fine)
- 50 g potato starch
- 1 egg, organic, free-range
- 150 g butter, soft
- 80 g icing (powdered) sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 80 g dark chocolate, melted, for decoration
- sprinkles, candied cherry (optional)
- Preheat oven to 200° C (390° F).
- In a mixing bowl with a handheld mixer, or in the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the soft butter and icing sugar until fluffy.
- Add the egg and the vanilla, continuing to beat until the mixture is well blended in the creamed butter.
- Add the flour sifted with the potato starch and baking powder and fold it with a spatula, stirring from bottom to top, until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency.
- Put the dough in a sac à poche (piping bag) with a large star tip.
- Form cookies in a round shape (or U-shape, or any shape you like) and lay them on a previously lined baking sheet.
- Cook in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until light brown.
- In the meantime, melt the dark chocolate in a bain-marie.
- Let the cookies cool down before dipping the half in the chocolate. Place them on a lined baking sheet and let the chocolate harden before serving them. If you want, you can add sprinkles to the chocolate.
The butter has to be soft, so leave it out of the fridge a few hours before using.
In the center of the round shaped pasticcini, you can put a candied cherry before baking.
Store them in a tin box and maybe give them as a gift.