Quaresimali are alphabet cookies from Florence, Italy. Their name derives from the fact that they were originally a Lenten cookie, for quaresma or the 40 days of lent. They are traditionally made with alphabet cutters. From: Williams Sonoma Savoring Tuscany
It isn’t easy to find a nice recipe for a hard, crisp chocolate cookie and this certainly fits the bill. They work just as well made into other shapes than traditional letters.
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temp.
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon grated orange zest
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- In a large bowl, beat together butter & sugar until creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
- Stir in flour, orange zest, salt, & cocoa until well combined.
- Form into two balls and roll between 2 pieces of wax paper about ¼”
Chill for an hour. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper
- After chilling the dough, continue to roll to 1/8” thickness.
- Dust with flour and cut with alphabet cutters or with cutters of your choice.
- Take scraps and make a ball, roll out as before and chill. In this manner, use up all the dough.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on the pan for 2 minutes. Transfer to rack.
Yield: 2 dozen cookies