Italian Bocconotti Bars

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Italian Bocconotti Bars
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Italian bocconotti are these cute traditional Italian cookies that are made in mini metal forms. I’ve seen them at every Italian baptism and communion celebration that I’ve attended. But, now I’ve made Italian Bocconotti Bars which makes them easier to make – so you don’t have to scour your local kitchen supply stores for those tins. But, if you find them, I’m sure we can both come up with 101 ways to use them (umm…homemade peanut butter cups, anyone?!). We’re just so smart, aren’t we? Actually, we’re more than smart. We’re street smart. Or maybe Sesame Street Smart. Whatevs….

But, seriously, these (original) bocconotti cookies are one of the most popular recipes on this blog! They are seriously so delicious but, the problem is they are just a wee bit time consuming…

Italian Bocconotti

Look at how beautiful they are! If you want to see them (or even try making them), you can see all the details here.

The combination of flavours (and how different bocconotti are made) can be so different. This recipe is my aunts original recipe she brought to Canada from back home in Abruzzo, Italy (this blog post shows her hands in action…yes, I have two separate posts on this because I wanted to update the original post but couldn’t bear to take down the original!!). But, as you can see from many recipes that you may find on the internet (or from friends and their nonna’s), there are many variations!!

I found this recipe by Maria which has a fig filling. And this recipe is like a double-crust pie but with same flavours as mine!

Italian Bocconotti

The problem is these cute little metal forms…if you find them, I’d love for you to try the original cookie. But, I was constantly getting the question, “what if I don’t have them?”.

Italian Bocconotti

I’ve thought of trying them in mini muffin tins (which would work!) but I’m also all about making cooking and baking easier for you all. So, one day in the shower (where I do my best thinking), I had this brilliant thought – just throw it all into a pan!!

But, if you want to see if you love bocconotti cookies as much as I do, maybe try these Italian Bocconotti Bars

Here’s what you’ll need to make these Italian Bocconotti Bars:

  • eggs
  • sugar
  • olive oil
  • all-purpose flour
  • almond flour
  • a lemon
  • grated chocolate

That’s it!!!! Easy peasy!!

A Few Things to Note About Italian Bocconotti Bars:

  • you’re going to need a lot of eggs – a full dozen!
 Italian Bocconotti Bars
  • you’re going to need a large baking sheet (about 12″ x 18″) or you can just use two 9″x13″ baking pans.
Italian Bocconotti Bars Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Durigon
This shows the pan with the crust spread into all the corners…you don’t want it too thick!!
  • this makes a lot of bars but they freeze well so you can stash some in your freezer or just give some away and make new friends (’cause you can never have enough friends!!).
  • make sure you wash your mixing bowl well after making the dough…I even wipe it down with a bit of white vinegar to ensure the white beat up nice and fluffy (egg whites, unlike whipping cream, will not beat if there are any traces of fat stuck to the bowl!).
  • when adding the ground almonds and grated chocolate, make sure to fold in the last little bit toe ensure the egg white don’t deflate (then you won’t have a nice fluffy filling!!).
  • bake it in the middle rack of your oven to make sure the filling bakes up nicely and the bottom crust doesn’t burn.
Italian Bocconotti Bars

I am just sooooo happy that I had the thought to make these into bars (I need to do more thinking in the shower, no??). I’m thrilled with how they turned out. How do you feel about this? Would you try them??

Italian Bocconotti Bars

Bocconotti Bars

This is a great alternative to the original bocconotti cookies that are a bit laborious.
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 24

Ingredients
  

Crust/Pastry

  • 12 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • cups all-purpose flour plus more for kneading

Filling

  • 12 egg whites
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • cup almond flour almond meal
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, grated (about 1 cup)
  • Icing powdered sugar for sprinkling

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or use parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together egg yolks and sugar until mixture is well combined and light in colour, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stream in olive oil and mix again until combined. Toss lemon zest into the flour (to prevent it from clumping). Slowly, add flour to mixture, beating after each addition until a wet dough forms. Scrape onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until dough is smooth (sort of like pasta dough). Wrap dough in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge while you make the filling.
  • To prepare the filling, beat egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer (make sure it is perfectly clean an free from any fat particles). Sprinkle with sugar once egg whites begin to pick up a bit of volume. Continue beating until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Gently fold in almond flour and grated chocolate until incorporated but be careful not to deflate the mixture.
  • Press chilled dough into prepared baking sheet (make sure to get it all the way to the end and up the rimmed sides).
  • Spread the filling evenly on the base. Bake until the crust is brown and the filling is puffed, golden and set, about 30 minutes.
  • Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes before cutting into squares. Sprinkle with icing sugar.

Notes

If you want to change up the crust, you can use regular pie crust or a shortcrust pastry for the base. I’ve made a traditional crust, so if you don’t wanna mess with Nonna, don’t mess with her crust!