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We 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 holiday 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 “the Epiphany takes every party away”. In Tuscany they know this well, because they prepare befanini biscuits to celebrate the arrival of this day. It seems that the original recipe was born in Viareggio. The story of the Befana biscuits tells that the Christmas molds were used, among which that of the Befana 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 ago – precisely – the Befana.

Epiphany biscuits are therefore typical biscuits from the January period, which they prepare for the long wait towards carnival . If desired, they can also be used to fill the Befana stocking with biscuits together with sweet charcoal and other sweets. The dough is simple to make. It is a not very elaborate version of shortcrust pastry, to be decorated with very cheerful sugar sprinkles. Let’s follow the recipe of Tuscan befanini or befanotti step by step, and depending on the molds we will use, about forty shortbread cookies will come.


Preparation for the befanini recipe

  1. Take a pastry board and pour the flour and the cold butter from the fridge, and with the help of a fork mix until you get a sandy mixture.
  2. Add the sugar, vanilla and yeast to the mixture.
  3. Wash, dry and grate the zest of one lemon, and add it to the mixture.
  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, lay the dough and let it rest in the fridge , covered with cling film, for 30 minutes.
  6. After the resting time, resume the dough. Place it on your work table and roll it out with a rolling pin with a thickness of about 3-4 mm, and with the molds start carving the cookies.
  7. Cover a dripping pan with a sheet of parchment paper and place the cut biscuits on it.
  8. Put the egg white in a bowl and mix it with a few drops of lemon. With this mixture, brush all the cookies, and then sprinkle their surface with colored sugar sprinkles.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 180 ° C , choosing the static oven.
  10. Remove your cookies from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before enjoying them.


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

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

Riproduzione riservata © - WT

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