Whenever I find myself at an Italian bakery I always and I do mean always head straight for the cookie tray to see if they have homemade spiral shaped Italian butter cookies sprinkled on top with mini chocolate chips. I adore those cookies. Some bakeries have them with rainbow sprinkles on top instead of the mini chocolate chips. I find I always miss the flavor of the chocolate on those. The chocolate brings balance to the force (yes that was a lame star wars reference, Hubby would be proud).
If you are unfamiliar with these cookies prepare yourself for a treat. These cookies are in the shortbread family. They are not terribly sweet (just the right amount of sweet), they have a huge butter flavor (thats the reason to use the best butter possible) and they have a melting crumbly texture that is just heavenly. They are light as a feather considering how buttery they are. The chocolate guilds the lilly here. I have actually made these and thought maybe more chocolate would be better so I dipped them in dark chocolate ganache. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. That amount of chocolate overwhelmed the gorgeous butter flavor and took away from the cookie. These are perfect as is. They will bring you right back to you favorite Italian bakery. If you don’t have a favorite Italian bakery……bake these cookies and open a bakery in your kitchen. Charge the kids for cookies….could be fun.
These are probably my Husbands favorite cookies. When he is taking too long to come home from work I bake a batch of these and text him a picture with no words. He comes home as fast as possible so he doesn’t miss out because the kids got to them first.
Homemade Italian Bakery Butter Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) of best quality butter
1/2 cup of confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
scant 1/4 cup of cornstarch
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt
mini chocolate chips
Here we go…
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Set up you piping bag with a large start tip or other similar decorative tip (small tips will not work here). I set mine into a large tumbler to keep the bag standing so it is easier to fill.
In the work bowl of your standing mixer cream the butter then add the confectioners sugar and cream them both together.
Add the vanilla extract and combine.
In a separate bowl combine your dry ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix well. Do not over beat.
Put the cookie dough into the prepared piping bag. Twist the top so the dough moves to the tip end and eliminates air pockets.
Pipe out the dough into closed spirals. This does require some hand strength, consider it the work out before you eat the cookies.
Gently place the chips neatly on top of each cookie.
Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the cookie you piped. the cookies should have a light golden color on the edges and the bottom. If they are not lightly golden as I described the texture will not be right.
Cool the cookies completely on a rack. These cookies taste best when completely cool.
Plate them up and enjoy! An expresso or a cup of good coffee would go great right now….yup, I going to make some coffee! I sent the picture to Hubby at work…He should be here any minute.