Canestrelli biscuits

This recipe for canestrelli biscuits makes it easy to create this tasty Ligurian treat – Mario Matassa shares his technique to show us how its done…


These biscotti would traditionally have been twice cooked (bis-cotti), resulting in a crisp exterior and crumbly interior. Canestrelli can be bought today, fresh from the ovens, in any good bakery in Liguria:

Serves 8-10
Preparation time 10 minutes, plus resting
Cooking time 20 minutes


• 300g unsalted butter

• 500g plain flour

• 2 free-range egg yolks

• 180g caster sugar

• extra caster sugar for serving


1 Melt the butter and then set it aside to cool. Place the flour in a large bowl and add the cooled butter and the two free-range egg yolks.  

2 Mix everything together well to obtain a smooth dough. Flatten the dough slightly and then wrap it with greaseproof paper.  

3 Put the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to rest. This will make it easier to roll.  

4 Roll the rested dough to a thickness of 1cm and, using a flower-shaped cutter (preferably with seven points), cut the biscuit shapes. 

5 Use the leftover egg whites to brush the tops of the biscuits. 

6 Place on a lined baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 165°C/Gas Mark 3 for 20 minutes, or until golden.  

7 Cool the canestrelli on a baking rack and dust with icing sugar before serving

You can find more Italian recipes from Cinque Terre 
And there are plenty more delicious Italian-inspired recipes here