Pizzicati (Italian Pinch Cookies)

These delicate jam-filled shortbread cookies are so simple and easy to make. With a light texture and subtle sweetness, they pair perfectly with some coffee or hot tea at the end of a meal.

▢2 cups (270 g) all purpose flour
▢½ cup (60 g) of powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
▢½ teaspoon baking powder
▢Zest of 1 lemon
▢10 tablespoons (140g) butter, very soft
▢1 teaspoon vanilla extract
▢2 eggs
▢⅓ cup strawberry jam

Mix dry ingredients: In a large bowl combine the flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, and lemon zest. Whisk to combine.
Add the wet ingredients: To the bowl with the dry ingredients, add softened butter, vanilla extract, and eggs. Using a hand mixer, beat on low just until the flour is a little wet, then increase the speed to medium until the dough becomes a loose grainy mixture, about 3 to 4 minutes. Take a rubber spatula and scoop around the bowl then knead with the spatula (or your hands) for a minute or so just until you have a slightly sticky, cohesive dough.
Wrap the dough and chill: Transfer the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form it into a 1-inch thick disk. Place it in the fridge to chill for one hour.
Roll out the cookie dough: Dust a countertop with flour, but don’t use too much. You want the dough to be a little sticky so it holds the pinch in the next step. Roll out the dough into a disk that is less than ¼ inch thick (about the height of 2 quarters stacked on top of each other). Use a 2 ½ -inch biscuit or cookie cutter and cut out as many circles as you can. Transfer the circles to a baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
Fill and pinch the cookies: Place a scant teaspoon of jam in the center of each circle. Then lift the sides, pinch the tops together about three finger tips wide across the top, but leave the ends open. Fold the pinched side down to the left or right side of the cookie.
The cookies will not spread, so as you pinch them you can move them so the pinched cookies are only about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. I can get 20 pinched cookies on a single baking sheet.
Bake the cookies: Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake in a 350°F oven for 12-14 minutes. The bottoms will be lightly golden, the jam will spread to the open ends, but the cookies will still be pale and don’t take on much color.
Cool and dust the cookies: When the cookies are ready remove them from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Then dust with powdered sugar and serve.

If the dough is challenging to roll out at any point it’s probably just too hot. Go ahead and transfer the dough to the refrigerator for 20 minutes to cool down then start again.
If you use too much flour when rolling out the dough, it can make it difficult for the pinch to hold in the oven. Go lightly when dusting your countertop or roll the dough out between two layers of parchment paper.
I used a 2 ½ inch cookie cutter to get 40 cookies. If you roll the dough too thick, or use a different sized cookie cutter you could make more or less cookies.
It’s important to roll the dough thin. If it’s too thick the pinch might not old and they could pop open.
You can also make these cookies in a food processor. Just add the dry ingredients and pulse until they come together. Then add the egg, extract and butter and pulse until it forms a ball. You may have to scrape down the sides.

Calories: 64.8kcal
Carbohydrates: 8.3g
Protein: 1g
Fat: 3.1g
Saturated Fat: 1.9g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.8g
Trans Fat: 0.1g
Cholesterol: 15.7mg
Sodium: 32mg
Potassium: 12.9mg
Fiber: 0.2g
Sugar: 2.9g
Vitamin A: 99.4IU
Vitamin C: 0.3mg
Calcium: 6.5mg
Iron: 0.3mg

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