Though no trip to the Amalfi Coast would be complete without Italian Drinking Chocolate, the accompanying Italian butter cookies will leave you craving them long after you bid “ciao” to the magical coast. I loved them so much, it was only right to give them their very own post.
Italian Butter Cookies
The famous Pasticceria Andrea Pansa in Amalfi, Italy is a dessert-lover’s paradise. We went for the drinking chocolate but stayed for the cookies. At first look, they may appear to be ordinary shortbread cookies overshadowed by the extraordinary beverages they are served with, but don’t let that fool you, they’re pretty spectacular in their own right. The Italian butter cookies found at this Amalfi landmark are light, slightly crispy, yet chewy cookies dipped in chocolate— and dare I say, a near perfect cookie.
They’re the type of cookie that takes me back to childhood. No, I didn’t secretly grow up in Italy, but they do remind me of the buttery sugar cookies found at the now sadly closed and dearly missed Port Huron Bakery in my home town of Port Huron, MI. Every time we were in the area, I’d beg my mom to stop there to get their signature “smiley face” cookies. I’d always eat around the chocolate portion and save it for last (because you know it was the best part).
Where to Find It
If you find yourself in Amalfi, the place to experience cookie perfection it is the historic Pasticceria Andrea Pansa. This place dates back to 1830 and has been owned by the same family for 5 generations. It’s situated right next to the steps of the landmark St. Andrew Cathedral in the main square. Look to your right and you can’t miss it. If you can, try to snag an outdoor table and take in the sights of the square and enjoy your butter cookies with a cup of decadent life changing drinking chocolate. Be sure to take a look inside the beautiful cafe, oogle at the amazing variety of confections tucked inside a huge glass counter, and take home a box of treats for later.
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup raw sugar
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1–1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2–1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a stand or handheld mixer, beat butter and sugars until creamy and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add eggs, vanilla and almond extract to butter mixture and beat until combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Slowly add flour mixture to the butter mixture in batches and mix together until just combined.
- Form dough into a ball, cover, and refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Working in batches, roll the dough out on a well-floured surface until dough is approximately 1/8 inch thick, then cut into desired shapes. (Circles, hearts, go crazy!)
- Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the edges just begin to look golden, and set aside to cool on a wire rack.
- While cookies are baking, heat the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over simmering water until melted and smooth (Alternatively, chocolate can be heated in the microwave in 30 second increments. Be sure not to overheat or chocolate will seize up!).
- When the cookies are cool, dip one half in melted chocolate tapping gently to remove excess. Place cookies on wax paper until chocolate hardens.