Offelle Mantovane

Filled Biscuits from Mantua

A specialty of Mantua, these delicate pastries are filled with another, lighter dough, providing a subtle contrast of two delicate textures.

Ingredients

    Dough

  • 12 tablespoons ( sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

    Filling

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 large egg white for sealing

Method

For the dough, beat the butter until soft and light, either by hand, with a hand mixer set at medium speed, or in a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat in the sugar and continue beating until light. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Stir in the flour by hand. Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, then wrap and chill the dough until firm.

While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling: combine the flour and confectioners’ sugar and sift once to avoid lumps. Beat the egg with the vanilla and butter and fold into the flour-and-sugar mixture.

To form the offelle, roll half the dough out inch thick on a floured surface and cut into 3-inch disks with a fluted cutter. Arrange the disks on a paper-lined cookie sheet and paint with the egg white. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each disk and fold each side of the disk over the filling to make an oblong shape, as in the illustration. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Finally, press the scraps together gently and reroll, or chill until firm and then reroll, to make the last offelle. Discard any remaining scraps, since the dough will toughen too much if rolled a third time.

Bake the offelle at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, until light golden. Cool on racks and dust with the confectioners’ sugar.

Store in a tin between layers of wax paper.

Confectioners’ sugar for finishing

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