In Italy, biscuits are king. Sure, there are desserts like Tiramisu which everyone knows and loves. But for a country fuelled on the back of 3-4 espressos per day per person, the biscuit is the king of all things sweet. Now, when talking about biscuits, there are two main types. There are the ones perfect for dunking in your coffee. They are neither too sweet, nor too flavourful and while on their own they don’t amount to much, when combined with coffee they are a perfect match. Then there are the celebration biscuits. These are the biscuits that are not just coffee biscuits. They hold their own both with and without coffee.
Whenever I visit my family back home in Western Australia, my mother and I always pick a couple of things to make together so that her family recipes might live on in my family (and on this websitre). So when my little one and I travelled to Perth earlier this year because she hadn’t seen them in a year and a half, I knew the moment I arrived what I wanted to make.
Mum’s involtini biscuits are the most heavenly biscuits I know. My mother only makes them once a year because they are so rich that one just can’t have these on hand willy nilly. They are made with very short and delicious dough that combines flour, butter, sugar and whipping cream and then they are rolled up like tiny little biscuit croissants filled with any sort of jam you have on hand. They are then tossed in icing sugar to add another layer of rich decadence (you see why they are only made once a year?) and consumed by the handful, because once you start eating them… you just. can’t. stop.
I have always loved my mother’s involtini and given she hadn’t made them in a while she was more than happy to make them with us. I grew up with my mother spending many hours in the kitchen cooking so I love being able to have my daughter, my mother and I cook together whenever we get the chance. The recipe will make a lot of them but the good news is that they can be frozen prior to tossing in icing sugar and then pulled out and brought to room temperature whenever you need them. Hot tip, most Italian biscuits can actually be frozen. My mother and aunties often cook big batches of biscuits together and then share them and freeze them until guests show up for coffee.
We used a homemade raspberry jam because that’s what mum had in the cupboard but any sort of jam would work here. A citrus jam would be especially good to cut through all the cream, sugar and butter. I hope you get a chance to make these because while they are a little effort to make, the pay off is better than you could have hoped for.
Involtini Biscotti | Involtini Biscuits
- 1kg plain flour
- 375g unsalted butter
- 2 tsp raw caster sugar
- Pinch salt
- 600ml whipping cream
- Raspberry Jam (or any other jam you prefer)
- Icing sugar, to serve
Melt the butter in short bursts in the microwave, then set aside to cool slightly.
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix well, then add the cream (unbeaten) and mix until it starts coming together into a dough.
Transfer the mixture to a floured work bench and bring together with your hands, then knead until the dough is smooth. Cut the dough into three equal portions. wrap two portions up in cling film and roll the third out until the dough is 3-4mm thick. Cut triangles from the dough roughly 7cm wide by 10cm high. At the base of each triangle, spread a little of the jam (see reference picture in the post) then roll the triangle up starting at the base of the triangle and ending at the tip - they should look like little croissant shapes. Transfer to a large lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.
Preheat oven to 175°C.
Bake the biscuits for 30-35 minutes until evenly golden then set aside to cool completely. If you are going to freeze any of the biscuits, transfer those to an airtight container and freeze until you need them - they will last a long time frozen. If you are not freezing them they will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days. When ready to serve, toss the biscuits until they are well covered in icing sugar.