Crispy crunchy, super thin and delicately sweet: We dare you to stop at just one of these Italian Butter Cookies. Only four ingredients and a super easy recipe stand between you and these tasty little morsels, which go amazingly with coffee or tea, smothered in chocolate, or dished up with ice cream. Ooooh yeah.
These little Italian biscuits are the bomb. With a name that translates to tongue of the cat (or even cat languages, if you trusted google translate 😛 ) how could you resist?
We’d like to say we first tried Lingue di Gatto – aka Italian Butter Cookies – in Italy. But, like heaps of things we’ve cooked for Wandercooks so far, we actually first stumbled across them in Japan!
We’d just learned how to fillet Japanese flying fish with a friend in Yakushima, and were sitting down for a well-earned break when Sato pulled out these crunchy, sweet biscuits.
I can tell you right now. We definitely didn’t stop at one.
Later we wandered into Europe, venturing by train into the Italian countryside near Bologna.
It was there that we first tried the real deal, baked by the chef at a charming little farmhouse homestay.
The farmhouse chef Davide told us that Lingue di Gatto are a super popular Italian snack or dessert that can equally be enjoyed with a hot shot of espresso as it can with a big scoop of ice cream.
He gave us a whole bag to take with us as we continued our journey by train through the Italian countryside, but I can whole-heartedly assure you – they did not last long! 😛 😛 😛
Turns out Lingue di Gatto are super easy to make at home. You need four ingredients, and I bet if you love to cook and/or bake, you’ll have them already.
You’ll need flour, icing sugar, egg whites, and butter.
And if you like, you can even add a dash or two of vanilla essence.
Use a piping bag to pipe them out onto a tray, then bake them in the oven, and allow to cool. (I know, I know – it’s the worst part of baking!).
Then if you’re feeling extra naughty, dip them in melted chocolate.
Italian Butter Cookies (Lingue di Gatto)
Now, when making your own Italian Butter Cookies at home, it’s important to spread them out on your baking tray(s) with enough space so they can spread out as they cook.
Be quick and take them out of the oven once they start to go brown, then immediately transfer them to a cool tray and off of the hot baking tray. That way they’ll stay keep their delicious golden brown colour and crispy texture.
When you take them out off the tray, they’ll be hot and slightly bendable, so you could (if you so desire) bend them into all kinds of shapes because… why not? 😀
If you love Italian sweets don’t forget to check out our delicious Strawberry Vanilla Muffins. Or take a look at some of our other favourite Italian Recipes, like 4 Ingredient Cacio e Pepe Cheesy Pasta! 😉
- 100 g flour, sifted
- 100 g icing sugar
- 100 g butter, softened
- 3 egg whites
- Dash or two of vanilla essence
- Cooking chocolate
- First step is to preheat your oven to 180˚C – go ahead, we’ll wait!
- Then, pop your softened butter into a large mixing bowl and add the icing sugar. Mix mix mix with a wooden spoon until creamed.
- Next, add in half the egg whites and mix, then half the sifted flour and mix until combined. Repeat for the remaining egg whites, then the remaining flour, until you’ve got a soft, sweet and well mixed dough.
- Now, line a baking tray with baking paper and use a piping bag to pipe out your dough into 6-7 cm lengths, leaving plenty of space between each for the dough to spread.
- Bake in the oven for around 5-8 minutes, but keep an eye on them and make sure you pull them out of the oven as soon as the edges turn golden brown.
- Transfer your lingue di gatto from the baking tray to a cool plate or rack and allow to cool.
- Optional: Melt your cooking chocolate into a smooth paste, then dip in your cooled lingue di gatto and pop aside to set.
- Don’t eat them all at once!