Let’s put the cheerful Befanini biscuits on the table, an explosion of color and sweetness for the day of the Epiphany.
If it is true that for every feast in Italy there is a recipe that celebrates it, it is also true that the arrival of the Befana is no exception, even if as tradition says “Epiphany takes away every feast”. In Tuscany they know it well, because they prepare befanini biscuits for celebrate the arrival of this day.
Epiphany biscuits are therefore typical biscuits of the January period, which prepare for the long wait for the carnival. If desired, they can also be used to fill the Befana stocking with biscuits together with sweet coal and other sweets. The dough is simple to make. It is a little elaborate version of the shortcrust pastry, to be decorated with very cheerful sugar sprinkles. Let’s follow the recipe for the Tuscan befanotti step by step, and depending on the molds we’re going to use, there will be around forty shortbread biscuits.
Preparation for the recipe of the befanini
Take a pastry board and pour the flour and cold butter from the fridge, e with the help of a fork mix until you get a sandy compound.
Add the sugar, vanilla and yeast to the mixture.
Wash, dry and grate the zest of a lemon, and add it to the dough.
Add the liquids: the egg and the rum. Mix with your hands until obtaining a homogeneous, smooth and compact mixture.
Flour a bowl, place the dough obtained, and let it rest in the fridgecovered by transparent film, for 30 minutes.
After the rest time, pick up the dough again. Place it on your work table e roll it out with a rolling pin with a thickness of about 3-4 mm, and with the molds start carving the biscuits.
Cover a dripping pan with a sheet of parchment paper and place the already cut biscuits on it.
Put the egg white in a bowl and mix it with a few drops of lemon. Brush all the biscuits with this mixture, and then sprinkle their surface with colored sugar sprinkles.
Bake for 8-10 minutes at 180°Cchoosing the static oven.
Take your biscuits out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before enjoying them.
And here’s one video recipe to try to make them at home, even with the little ones:
Befanini can be preserved hermetically sealed in a container for 5-6 days. It is not possible to freeze them.
To prepare another typical Epiphany dessert, try the recipe for fugassa d’la Befana.
How the Tuscan befanini were born
It seems that the original recipe was born in Viareggio. The history of the Befana biscuits tells that Christmas molds were used, among which the one of the Befana stood out, to make biscuits to give to the neighborhood and your familyto simulate the gifts that the Magi bring to Jesus, or as – precisely – the Befana does.
READ ALSO: A French dessert typical of the Epiphany: the Galette des Rois
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