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Variations: Lemon Canestrelli: follow the above recipe, replacing the vanilla extract with the juice and zest of one unwaxed lemon Aniseed Canestrelli: follow the above recipe, replacing the vanilla extract with 2 teaspoons of aniseed and 1 tablespoon of milk
Put the flour in a large bowl. Form a well and add the diced butter, sugar and egg yolks. Work the dough quickly with your fingertips to get coarse crumbs then sand the dough between your fingers. Add the Vanilla extract and work the dough, just enough to form a ball. Place it in plastic wrap and keep it refrigerated for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160 fan) | 350°F | gas 4. Roll out the dough on a floured surface, or better yet, between two sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap to a thickness of about 7 mm / 3/4 ". Using a pastry cutter, cut out round shapes then make a hole in the middle.
Place the cookies on a non-stick baking tray and cook for 10 minutes. The cookies should remain light in colour and still very flexible in the oven. Remove them and cool them on a rack. When cool, sprinkle with icing sugar.