Authentic Italian Cookie Recipes (2024)

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Hard, soft, chewy — take your pick from this list of authentic Italian cookie recipes.Whether from the northern region of Piemonte, or the southern region of Sicily, you will definitely find a favorite!

Authentic Italian Cookie Recipes (1)

Biscotti, biscotti, biscotti!

While initially translated as ‘twice-cooked‘ (from the Latin word ‘biscoctus’), it seems to comprise all kinds of Italian biscuits or cookies nowadays.

So, we are not going to call them biscotti — that’s too generic.

Instead, let’s go into specifics with these traditional Italian cookies.Enjoy!


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Pastry dough

Pasta Frolla

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Also known as Italian sweet shortcrust pastry, it is a pastry dough used as the base for many traditional Italian cookies.

Aside from being used in pies and tarts, pasta frolla is also excellent for cookies because it’s not too sweet nor too buttery.

And you don’t even need a food processor to make it.

Do you have a fork and a rolling pin? Then you’re off to a good start in making authentic Italian cookies at home!

North Italy


Brutti ma Buoni (‘Ugly but Good’ Cookies)

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These Piemontese cookies got their name because of the way they look, but don’t let that stop you because they’re simply heavenly.

Using only three ingredients, these authentic Italian cookies showcase one of the region’s pride– hazelnuts.

Ground hazelnuts mixed with sugar and egg whites, and you get meringue-like cookies that are crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

It’s up to you if you prefer to roast the hazelnuts beforehand.

Either way, brutti ma buoni is always a winner for both kids and adults.


Zaleti (Venetian Cornmeal Cookies)

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Like polenta, these cookies are made of cornmeal — a staple ingredient in northern Italy.

Named after their color, ‘zaleti‘ means yellow in Venetian dialect; and they’re pretty hard to miss because of that.

Not a fan of raisins?No problem, you can easily replace them with satsumas or currants when making these cornmeal cookies.

Bottom line, if you like soft cookies with a few crunchy edges, this is an excellent Italian cookie recipe for you to try.

Central Italy


Cantucci (Tuscan Almond Biscotti)

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Not to be confused with other types of biscotti, cantucci are almond biscotti that have originated from the Tuscan city of Prato — and the most remarkable part? They are ancient cookies that can be traced back to medieval times!

Traditionally served with a glass of Vin Santo (sweet dessert wine) for dipping, these Tuscan almond biscotti are also excellent with coffee or tea.

Just don’t forget to dip them first to soften them up. 🙂

South Italy


Dolci di Noci (Italian Walnut Cookies)

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Similar to brutti ma buoni, you only need three ingredients to prepare Italian walnut cookies, but you would use the entire egg, so this recipe is even easier (if that’s possible 😉 ).

These walnut cookies are considered flourless Italian cookies, so you must ground the walnuts before combining them with sugar and eggs.

Just remember to go easy on grinding them, or you will end up with walnut butter — unusable for making dolci di noci.


Intorchiate (Italian Almond Cookie Twists)

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Read Recipe Here

If you like taralli Pugliese, you would love this sweeter version from the same region.

Despite being called Italian almond cookie twists, the almonds are only the ones you see on top of the cookies, nothing in the dough.

The cookie dough itself is quite simple to prepare, but the actual forming of these authentic Italian cookies takes a bit of time to get used to — but trust me, making intorchiate is very therapeutic.


Biscotti Regina (Sicilian Sesame Seed Cookies)

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Italian sesame cookies — my personal favorite.

If you’ve always been wary of making cookies, I strongly suggest you start with these classic Italian cookies from the south.

Known locally as biscotti regina, these cookies are based on ‘pasta frolla‘ — a very simple recipe.

You don’t need to ground any nut, no need to add wine or olive oil, just your plain flour, egg, sugar, and butter cookie dough.

These Italian sesame cookies are so good with coffee or dry red wine.Yep, I said wine — certainly works for me. 🙂

So, you managed to pick a favorite yet? Or you still need to try some of them?Let me know in the comment section below! 🙂

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Authentic Italian Cookie Recipes (2024)
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