10 simple Italian biscuit recipes to kick off the festive season

26 Nov 2021
10 simple Italian biscuit recipes to kick off the festive season

Look no further than Italian Spoon’s Italian biscuit recipes to kick off the festive season. Whether you call these special Christmas treats – biscuits, cookies or biscotti, they are a must have item this Christmas. You can bake Santa some biscuits to put out with milk on Christmas eve, enjoy them with a special breakfast, make great snacks, are perfect to serve with coffee or to be gifted. Biscuits make a lovely edible gift – simply wrap in cellophane and present with a pretty ribbon. Your loved ones will appreciate the time you have taken to prepare it. From biscuits with spices like ginger, cinnamon and cloves to fruit conserves and nuts, bake up a storm with 10 of Italian Spoon’s tried and tested biscuit recipes that are simple to make.

10 simple Italian biscuit recipes


Crostoli (Chiacchiere) di Carnevale

Pizzelle (Ferratelle)
1. Crostoli (Chiacchiere) di Carnevale

Crunchy and delicate, Crostoli are thin, twisted ribbons that are deep-fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar. They are traditionally served during ‘Carnevale’ (the Carnival period) and are also known as Chiacchiere, Sfrappole and Cenci in different regions of Italy. This recipe for Crostoli is flavoured with grappa liquor which gives amazing aroma to the sweet dough!

What tools you’ll need: Ideally a pasta machine (alternatively, you can use a rolling pin). You’ll also need fluted cutters.

2. Pizzelle (Ferratelle)

The easiest and best Pizzelle recipe! Pizzelle are a crisp, flat Italian waffle-style biscuit. Italian Spoon’s recipe for Pizzelle is flavoured with vanilla extract (or anise for a more savoury flavour) – they are simply delicious!

What tools you’ll need: Pizzelle maker – see our guide to Pizzelle makers: Which one to buy in 2021/22. Buy the Pizzelle Maker- Non-Stick Electric Pizzelle Baker Press by Cucina Pro or other authentic irons from Amazon today! This Pizzelle maker is great value and one of the best Pizzelle makers on the market.

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Christmas star biscuit wreath
Snowflake gingerbread biscuits
3. Christmas star biscuit wreath

If you’re planning on having the family around this Christmas, these Christmas Star Wreath Biscuits are not only a tasty treat, but also makes the perfect centrepiece for the table. Learn how to make these biscuits in one hour.

What tools you’ll need: Ideally, silicone baking mats (alternatively, you can use non-stick baking paper), food processor (alternatively, you can use electric beaters), shallow baking trays and 8cm star shaped biscuit cutter, 2A (or other flat rimmed) piping tip, ribbon (approximately 2 metres long).

4. Snowflake gingerbread biscuits

It’s gingerbread season with our Snowflake Gingerbread biscuits. These Snowflake Gingerbread biscuits are perfect for a Christmas treat or make beautiful edible decorations.

What tools you’ll need: Ideally, silicone baking mats (alternatively, you can use non-stick baking paper), food processor (alternatively, you can use electric beaters), 9cm snowflake shaped biscuit cutter and a disposable piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle.

Biscotti 'di mandorla' (almond biscuits)
Cantucci - Tuscan-style biscotti
5. Almond biscuits (Gluten free)

Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, Almond biscuits are known as Biscotti di mandorla in Italian. The secret is in the resting time in the fridge to obtain the right consistency. It is hard to decide whether to make straight almond biscuits or with an orange twist. This recipe makes them both to get the best of both worlds – what a nutty delight!

What tools you’ll need: If piping biscuits, use a very strong disposable piping bag fitted with a 6B star nozzle or nozzle of your choosing.

6. Cantucci – Tuscan-style biscotti

Originating in Prato, Tuscany; Cantucci – Tuscan-style biscotti are twice cooked, crunchy biscuits. ‘Bis-cotto’ actually means “twice-cooked” as in ancient times, oven-baked goods were twice baked to become dry for longer storage. In this recipe, the sweet biscuit loaves are baked whole; then cut and cooked for a second time until toasted and crunchy. Served with Vin Santo dessert wine or coffee, they are the perfect sweet treat to end a meal.

What tools you’ll need: An electric mixer, a large shallow baking tray and a pastry brush.

Florentine biscuits
Lemon blueberry biscuits
7. Florentine biscuits (Gluten free)

Wonderfully stunning, Florentine biscuits are absolutely delicious and so simple to make. Yummy flat crispy biscuits made with almond flakes, candied orange peel and glacé cherries combined with butter, sugar, honey and liquid glucose. Once the biscuits are baked, simply coat the bottom with chocolate and use a fork to run a wavy pattern in the chocolate. You could use other types of candied fruit as well. This recipe does not contain flour or eggs, making it the perfect gluten-free and eggless biscuit.

What tools you’ll need: Silicone baking mats (alternatively, use baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper).

8. Lemon blueberry biscuits

Italian lemon blueberry biscuits are the perfect freshly baked treat. In just 35 minutes, you have Italian biscuits with a touch of refreshing lemon and delicious burst of blueberry! Try them today!

What tools you’ll need: Stand mixer (alternatively, use electric beaters), shallow baking trays, a rolling pin and a fluted pastry cutter.

Biscottini with apricot jam
Chocolate Nutella cookies
9. Biscottini with apricot jam

Are you looking for a biscuit to have with your afternoon coffee? These elegant and scrumptious biscuits are filled with apricot jam and are perfect for your afternoon treat.

What tools you’ll need: Food processor (alternatively, you can use electric beaters) and shallow baking trays.

10. Chocolate Nutella cookies

Our Chocolate Nutella cookies will have your chocolate and Nutella cravings sorted. Once these cookies are baked, simply Pipe Nutella into the hollow in the middle of each one. This crowd-pleasing recipe for chocolate cookies with a delicious Nutella filling is the ideal snack for afternoon tea.

What tools you’ll need: Stand mixer (alternatively, use electric beaters), shallow baking trays and a disposable piping fitted with star-shaped nozzle.


Christmas entertainment with biscuits and coffee

Biscuits aside, there is one more thing that unites Italians all over Italy during the Christmas festivities – to play Tombola. It is the perfect entertainment to enjoy with biscuits and coffee. Tombola is Italian Bingo which is traditionally played at Christmas. The main difference between Tombola and regular Bingo that in addition to winning Tombola (completing full ticket of 15 numbers) there are also sub prizes including ‘ambo’ (two numbers on the same line) ‘quaterna’ (three numbers on the same line) and ‘cinquina’ for five numbers in a line. Italians traditionally use dried beans or my husband’s favourite, torn mandarin skins to mark the numbers.

Today you can purchase Tombola on Amazon which includes a Calling Board, 90 Tombolini Tiles, 24 Double-Sided Cards and 360 Chips. This Italian Game of Chance will entertain Family, Friends and caters for parties of up to 24 Players. This year, introduce Tombola as the new Christmas tradition – family and friends will love it!

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Happy baking and best of luck with Tombola!

Vanessa Bottaro

Founder and Owner at Italian Spoon
What is second best thing to being in beautiful Italy? Cooking and writing about Italian food, of course!

I live in Melbourne, Australia with my husband Simone and two children. They are my first love! Italian Spoon brings my second love for cooking Italian food and blogging to life and I am loving it!

I hope to inspire you to continue the tradition of Italian home cooking. Buon appetito!
Vanessa Bottaro

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