Italian Variety Cookie Dough Recipe

    

My go to recipe for Italian wedding trays. It's a versatile dough to fill with whatever you like for a great variety and assortment for that upcoming occasion. Anything from fruits to nuts jams, chocolate and more. All the below are shaped cookies whether rolled and filled just in the centers or filled with dough on top.



Italian Rolled and Filled Cookies Version 1 this dough is a delicate dough easiest is to roll into balls, indent the middle and fill, more like a shortbread cookie. 

This is my Favorite Shortbread Variety cookie recipe!

2/3 cups butter
2/3 cups shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1/2 cup flour for rolling
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla or other flavorings of  choice

Cream butter, shortening and sugar till well blended. Add the eggs, salt and 3 cups of flour. Mix together to form a ball use more if still sticky. Use the other 1/2 cup flour for you board and rolling. On a floured board roll out dough, fill, place another piece of rolled dough on top brush with beaten egg yolks or roll into balls adding a well with your index finger and fill with suggestions below (this is the easiest and quickest way to get all kinds of cookies filled with a variety as there is no required rolling out the dough then slicing) then bake at 350 until light brown around 10 to 12 minutes.



Italian Rolled and Filled Cookies Second version which is not as sweet and a very sturdy dough for filling and rolling (pictured first)

3 cups flour
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup orange juice
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt
more flour for rolling

Combine sugar and shortening together until well blended. Add the rest of the ingredients until a soft dough is formed, add more flour if the dough is sticky.  Roll dough out 1/4 inch thickness on a floured board. Cut out rounds with a shot glass sized cutter using flour on your board to ensure the dough isn't sticking.

Fill with any of the suggestions below making whatever shapes you would like.  Suggestions for the dough, bring sides up to the middle of pinching together in the center, or make them like hand pies crimping the edges after folding over to look like a half moon,  or just roll out spread your filling on the dough then roll like a jelly roll and  then slice. Brush with egg wash sprinkle with sugar if you like.  Bake on parchment paper or a heavy oil sprayed cookie sheet on 375 for 15 to 20 minutes until browned.

Filling suggestions to spread on the dough for these variations:

any kind of flavored preserves or favorite jams, apricot, pineapple,  strawberry, raspberry all work well as a filling by itself
Nutella
marshmallows, crushed cookies or graham crackers and chocolate chips mixed together
Flavored chocolate chips of any kind
maraschino cherries chopped using plain or mixed with cream cheese and coconut
chopped dates, raisins, chopped figs, chopped walnuts and pineapple jam or your favorite jam mixed together to form a paste
cranberries use plain with nuts or mixed with cream cheese
coconut and chopped chocolate or mini chips or use each separate and plain in the centers
chopped chocolate or just chocolate chips
maraschino cherries by themselves or adding coconut
peanut butter plain or top with mini chips
nutella
chocolate chips and chopped nuts
almond paste mixed with chopped almonds or pine nuts
cinnamon and sugar mixed with walnuts and a little melted butter
chopped favorite candy bars
mini marshmallows with mini chocolate chips just fill the centers
lemon curd
finely chopped apples and cinnamon only use that in the second dough

Note: Always cool cookies before garnishing with frostings or powdered sugars.

Garnishing suggestions:

Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar mixtures, glaze with  a blend of powdered sugar and water to make a thick frosting, dip in melted chocolate,  roll in walnuts or coconut. Frost and use colorful candies to decorate.  You will have to use your imagination on some of these. Sprinkling with powdered sugar is always the easiest after they are cooled or cocoa powder.

+claudia lamascolo  author

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