Hello, Good News! If you are looking for a tasty and easy cookie recipe that will impress your family and friends, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will show you how to make delicious Italian prune cookies that are perfect for any occasion.
Italian prune cookies are also known as Italian plum picnic cookies or prune and raisin filled cookies. They are soft and chewy cookies with a sweet and spicy filling made of prunes, nuts, and lemon. They are a traditional Italian treat that can be enjoyed as a snack, dessert, or breakfast.
Why You Should Try Italian Prune Cookies
There are many reasons why you should try Italian prune cookies. Here are some of them:
- They are easy to make. You only need a few simple ingredients and a food processor to make the filling. The dough is also very straightforward and can be made ahead of time.
- They are healthy. Prunes are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins that can help improve your digestion, lower your cholesterol, and prevent constipation. Nuts are also a good source of protein, healthy fats, and minerals that can boost your energy and brain function.
- They are delicious. The combination of prunes, nuts, lemon, and spices creates a flavorful and satisfying filling that complements the buttery and tender dough. The cookies are not too sweet and have a nice balance of textures.
How to Make Italian Prune Cookies
To make Italian prune cookies, you will need the following ingredients:
|For the filling||For the dough|
|350 g / 2 1/2 cups Prune Bits||560 g / 4 cups all-purpose flour|
|60 g / 2/3 cup walnuts, lightly toasted||4 g/ 1 teaspoon baking soda|
|60 g / 2/3 cup pecans, lightly toasted||4 g / 1 teaspoon salt|
|45 g / 1/4 cup brown sugar||227 g / 1 cup unsalted butter, softened|
|25 g / 2 tablespoons lemon juice||195 g / 1 cup sugar|
|1 g / 1 teaspoon lemon zest||1 large egg|
|.5 g / 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg||5 g / 1 teaspoon vanilla extract|
|.5 g / 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon||60 g / 1/4 cup whole milk|
|.5 g / 1/4 teaspoon ground clove||Egg, beaten with a splash of water (for garnish)|
|Pecan halves (for garnish)|
To make Italian prune cookies, follow these steps:
- To make the filling: In a food processor, blend the prune bits, walnuts, pecans, brown sugar, lemon juice and zest, nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove until the ingredients come together in a ball.
- To make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until slightly fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla, mixing well between each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the milk. Gradually add the flour, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 400F [200C]. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead briefly until it comes together into a smooth ball. Cut in half; refrigerate 1 piece while working on the other.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle 30.5 cm [12 in] long. Cut the rectangle crosswise into 5 cm [2 in] strips to make 6 strips.
- With oiled hands, pinch off a piece of filling and roll it into a rope about 30.5 cm [12 in] long and no more than 12 mm [1/2 in] thick. Repeat until you have enough ropes for each strip of dough.
- Place the ropes in the center of the dough. Roll the dough around the filling so the filling is completely encased. Seal the edges and roll the dough firmly a few times.
- Cut the ropes into 5 cm [2 in] pieces and place on the prepared sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
- Brush the tops of the cookies with egg wash. Top each cookie with a pecan half.
- Bake until evenly brown on top, about 12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely.
Some Tips and Variations for Italian Prune Cookies
How to Store Italian Prune Cookies
Italian prune cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. To thaw, let them sit at room temperature for about an hour before serving.
How to Make Vegan Italian Prune Cookies
If you want to make vegan Italian prune cookies, you can replace the butter with vegan butter or coconut oil, the egg with a flax egg (1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water), and the milk with plant-based milk. You can also omit the egg wash and use maple syrup or agave nectar instead.
How to Make Gluten-Free Italian Prune Cookies
If you want to make gluten-free Italian prune cookies, you can replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan gum or guar gum. You may need to adjust the amount of flour depending on the consistency of the dough.
How to Add More Flavor to Italian Prune Cookies
If you want to add more flavor to Italian prune cookies, you can try some of these ideas:
- Add some orange zest or juice to the filling or the dough for a citrusy twist.
- Add some chocolate chips or cocoa powder to the dough for a chocolatey version.
- Add some dried cranberries, cherries, or apricots to the filling for a fruity variation.
- Add some almond extract or amaretto liqueur to the dough or the filling for an almond flavor.
- Add some cardamom, ginger, or anise to the filling or the dough for a spicy kick.
A Detailed Table Breakdown Related to Italian Prune Cookies
To help you understand more about Italian prune cookies, here is a detailed table breakdown that compares them with other types of cookies:
|Cookie Type||Origin||Main Ingredients||Shape and Size||Texture and Flavor|
|Italian Prune Cookies||Italy||Dough: flour, butter, sugar, egg, milk, vanilla Filling: prunes, nuts, lemon, spices||Oval or round, about 5 cm [2 in] long and 2 cm [3/4 in] wide||Soft and chewy, sweet and spicy|
|Oatmeal Raisin Cookies||USA||Oats, butter, sugar, eggs, flour, raisins, cinnamon, baking soda||Round and flat, about 7 cm [2.75 in] in diameter||Chewy and moist, sweet and nutty|
|Gingerbread Cookies||Germany||Flour, butter, sugar, molasses, eggs, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda||Various shapes (e.g., men, stars, trees), about 10 cm [4 in] long and 5 cm [2 in] wide||Crisp and firm, sweet and spicy|
|Peanut Butter Cookies||USA||Peanut butter, butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking soda||Round and flat with fork marks, about 6 cm [2.5 in] in diameter||Crisp and crumbly, rich and nutty|
|Chocolate Chip Cookies||USA||Butter, sugar, eggs, flour, chocolate chips, vanilla, baking soda||Round and flat with chocolate chunks, about 8 cm[3.25 in] in diameter||Soft and chewy, sweet and chocolatey|
FAQs About Italian Prune Cookies
What are prunes?
Prunes are dried plums that have been partially rehydrated. They have a dark purple color and a wrinkled appearance. They are often used in baking, cooking, and snacking.
What are the benefits of prunes?
Prunes are high in fiber, which can help regulate your bowel movements and prevent constipation. They also contain antioxidants, which can protect your cells from damage and inflammation. Prunes are also a good source of potassium, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin K.
How to pit prunes?
If you are using whole prunes, you will need to pit them before making the filling. You can do this by slicing the prunes in half and removing the pits with your fingers or a knife. Alternatively, you can use a cherry pitter or an olive pitter to remove the pits more easily.
How to chop prunes?
If you are using whole or pitted prunes, you will need to chop them before making the filling. You can do this by using a knife or a food processor. If you are using a knife, cut the prunes into small pieces about 6 mm [1/4 in] in size. If you are using a food processor, pulse the prunes until they are coarsely chopped.
How to make prune bits?
If you cannot find prune bits in your grocery store, you can make your own by chopping prunes as described above and then tossing them with some flour. This will prevent them from sticking together and make them easier to measure and use.
How to make prune puree?
If you want to make prune puree for other recipes, you can do this by soaking prunes in hot water for about 15 minutes and then blending them with some of the soaking liquid until smooth. You can also add some lemon juice or vanilla for extra flavor.
How to substitute prunes for sugar?
If you want to reduce the amount of sugar in your baking, you can substitute prunes for some of the sugar. Prunes have natural sugars that can sweeten your baked goods and also add moisture and texture. To do this, replace 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of prune puree and reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup.
How to substitute prunes for butter?
If you want to lower the fat content in your baking, you can substitute prunes for some of the butter. Prunes have a similar consistency to butter and can add richness and flavor to your baked goods. To do this, replace 1/2 cup of butter with 1/4 cup of prune puree and increase the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons.
How to substitute prunes for eggs?
If you want to make vegan or egg-free baking, you can substitute prunes for some of the eggs. Prunes can act as a binder and a leavening agent in your baked goods and also add moisture and color. To do this, replace 1 egg with 1/4 cup of prune puree.
How to substitute prunes for oil?
If you want to make oil-free baking, you can substitute prunes for some of the oil. Prunes can provide fat and flavor to your baked goods without adding any cholesterol or saturated fat. To do this, replace 1/4 cup of oil with 1/4 cup of prune puree.
We hope you enjoyed this article about how to make delicious Italian prune cookies. These cookies are easy to make, healthy, and tasty. They are perfect for any occasion, whether it is a picnic, a party, or a cozy afternoon at home.
If you liked this article, please share it with your friends and family. Also, don’t forget to check out our other articles on how to make various types of cookies from around the world. You will find many more recipes that will satisfy your sweet tooth and delight your taste buds.