I am sure that you will agree with me on this: food and memories are linked.  When I eat something, my brain starts remembering things connected to the taste I am enjoying.  This happens to me all the time.  Since moving to Australia though this connection has become somewhat stronger.  It’s probably because I can enjoy certain food and flavours less frequently than before, or maybe I am simply getting older and more “emotional”.  Whatever the reason, I tend to remember my childhood quite often and today’s recipe is strictly linked to it.  To my childhood, that is.  I have always had more of a “savoury tooth” than a “sweet” one… except for chocolate, Nutella and these cookies.  Canestrelli are simple, buttery shortbread-like cookies, shaped like flowers and covered in icing sugar.  Nothing fancy.  Yet, they taste amazing and the memories they bring back… well those are even sweeter.  Wouldn’t you like to be a 10 year old again??  I do!!!!  Sitting in my parents kitchen with a glass of milk (cold and no sugar for me, please!) and a few Canestrelli to munch on! :-)  Well, I can’t get that wish granted, but I sure can make some Canestrelli at home and enjoy them with my kids.  Maybe I will help create some sweet memories for them too.  I really hope so!  This is my Regional Italian dish for this week as Canestrelli are typically from Liguria!  Enjoy!


Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Italian
  • 200 gms – 7 oz. flour
  • 100 gms – 3.5 oz. butter, softened and chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon, grated
  • 1 sachet vanillina (or ½ tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 80 gms – 2.8 oz. sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch baking powder
  • Icing sugar
  1. Sift the flour and knead it together with the egg yolk, butter, lemon zest, vanillina (or vanilla extract), sugar, salt and baking powder. You can do this in an electric mixer or by hand.
  2. Make a ball with the dough, wrap it in cling wrap and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Roll the dough into a 5 mm – 0.2 inch thick sheet and cut out flower shapes with a small hole inside (I used a little oil bottle cap to make the small hole).
  4. Put the cookies on a oven tray covered with baking paper and cook them in a pre-heated oven at 190°C – 375°F for 10 minutes. The cookies have to be just a light golden colour.
  5. Let them cool down on the tray. When they are completely cold, dust them with a generous amount of icing sugar.


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  1. Anonymus says

    Hi Manu! I love your site and your recipes. I was wondering if you could post a recipe for minestrone if you have some time.

    • says

      Hi there! It is still very hot down here (today it was 31C and 80% humid), so I haven’t been making soups too often lately, but as soon as the weather cools down I will definitely make minestrone and post the recipe. In fact, I myself am surprised of the fact that I haven’t posted it yet! I make it so often in winter!!!! I promise you will see it on the blog as soon as possible! :-)

      • Anonymus says

        Awesome! It’s fine to wait until you feel like eating it — I imagine the best part of running a site like this is getting to eat the meals you prepare for it, so it would be a waste to make the minestrone now. I’ve got you on my RSS reader, so I’ll notice when the time comes, and until then I will enjoy the other recipes you are posting. :)

        Thanks for all the work you do here!

        It’s humid here as well, but only 0°C. A few days ago it was 15°C and then a few days before that we had a blizzard!


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