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Let’s prepare the Tuscan biscuits that celebrate the end of the holidays: the befanini


Let's put the cheerful Befanini biscuits on the table, an explosion of color and sweetness for the day of the Epiphany.

If it is true that for every feast in Italy there is a recipe that celebrates it, it is also true that the arrival of the Befana is no exception, even if as tradition says "Epiphany takes away every feast". In Tuscany they know it well, because they prepare the Befanini biscuits to celebrate the arrival of this day.

Epiphany biscuits are therefore typical biscuits of the January period, which they prepare for the long wait towards the carnival . If desired, they can also be used to fill the Befana stocking with biscuits together with sweet coal and other sweets. The dough is simple to make. It is a little elaborate version of the shortcrust pastry, to be decorated with very cheerful sugar sprinkles. Let's follow the recipe for the Tuscan befanotti step by step, and depending on the molds we're going to use, there will be around forty shortbread biscuits.


Preparation for the recipe of the befanini

  1. Take a pastry board and pour the flour and the cold butter from the fridge, and mix with the help of a fork until you get a sandy mixture.
  2. Add the sugar, vanilla and yeast to the mixture.
  3. Wash, dry and grate the zest of a lemon, and add it to the dough.
  4. Add the liquids: the egg and the rum. Knead with your hands until you get a homogeneous, smooth and compact dough.
  5. Flour a bowl, place the dough obtained, and let it rest in the fridge , covered with transparent film, for 30 minutes.
  6. After the rest time, pick up the dough again. Place it on your work table and roll it out with a rolling pin to a thickness of about 3-4 mm, and start carving the biscuits with the cutters.
  7. Cover a dripping pan with a sheet of parchment paper and place the already cut biscuits on it.
  8. Put the egg white in a bowl and mix it with a few drops of lemon. Brush all the biscuits with this mixture, and then sprinkle their surface with colored sugar sprinkles.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes, at 180°C , choosing the static oven.
  10. Take your biscuits out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before enjoying them.

And here is a video recipe to try making them at home, even with the little ones:


Befanini can be kept hermetically sealed in a container for 5-6 days . It is not possible to freeze them.

To prepare another typical Epiphany dessert, try the recipe for fugassa d'la Befana .

How the Tuscan befanini were born

It seems that the original recipe was born in Viareggio. The history of the Befana biscuits tells that Christmas molds were used, among which the Befana one stood out, to make biscuits to give to the neighborhood and to one's family , to simulate the gifts that the Magi bring to Jesus, or as – precisely – the Befana.

READ ALSO: A French dessert typical of the Epiphany: the Galette des Rois

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