These cookies always make me laugh.
They don’t look funny.
But their name always makes me chuckle!
This recipe is from my mom’s “little black book” and she used to make them for every family baptism and communion celebration. People would actually wait for her to bring these to parties because it was her “thing” (nobody else made them!!). I remember them being light and airy and feeling as though I could scarf back 20 of them in one sitting!
In her Italian dialect, they were called vesche, which meant “full of air.” But over the years, they were known as farts. Yup, farts. Teehee!
Imagine biting into a flakey outer shell (a bit sturdier that strudel pastry) and getting to the filling which has a meringue-type centre mixed with chopped walnuts. So delicious!!
They look delicate and hard to make, but trust me…they’re not at all! And the best part is, you can make them ahead and freeze them unbaked so you can pop them in the oven and bake them off whenever you get the urge to have one of these babies!
Just like my post about bocconotti, and pesches or these Italian chick pea cookies called ceci ripieni, these vesches conjure up such incredible memories for me. They remind me of a time when houses were filled with glorious smells of freshly baked cookies and everyone under the roof gathered around a table to spend time together and enjoy home baked goodness.
Ahhh, good times…
- 6 eggs separated
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups finely chopped walnuts
- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- 1 pkg 8 oz/226 g cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
- Icing/powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until eggs begins to get fluffy; gently sprinkle in sugar and keep whisking until stiff, glossy peaks form.
- Scrape into another bowl and gently fold in the walnuts; set aside.
- In the same mixer bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until combine. Add egg yolks and continue mixing until smooth. Add flour and mix until it forms a sticky dough.
- Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and gently bring it together to form a ball. Scoop out dough by large tablespoonfuls and roll into balls.
- With a well-floured rolling pin, roll the first pieces into a circle that is about 5 inches in diameter. Place a tablespoon of egg white filling in the center and roll the pastry around the filling to form a log and then pinch the sides closed. Place on the prepared baking sheets and continue with the remaining dough/filling.
- Place the first baking sheet in the freezer while you prepare the next batch. When you fill the second baking sheet, put the first batch from the freezer into the oven and place the second tray into the freezer to chill until ready.
- Once baked, set aside baking sheet to cool and bake the second tray.
- Once cookies have cooled completely, dust with icing sugar and serve.
- Store cookies in an airtight container for up to a week. Unbaked cookies can be frozen for up to 2 months.