Italian Christmas Cookies with Chestnut Chocolate Filling | Chestnut Tortelli Recipe


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Try this authentic Italian recipe for Chestnut Tortelli – little pasta-shaped Christmas cookies filled with a spiced rum, chocolate & chestnut filling. 

Authentic Italian Christmas Cookies with Chestnut Chocolate Filling - Chestnut Tortelli

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May I introduce to you my latest cookie obsession – little Italian beauties, known as chestnut tortelli! These dainty little pasta-shaped cookies took my heart by storm and I want to share the recipe for this Italian Christmas treat! Imagine a tender, buttery cookie filled with a spiced, rum-spiked chestnut & chocolate filling! Sounds delicious, no?

I was looking for creative, exciting new cookie recipes to add to my holiday baking rut and found this great recipe for Italian chestnut tortelli cookies! SOLD! I do so love chestnuts, especially in desserts and cakes (check out my chestnut chocolate cake). They take me back to Christmas time in Germany, where no visit to the Christmas Market would be complete without a paper bag full of steaming hot, roasted chestnuts! The best hand-warmer there is, in my opinion. In Italy, you find the same chestnut stands during the cold season and many Italian Christmas recipes use them – either as a chestnut puree or chestnut flour.

Italian Chestnut Cookies Chestnut Tortelli with Chocolate

These Italian Chestnut cookies look rich, but they are not overly sweet. The dough calls for no sugar at all, and don’t be tempted to add any. As you can tell from the list of ingredients, the chestnut filling is quite rich. Plus, we are gonna roll the freshly baked chestnut tortelli in a bowl of icing sugar. They will be just perfect and paired with a little espresso they make for the best little Italian Christmas treat.

The olive oil- and butter-enriched cookie dough is made in the food processor and comes together quite easily. Make sure to let it rest for a minimum of 1 hour. You can also prepare it up to 48 hours in advance. I found, that the chestnut cookie dough was easier to roll out when I let it sit on my counter for about 5 minutes, before rolling.

For my Italian Chestnut Tortelli Cookies, you will need whole roasted or cooked chestnuts. You can buy Whole Peeled Chestnuts or use the same amount of unsweetened Chestnut Puree for the cookie filling. In Southern Italy, chickpeas are used instead of chestnuts, which sounds like something I might want to try next year. Use them as a substitute, if you cannot find chestnuts.

Italian Chestnut Tortelli Recipe for cookies with chestnut filling and chocolate

It took a whole lot of self-control to not eat the yummy chestnut chocolate filling by the spoonful! The texture reminded me a bit of marzipan. So if you like the sound of chocolate chestnut marzipan, you will definitely love these cookies.

Apart from chocolate, we add some cocoa, rum, vanilla and cinnamon to the chestnut puree, for that Christmassy touch. I also added a tbsp of espresso to the chestnut cookie filling, which worked really well with the rest of the ingredients. I would even up the amount from one to two tablespoons next time I bake these.

I hope you get to try this authentic Italian Christmas treat! I have started to enjoy a Chestnut Tortelli cookie with my first coffee or a little morning-espresso and am loving my little Italian Christmas breakfasts. Try them yourself and be prepared to fall in love!

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A note about affiliate links in this post: some of these links will take you to Amazon where I may receive a small percentage of sales, at no extra cost to you. 

Italian Chestnut Tortelli Recipe for cookies with chestnut filling and chocolate
5 from 2 votes
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Italian Christmas Cookies with Chestnut Filling | Chestnut Tortelli Recipe

These dainty, sugar-dusted Italian Christmas Cookies come with a rum-spiked chocolate & chestnut filling! Try this Italian Christmas recipe this winter!

Course cookie, Snack, sweet
Cuisine italy
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 40 pieces
Author Kiki Johnson

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 350 g AP flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 115 g butter ice cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cold water

For the filling

  • 350 g chestnuts, cooked or roasted or same amount of unsweetened chestnut puree
  • 130 g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp rum or 2 plus 1 more tbsp pf espresso
  • 1 tbsp espresso
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 - 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 130 g dark chocolate, finely chopped or grated

To finish

  • powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of your food processor, combine flour, baking powder and salt and blitz quickly. Add the cubed butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form. In a small bowl, stir together eggs, oil and water and add to the dry mix. Pulse until the dough comes together in clumps. Take out and knead very quickly. Divide the dough into 4 parts, shape it into individual disks, wrap in cling film and let rest in the fridge for about an hour, better for 2.  You can prepare the dough 2 days ahead of time. 

  2. Preheat the oven to 375 F, or 180 C . Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Let dough sit on the counter for about 5 minutes, so that it is easier to roll.  In the meantime, blend all the ingredients except for the chocolate in your food processor until a coarse, thick paste forms. If it is too dry, add some more espresso or rum. It should hold together when squeezed between your fingers. Stir in the chocolate.

  3. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until 3 mm thin.Cut out rounds of about 8 to 10 cm. 

  4. Place about a teaspoon of the filling on the lower half of each round. Moisten the edge of the round with water, then fold the round in half and seal the edges with a fork or your fingers. Place the chestnut cookies on the baking sheets.

  5. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until just starting to brown.Transfer them to a bowl filled with the confectioner's sugar as soon as they come out of the oven. Roll them in the icing sugar and let cool on wire racks. The chestnut cookies should be stored in airtight containers in a cold room. Properly stored, they keep for at least 2 weeks.

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Italian Christmas Cookies with Chestnut Filling Chestnut Tortelli

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6 Comments

  1. Aber sowas von! Toll! Würde am liebsten gleich anfangen! Liebe Grüsse Kathrin

  2. I love the combination of chestnut and chocolate! I have a chocolate crostata recipe that uses chestnut jam and I absolutely love it! I am sure I’d love these cookies, so pretty and with a delicious filling. They remind me of the ricotta filled ravioli my mom would make at Carnival in Rome. You are right, paired with espresso, divine!

    • Hi Nicoletta! Thanks so much. I love your idea with the chocolate crostata! Sweetened chestnut puree is a bit difficult to get here in Canada and I always make sure to buy a couple of glasses whenever I’m in Italy. Carnival in Rome sounds pretty amazing and so do your mom’s ravioli! Yum! Have a great week. Cheers, Kiki

  3. Does anyone know if these freeze well?

    • Hello Dyana! I have not tried to freeze them. I would not recommend freezing them after baking. The pastry is not flaky like pie pastry but rather tender and more like shortcrust. I am afraid they could go a bit soggy. I would freeze them unbaked, right after filling and give them 2 or 3 minutes longer in the oven. If you try it, please let us know how it went! Cheers, Kiki

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