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Venetian Butter Cookies

MyCookbook Recipe Database
MyCookbook Member: MarthasArchive
Recipe Category: Holiday
Recipe Preparation Level: easy
    Kids will love to make this crisp buttery cookie because working with this dough is like playing with play dough: It’s stiff—not crumbly like shortbread—and easy to form into a tight S shape. Venetians call these cookies “Buranei” after the island of Burano, where they originated. But when shaped into a circle, they’re sometimes called “bussolai,” from the Italian word for “hole.”

    Makes 4 dozen

    10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon lemon zest
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    6 large egg yolks
    3 cups all-purpose flour

    1. Heat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with Silpats (French nonstick baking mats). Set aside.

    2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar. Beat on medium until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, lemon zest, and salt. Beat to combine. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until fully combined. Reduce speed to low, and add flour, 1 cup at a time, beating until fully combined.

    3. Roll a walnut-size piece of dough into a ball, then roll out into a rope about 3 inches long and 1/4 inch in diameter. Shape into a decorative S. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, placing cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake until firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Keeps in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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