Taralli Dolci di Pasqua are large cookies made for Easter in southern Italy. They are thick and sturdy and fragrant with citrus and vanilla. The cookies themselves are not at all too sweet–most of the sweet comes from the icing. Keep reading to see what other traditional spring cookies the Creative Cookie Exchange has for you this month! Affiliate links have been used in this post to link to items I am discussing.
The theme of traditional cookies for spring holidays was my idea–and yet when I sat down to choose a cookie I realized that all of the traditional spring baked goods I was familiar with were yeasted cakes, like babka. So this one took a little digging. But having been to Italy, well, there is a country that loves their cookies. I knew there had to be one somewhere.
So I set to digging. I used Eat Your Books and eventually came across a recipe for Easter cookies from southern Italy in Nick Malgeri’s Cookies Unlimited. After our adventures in Calabria last summer, you can imagine that I was extra excited that these Taralli Dolci di Pasqua came from southern Italy. My main change to the cookies was to add Fiori di Sicilia extract, since I think it always make vanilla citrus cookies a gazillion times better. I have no idea what an Italian would think of that, but the truth is I love the stuff so much I don’t really care.
You may notice these Taralli Dolci di Pasqua are huge. Nick Malgieri makes clear that is the traditional size, so that is what I went with. But you can, of course, make them smaller. Amusingly, Alex has taken to calling them “dookies,” cookies that look like donuts. The kids both really liked these, as did John. If you harbor a fondness for basic vanilla cookies, iced or with sprinkles, you will love these. I liked them, but did not love them, but I do not think I did anything wrong, I think it is just the kind of cookie that they are. Given a choice, I will not usually choose the iced or sprinkled (or both!) cookie.
One of the fun things about these cookies is that they are easily made by hand. They are similar in a weird way to making scones–when you fold the wet and dry together it will be a little crumbly and INcohesive, but after a few quick kneads on a clean counter, the dough comes together beautifully and is really easy to work with.
- 5½ cups (693 g) AP flour
- 1½ T baking powder
- ½ t fine sea salt
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup (12 T, 1½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 T vanilla
- ½ t fiori di sicilia extract
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 T lemon juice
- 1 t vanilla
- a few drops fiori di sicilia extract
- 2-3 T water to thin the icing out
- sprinkles of choice
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare 4 baking sheets (or prepare 2 at a time) by lining with parchment paper or silicone mats. Set aside.
- Whisk together the four, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until broken up and completely incorporated (i.e., no separate yellows or whites). While whisking, pour the sugar into the eggs in a thin stream.
- Pour the butter into the eggs, while whisking, in a thin stream.
- Whisk in the vanilla and fiori di sicilia.
- Gently fold the flour mix into the egg mixture. When it is mostly cohesive but still a little crumbly, turn it out onto a clean surface (lightly flour the surface unless you are using a silicone mat, in which case it will not need it).
- Briefly knead the dough to make it a cohesive ball.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal sized portions. Then divide each portion in half.
- With each portion (1/16 of the dough), roll it into an even rope 8 inches long. Then pinch the ends together to form a circle.
- Bake 4-6 circles of dough on a sheet at a time. If you bake 2 at once, be sure to rotate top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking (unless you are using a convection oven). Bake for 26-30 minutes, or until quite puffed and a deep golden brown.
- Remove to cool on the cookie sheet. If you need the cookie sheet for another round of baking, let cool for 5-7 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.
- Do not ice the cookies until they are completely cooled.
- Whisk the lemon juice, vanilla and fiori di sicilia into the powdered sugar. Then add enough water, by the tablespoon, until you get a smooth and drippy yet thick icing.
- Dip the top half of each cookie into the icing. Let some of the excess drip off back into the bowl. Then scatter sprinkles over the icing and let set completely.
We all associate cookies with “The” holidays in December, but spring holidays are a great time for cookies also! Whether you are celebrating Easter, Passover, or something else, we’ve found some great traditional cookies from around the world for you!
You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:
Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:
- Chocolate Candy Coconut Cookies from Magnolia Days
- Easter Egg Cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Egyptian Date Crescents from Food Lust People Love
- Lemon Hamantaschen from Spiceroots
- Lemon Meltaway Cookies from A Baker’s House
- Ma’amoul – Date Stuffed Cookies from All That’s Left Are The Crumbs
- Malt M&M’s Easter Cookies from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Maltese Figolli Cookies from Upstate Rambling
- Peach and Pistachio Frangiapane Hamantaschen from Live Bake Love
- Persian Chickpea Cookies (Nan e Nokhodchi) from Flours and Frostings
- Taralli Dolci di Pasqua (Southern Italian Easter Cookies) from The Spiced Life
- Zesty Citrus Bar Cookies from 2 Cookin’ Mamas
Looking for a fun collage for Pinterest? The file size was too big for good load speed, but you can click here to find one already on Pinterest!