It’s almost Valentine’s Day and I found a recipe for Italian bakery butter cookies that I wanted to try, so I made them into heart shapes. They’re topped with chocolate frosting and chocolate is always a must have on Valentine’s Day.
I must have made my cookies a lot larger than the original recipe called for because I only got 16 cookies. I found the dough to be very thick and I needed to add a fourth egg yolk as described in the notes at the bottom of the recipe. Even with the extra egg yolk, I had a hard time piping the dough. I wound up puncturing the Ziploc bag with my finger while piping the dough. While the frosting was a bit easier to pipe, it was pretty thick also.
I love recreating store bought treats at home, whether they are prepackaged snacks or store or bakery made. While searching for a suitable recipe, I found resources on the internet saying that The Italian Bakery book by Lee Mangione Cirillo is the best. I searched for the book but there are none to be found. Someone sold one on Ebay last year but that’s as close I got to finding a copy. I’m so glad I found these wonderful cookies and shared them with you. This doesn’t mean that I won’t by cookies from the bakery sometimes but now I can make them myself whenever I want. What store bought treats have you tried to recreate at home?
Italian Butter Cookie Hearts
Yield: 36 – 41 small cookies Cook Time: 10 minutes
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (4 1/2 ounces) sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 ounces) flour
Rosette Chocolate Frosting:
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Step 1: For the dough: In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar for 5 minutes at medium speed. Combine egg yolks and vanilla with butter mixture and mix until completely combined. Mix in flour at low speed.
Step 2: The original recipe specified “Pipe with bag onto ungreased cookie sheet into rosettes with a #7 “S” tube (or roll into 1 ” balls, place on cookie sheet and flatten slightly).” but since I don’t have those particular items, I used a Ziploc bag, cut off one corner and piped the dough into heart shapes onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. You can optionally top with colored sprinkles (jimmies). Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 7 to 10 minutes. Cool completely on racks.
Step 3: Rosette Chocolate Frosting: Sift together powdered sugar and cocoa and set aside. Cream butter for a few minutes and then beat in 1 cup of sugar and cocoa mixture. Mix in vanilla. Mix in remaining sugar alternating with milk.
Step 4: Once cookies are completely cooled, fill a pastry bag with half the frosting recipe at a time and pipe a large rosette in the center of the cookie. Let frosting set before storing.
Options: You may use yellow or pink frosting for rosettes by eliminating cocoa powder and increasing powdered sugar another 2/3 cup (or more if needed), until reaching piping consistency and adding desired color.
Note: If dough is too firm to pipe through bag return dough to mixing bowl and beat in another egg yolk.
Storing: Store in a sealed plastic container for a few days.
Recipe minimally adapted from The Italian Bakery book by Lee Mangione Cirillo.