This was easily the most surprising favorite for me! I belong to a Facebook group called The Wedding Cookie Table, which highlights the tradition of the Pittsburgh Wedding Cookie Table. We share recipes and tips, and it’s been a great resource to learn about new cookies. Before joining this group, I never heard of the Italian Peach Cookie, and to be honest, it looked pretty intimidating. At an event called The Wedding Cookie College, they had a demonstration for this cookie, so I wanted to try it for myself.
I’ll be honest, this one takes a little practice (and a ton of patience). They are very, VERY time consuming but oh so worth it!
Italian Peach Cookies (Pesche Dolci)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 6 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
- Red and yellow food coloring
- (1) 12 oz jar peach preserves
- Peach Schnapps (1 – 1 1/2 cups)
- Plastic leaves (purchased at a cake supply store) HELPFUL TOOLS
- Rolling pin
- Plastic bag with closure
- ½ tablespoon cookie scoop
- X-acto knife or any sharp knife for scooping cookie centers
- Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
- Plastic gloves (latex or food prep gloves)
- Preheat oven to 350
- Beat eggs and sugar until light, about 3 minutes
- Add the vegetable oil and beat until creamy, then mix in the milk and vanilla.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add those to the egg mixture until just combined (Do not over beat. Mix until JUST combined).
- Let set for 30 minutes
- Using a ½ tablespoon cookie scoop, roll dough into small balls. You may need to oil your hands lightly or pat flour on your hands every few balls as the dough will be sticky. NOTE: You do not want to use much bigger of a cookie scoop or make the dough balls bigger than 1 inch. Remember, you will be putting two cookies together to form the peach after baking.
- Place balls on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (I prefer the baking mats).
- Bake about 12-14 minutes depending on size and your oven. The cookies should be set but not browned.
- Once cookies are slightly cooled, scoop out the center of each cookie and place in a plastic bag. NOTE: Be careful not to scoop too deep to make the cookie break. I used an X-acto knife to carve out the centers of my cookies.
- Once all the centers are scooped out and placed in a plastic bag, roll the centers to fine crumbs using a rolling pin or glass.
- Mix the cookie crumbs with 1 jar of peach preserves to make the filling for the cookies. (You may want to start with ¾ of the crumbs until the filling is the consistency you desire. I typically use all the crumbs and one jar of preserves. You want the filling to be sticky).
- Fill each cookie with filling and put two halves together, making sure that no filling is oozing out. (If it starts to ooze out, run your finger around the center of the cookie to remove any excess filling).
- Fill a cup (wide enough so you can dip the cookie) with Peach Schnapps. Color the Schnapps with red and yellow food coloring. I use a lot more red than yellow to get a nice “peachy” color. You can play around with the coloring for your desired look.
- Using food prep gloves or cleaning gloves, dip each cookie in the Schnapps for 1-2 seconds. You don’t want it to be in long enough that it gets soggy, just a quick dip is good.
- Place the dipped cookies on a paper towel to dry for a minute or so, then roll the cookie in sugar.
- If you are serving these right away, you can attach the leaves. If you are freezing, wait until you are serving to attach the leaves. These plastic leaves can be purchased at a candy or cake supply store. They are usually sold in packs of 25 or 100.
- ENJOY! You worked hard!!