As promised, here’s the Ciambellette recipe, and also tips I’ve developed over the years of making them to shorten preparation time:
1 c. butter
6 egg yolks, divided
2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
2 t almond extract
1 c. arrowroot powder/starch
Jelly or preserves
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add 4 egg yolks and beat until incorporated. Add the almond extract. Sift the flour and arrowroot together, then add to the butter/sugar/egg mixture. Beat until it’s all incorporated. The mixture should be stiff enough to handle rolling into a ball. Roll the ball into 1″ balls, then put into simmering water for 10 seconds. Place on parchment covered cookie sheet, and poke a hole in the middle. Take the other two egg yolks and beat them, then use a pastry brush and dab the egg yolks on the cookie. Fill the hole with jelly or jam.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, checking at 12 minutes. Cookies don’t get really brown, if they resist when you gently touch them, they are done.
Things I’ve found over the years to shorten preparation time:
- DEFINITELY use the parchment. If you do not use the parchment, the cookies will stick onto the cookie sheet. Even a non-stick cookie sheet. Even a non-stick cookie sheet sprayed with a non-stick spray.
- Make the dough, then roll all the dough into balls at once, then boil all the balls at once. Place the boiled cookies on the cookie sheets in rows, then when one row is complete, make all the holes in the row at once. Then go onto the next row. Really, this makes it take less time somehow.
- Use the round handle side of a wooden spoon to poke the holes in the par-boiled cookie balls. Give a twist as you are poking the balls. This makes uniform holes in the cookies, as well as help keep the cookie walls from breaking. They’ll still break some, but not as much as when you use your fingers. When they break, just smooth them back together.
- Dab all the cookies with the egg yolks at the same time.
- When putting the flour/arrowroot mixture in the bowl, turn off the mixer. The arrowroot is a very fine powder, and billows up, so you’ll want to put only about a third of the flour/arrowroot in at a time, and beat on low til it’s incorporated.
- I’ve found preserves work better than jellies or jams for staying in the holes and not bubbling out making a mess on your cookie and parchment.
- Put the filling of your choice into a sandwich bag, cut off one corner, and pipe the filling into the holes. This makes it so much easier and faster than using a spoon, and keeps the outside of the cookie relatively clean, too.
I’ve managed to shorten the time of preparation down to 1 hour. When I first started making these cookies back in 2000, it would take 3 hours just for preparation. I usually get 2 cookie sheets worth of cookies (approximately 50 cookies), so total time is about one and a half hours.
This cookie is very fiddly to make, however, it’s very worth the effort.
Arrowroot flour/starch can be gotten at most health food stores, or ordered online. If you can’t find arrowroot starch anywhere, you can substitute corn starch, but it just won’t taste the same.
Hope you enjoy!