Canistrelli have become a new favorite cookie at our house. Each Christmas we receive a bag of these wonderfully addictive treats from my husband’s colleague Anca. She gave me some instructions to make them, but my attempts were never as good as her cookies. Recently, I came across Dorie Greenspan’s canistrelli recipe in her book Baking Chez Moi, so my recipe is adapted from both that book and Anca’s instructions. These cookies are simple, rustic, and dairy free. With just a few strokes of a fork you have an easy-to-handle and full-flavored dough. They can be shaped into diamonds, squares, or circles, and can also be filled with small pieces of Turkish delight.
1-1/2 c. flour (you may need 1-2 Tbsp extra if the dough is too moist)
3/4 c. confectioner’s sugar plus extra for garnish
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
zest of half a medium lemon
1/3 c. white wine (I use Pinot Grigio)
1/4 c. olive oil (not extra virgin)
2-1/2 Tbsp. Pastis or other anise flavored liqueur or extract to taste
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
granulated sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine flour, confectioner’s sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Stir with a fork to mix. Make a well in the center and add wine, olive oil, Pastis, and vanilla. Use the fork to stir from the center on out until a crumbly mixture begins to form. Transfer dough to a parchment- or silpat-lined surface. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the dough and roll dough out with a rolling pin to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a fluted pastry wheel to cut the dough into strips, then squares or diamonds. Place cut cookies on baking sheets and sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar. Bake 25-30 minutes until cookies are golden on bottom and top. Cool on rack. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar to serve. Makes 60 cookies.