Image default
Cooking + Entertaining

Bocconotti: the traditional recipe for filled shortbread cakes

Bocconotti: the traditional recipe for filled shortbread cakes


For the shortcrust pastry

baking powder for cakes

For the stuffing

Almond flour or ground almonds

dark chocolate shavings

I Bocconotti are delicious round sweets, typical of Castel Frentano in Abruzzo, prepared with a shortcrust pastry base. The original recipe includes a filling of dark chocolate, chopped almonds, egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of cinnamon, to which you can add a little marsala or coffee. Although the bocconotto is of Abruzzese origin, many regions of southern Italy have the own variant, which differs in base and type of filling. The most popular version wants a traditional shortcrust pastry, made with flour, sugar, eggs and lard (or butter) and a filling of dark grape jam, almonds and chocolate.

But you can also find the bocconotti in other regions of southern Italy, each with its own tradition: there is the bocconotto from Puglia, with a filling of grape jam or sour cherries, sometimes with the addition of cream, very reminiscent of the famous Lecce pasticciotto in shape and texture. That one Calabrian e Lucan they are filled with cream and dark cherry or chocolate jam, but in some regions there is also the filling of grape jam. In the Teramo region they are made with scrucchiata, the typical Montepulciano grape jam from Teramo.

Almonds, on the other hand, can never be missing in the filling of the bocconotto, to give the right consistency and the unique flavor to this exquisite shortcrust pastry, appreciated by young and old. We chose the Recipe who comes closest original prepare the scented shortcrust pastry with a pinch of cinnamon; for the filling we cooked, we opted for a grape jam with an intense color and an intoxicating aroma, enriched with dried fruits and dark chocolate shavings.

The pictures to cook the bocconototti are made of aluminum with a slightly conical shape, but otherwise you can use the classic cups for pastries. Bocconotti are perfect for afternoon snack or to serve after dinner with coffee or fortified wine.

Find out how to prepare them by following the step-by-step procedure and tips.

How to prepare bocconotti

Start by preparing the shortcrust pastry. Collect the flour in the mixer 1.

Add the sugar 2.

Mix the cold butter, cut into small pieces 3.

Ground cinnamon scent 4.

Finally add the baking powder for cakes 5.

Mix to obtain a fine and sandy mixture 6.

Add egg and yolk seven.

Run the mixer again to incorporate the eggs. 8.

Transfer the dough to the floured work surface and work quickly with your hands until it forms a loaf 9.

Wrap the shortcrust pastry in cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour. ten.

In the meantime, take care of the preparation of the grape jam. Detach the grapes from the stalks 11.

Wash the grapes in cold running water 12.

Divide the berries in half 13.

With the tip of the knife, remove the seeds 14.

Transfer the berries to a saucepan 15. Let the grapes simmer over low heat until wilted, about 20 minutes. stirring occasionally to break up the leaves.

The grapes are cooked and also release the juice 16.

Pass the cooked grapes through a fine mesh vegetable mill and press with a spoon to obtain as much pulp as possible 17.

Pour the pulp into the pan and add the sugar 18.

Stir with a spoon 19. Transfer the pan to the heat and cook over low heat until the grape jam thickens 19.

Pour the grape jam into a bowl and let cool 20.

Mix the almond flour 21.

Add chopped dark chocolate 22. Stir to mix all the ingredients well.

The filling of the boccotti is ready 23. Refrigerate until needed.

Take the shortcrust pastry out of the fridge, let it rest for a few minutes then roll it out with a rolling pin. 24.

Using a cookie cutter about 7 cm in diameter, cut out many disks of shortcrust pastry 25.

Fill the buttered molds with the discs of shortcrust pastry, making them adhere well 26.

With a teaspoon fill the bocconotti with the filling 27.

With the mold upside down, cut the shortcrust pastry to cover the filling 28.

Seal the edges well by pressing the dough with your fingers 29.

The bocconotti are ready to be baked at 180°C for about 15-20 minutes until they take on a nice color and don’t come off easily from the mould. 30.

Remove from the oven, unmold the boccotti and place them on a wire rack to cool 31.

Sprinkle the now cold bocconotti with plenty of icing sugar 32.

The bocconotti are ready to be placed on a serving platter 33.

Serve the bites and enjoy them in all their infinite goodness 34.

History of bocconotto

The origins of bocconotto or boconotto are not certain but, according to the popular tradition, was born between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, when cocoa arrived in Europe. It is said that a serving maid in a house in Abruzzo, in Castel Frentano, decided to prepare a dessert for her master in the form of a cup of coffee, thus making the first bocconotto with liquid coffee and a garnish chocolate. In later preparations, he also added egg yolks and almonds, to thicken the mixture, and covered the cake with a small lid of shortcrust pastry. It is said that it was the owner himself who called this candy “bocconotto” because, given its small shape, it could be eaten in a only bite. However, the word bocconotto is mentioned for the first time in Domenico Bielli’s Abruzzo dictionary in 1930 with the following definition: “”buccunotte: round pastry filled with honey, cream, chocolate, whipped cream or other”.


A tasty reinterpretation of bocconotti can be found at Pasticceria Panza di Maratea, with a filling of custard and chocolate or black cherry.


The bocconotti can be stored under a bell jar for cakes or in an airtight box for 2-3 days.

New posts