Francesca is an assistant food editor for Delish where she assists in recipe testing, recipe development, and food video! Her time at the CIA and experience as a Producer/Culinary Producer have allowed her to travel the globe! She’s often referred to as “Pasta Zani” due to her passion for all things pasta!
To think a fluffy, enriched bread can somehow translate into a buttery cookie might seem preposterous. But don’t stop reading! These cookies are a simpler approach to the sought-after Christmas bread. You’ll really enjoy this cookie because the flavors and textures of traditional panettone come forward, as the cookie is just a base for the orange peel, currants, dried apricots, chocolate, and almonds. Orange extract gives the cookie a very subtle uplift to accentuate the orange peel and currants, which are popular additions to the sweet bread.
What is panettone?
The Italian bread has origins in Northern Italy, specifically in Milano. Everyone there is quite familiar with the dessert; there’s a festival that takes place in the bread's honor as well. Some people will argue it’s a cake because of its sweetness. The recipe has evolved over the years to include the addition of more butter—because what’s better than that—which may make baking the bread trickier. People will save the bread for a few weeks, slice a slab, toast, and dab with more, you guessed it, butter.
Why would you use OO flour instead of all-purpose flour?
You can totally sub in all-purpose flour for OO flour; however, OO flour is finer in texture and will produce a more tender product. For these butter cookies, and because panettone bread is so tender, if you have it, it’d be great to use in this recipe.
How to find candied orange peel?
You can order candied orange peel online if your grocery store doesn’t have it. If you don’t want to order it online, we have a recipe for it here; otherwise, you can sub in minced fresh orange peel. If you really like citrus peel, you can chop the pieces larger.
Can these cookies be made in advance?
This is a festive holiday cookie but could be made any time of the year. The dough holds up very well in the fridge or freezer once rolled into a log. If you want to make this a month in advance, you can freeze the dough. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, allow them to thaw in the fridge so you get those perfectly molded rounds when slicing.
What are other great holiday cookies?
I love nostalgic holiday smells, especially when the outdoor air is crisp, the house is warm, and the oven is cranking out Italian-style cookies. Here are some of the greats you can add into your cookie box giveaways for holiday time:
- For all you marzipan, raspberry jam loving folk, Italian rainbow cookies are impressive and delicious.
- Snowball cookies, or Italian or Mexican wedding cookies (so many name derivatives), are cute and easy.
- Ricotta is a classic, so ricotta cookies are a go-to.
- Pignoli cookies might burn a hole in your pocket but are totally worth the treat.
Have you made these? Let us know how it went in the comments below!
- 28 - 30
- Prep Time:
- 20 mins
- Total Time:
- 3 hrs
- 1 c.
(2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 c.
(100 g.) granulated sugar
large egg yolks
- 2 3/4 c.
(330 g.) OO flour
- 1/2 tsp.
- 2 tbsp.
- 1/2 tsp.
- 3 tbsp.
almond slices, plus more for sprinkling
- 3 tbsp.
candied orange peel
- 3 tbsp.
dried black currants
- 3 tbsp.
finely chopped dried apricots, plus more for sprinkling
- 3 tbsp.
semisweet mini chocolate chips
- 10 oz.
- Step 1In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Step 2Reduce mixer speed to medium-low. Add egg yolks and beat to combine. Scrape down bowl. Add flour and salt and mix on low speed just to combine. Add milk and orange extract and beat to combine. Fold in almonds, orange peel, currants, apricots, and chips.
- Step 3Turn out dough onto a long piece of plastic wrap. Roll into 2 (16-ounce) logs about 9 1/2" long and 1 1/2" wide. Refrigerate at least 1 hour 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
- Step 4Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Slice log into rounds a little more than 1/2" thick. Arrange on prepared sheets, spacing 1" apart.
- Step 5Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Step 6In a medium heatproof bowl, microwave white chocolate in 10-second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Dip one-half of each cookie into chocolate and place on parchment. Sprinkle cookies with almond slices and dried apricots.