Aunt Adele’s Befana Cookies

The third recipe of our series was shared with us by Andrea Berti, the 4th generation owner of Coltellerie Berti, whose beautiful handmade knives have been available from MATCH for over a decade.

“Each year on Epiphany, my wife’s family, from the great grandparents to the great grandchildren, gather for lunch after the children joyfully open their stockings. At these celebrations everyone enjoys Aunt Adele’s Befana cookies.”

ingredients (Approximately 24 cookies)

  • 1¼ cups flour (300g)
  • ½ cup sugar (100g)
  • ⅔ cup melted butter (150g)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 egg yolks (plus one separate yolk for brushing)
  • 1 tablespoon Marsala wine or dark rum
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Sugar sprinkles for decoration

step 1
In a large bowl beat the yolks and sugar until foamy.

step 2
Add the flour and melted, cooled butter. Mix until there are no lumps.

step 3
Add the Marsala (or rum), orange zest, honey, and baking powder. Stir to combine.

step 4
Cover with plastic and refrigerate for two hours.

step 5
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to approx. ⅓ inch (1cm) thickness.

step 6
Cut into shapes with cookie cutters and place them onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

step 7
Brush the tops with egg yolk and decorate with sprinkles. Bake at 350° for 10-15 min until golden brown, but not too dark.

Buon appetito!

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