Italian Butter Cookies (Lingue di Gatto)

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.

Italian Butter Cookies (Lingue Di Gatto) - Thin and crispy, these moreish biscuits are perfect with a cup of tea or mid-morning snack. | wandercooks

(In a rush? Click here to jump straight to the recipe!)

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.

Italian Butter Cookies (Lingue Di Gatto) - Thin and crispy, these moreish biscuits are perfect with a cup of tea or mid-morning snack. | wandercooks

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.

(And where we picked up a sweet little recipe for Strawberry Vanilla Muffins, and another for Venison Ragu. 😀 )

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! 😛 😛 😛

Italian Butter Cookies (Lingue Di Gatto) - Thin and crispy, these moreish biscuits are perfect with a cup of tea or mid-morning snack. | wandercooks

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) - Thin and crispy, these moreish biscuits are perfect with a cup of tea or mid-morning snack. | wandercooks

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? 😀

Italian Butter Cookies (Lingue Di Gatto) - Thin and crispy, these moreish biscuits are perfect with a cup of tea or mid-morning snack. | wandercooks

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! 😉

Italian Butter Cookies (Lingue Di Gatto) - Thin and crispy, these moreish biscuits are perfect with a cup of tea or mid-morning snack. | wandercooks

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5.0 from 6 reviews
Italian Butter Cookies (Lingue di Gatto)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 30
Ingredients
  • 100 g flour, sifted
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 100 g butter, softened
  • 3 egg whites
  • Optional:
  • Dash or two of vanilla essence
  • Cooking chocolate
Instructions
  1. First step is to preheat your oven to 180˚C – go ahead, we’ll wait!
  2. Then, pop your softened butter into a large mixing bowl and add the icing sugar. Mix mix mix with a wooden spoon until creamed.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Transfer your lingue di gatto from the baking tray to a cool plate or rack and allow to cool.
  7. Optional: Melt your cooking chocolate into a smooth paste, then dip in your cooled lingue di gatto and pop aside to set.
  8. Don’t eat them all at once!

 

Italian Butter Cookies (Lingue Di Gatto) - Thin and crispy, these moreish biscuits are perfect with a cup of tea or mid-morning snack. | wandercooks
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20 Comments

  1. Love how simple this recipe is, but mine didn’t turn out crispy at all. In fact, they were chewy :(. Any ideas why?

    • Wandercooks

      05/12/2016 at 8:59 am

      Hey Nha, hmmm let’s see. How much dough did you pipe out onto your tray? Perhaps there was too much and they became too thick, and didn’t cook all the way through? Try using a really thin tip on your piping bag and aim for 1 cm thick strips of dough and see how that goes. Good luck, and let us know if you need any more help! 🙂

  2. I’m not a baker..but would love to try these,
    what is a cookers pipe ?

    • Wandercooks

      28/11/2016 at 12:21 pm

      Hey Marsha, you’re looking for a piping bag like this one ( <- p.s. that's an affiliate link. 🙂 ) They help you form the thin little strip of dough to create the cookies. In a pinch if you don't have a piping bag, you can cut the corner off a clean/unused sandwich bag and use that to squeeze out the dough into shape, although they're not as durable so it might break. But definitely a handy hack to keep in mind if you don't have a piping bag available!

  3. Love these cookies! They are so delicious!! Love the soft yet crunchy texture!

    • Wandercooks

      10/11/2016 at 11:36 am

      Totally agree Jenni! Love having these with our tea or coffee while we work. The perfect little snack. 😀

  4. Those little gems are right up my ally!!! I would like them dipped or plain. ( :

    • Wandercooks

      10/11/2016 at 11:38 am

      Awesome to hear! And yep, totally agreed. We did the test dip, and I think tea is currently in the lead for us!

  5. Those dipped in chocolate would be amazing! What a great little treat next to a cappuccino 🙂

  6. Simplicity in baking sometimes yields just the tastiest results! And I totally would have dunked them in chocolate too 🙂

  7. How beautiful and delicate are these?! And dipped into that chocolate – perfection!!!

    • Wandercooks

      10/11/2016 at 4:59 pm

      Delicate’s a great word actually! There’s nothing quite like it’s super thin, crispy, sweet goodness. ESPECIALLY with chocolate!

  8. 4 ingredients – bonus! I’m so making these and dipping them into a big bowl of chocolate – yum.

  9. I’m making these! Proper show off food when you have guests round and you serve them up with their coffee! 😀

  10. Cat’s Tongue — that’s what lingue di gatto means. If nothing else Italian’s have colorful names for their dishes. I’ve never heard of these cookies but there are so many regions and recipes in Italy. I’m definitely making them. Thank you for sharing.

    • Wandercooks

      04/11/2016 at 5:39 pm

      You’re welcome Marisa, I can’t wait for you to try them. Let us know how they turn out! 🙂 x

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