Recipe: Letitia Clark’s Peach Cookies

Letitia Clark shares her peach cookies recipe.

Letitia Clark knows her desserts and sweet treats, and a whole host of deliciousness can be discovered in the pages of her cookbook La Vita è Dolce, which offers over 80 Italian desserts, all inspired by her time living in Sardinia. And so, cue the cutest cookies you’ll ever see, her peach biscuits. Here, almonds are combined with zesty lemony, rich ricotta and a hint of amaretto for a kick.

By Felicity Carter

Recipe: Letitia Clark’s Peach Cookies

Makes 12-14

Ingredients for the biscuits

  • 170g 00 flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 egg
  • 80g sugar
  • 80g butter, melted 
  • 80ml milk
  • A pinch of salt 
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • Zest of 1 large lemon, finely gratedIngredients for the filling
  • 250g ricotta 
  • 50g sugar 
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract 
  • 12 whole almonds (optional)

    To decorate
  • Mint leaves or fresh lemon verbena leaves 
  • Red food colouring/a splash of Alchermes 
  • 100ml amaretto 
  • 4 tbsp sugar

Method

To make the cookie dough, melt the butter and then set aside to cool slightly. 

Mix the egg with the sugar and whisk them briefly to dissolve the sugar. Whisk in the melted butter and the milk, then add the salt, the lemon zest and finally the flour, baking powder and ground almonds. The batter will seem relatively loose, half way between cookie and cake, but that’s fine. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes or so. 

Pinch off 24-26 full teaspoon-sized pieces of dough with your fingers and roll them into smooth balls in the palms of your hand.


Line a flat baking tray with baking parchment and place the balls a few inches apart. Press them very slightly to flatten.


Preheat the oven to 180. 

Bake the cookies for around 12 minutes, until just cooked (they will still look pale but underneath will be a little golden).


Allow them to cool while you make the filling.


Whip the ricotta with the sugar and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy (the sugar will dissolve as you whip, don’t worry!). 

Now using a sharp knife, chisel away a hole in the base of each cookie. Fill a piping bag with the ricotta cream. (this is not entirely necessary, if you prefer not to pipe you can easily spoon in the filling). 

Pipe (or spoon) the ricotta mixture into the holes you have created in the cookies. If using the almonds, press them into the filling before sandwiching the cookies together. Smooth away any excess ricotta which has squirted out sideways.

Pour the Amaretto into a bowl and add the Alchermes or food colouring to create a red tint. Pour the sugar onto a plate. 

Dunk the cookies briefly in the alcohol, turning them to make sure they are covered all over. (if you prefer you can apply the alcohol with a pastry brush, this will make the cookies stay crisper for longer). Dip and roll them in the sugar (this is to replicate the downy skin of a peach) and then place a mint/lemon verbena leaf in each. 

See more recipes in La Vita è Dolce by Letitia Clark (Hardie Grant, £26). Photography ©Charlotte Bland.

@letitia_ann_clark

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