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These beautiful little cookies may look like a breadstick but they have the texture of an Italian twist cookie and the taste of an orange creamsicle!
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I could not wait to share this recipe with you! I recently discovered two things, one being that I have figured out how to make really delicious orange creamsicle flavored desserts and two being that I have accidentally figured out a recipe for Italian biscuit cookies. If you have been following me you may remember my Once Baked Biscotti Recipe. The orange creamsicle Italian twist cookies are different because they are perfectly crunchy and twisted like a mini breadstick. They are a different recipe altogether!
I was actually on a quest to figure out a completely different recipe and somehow created these cookies, which I never thought I would have been able to make at home! I know how popular my Orange Creamsicle Madeleines were so I thought I’d share another delightful orange dreamy recipe with you!
What is an Italian twist cookie?
If you have ever been to an Italian market you should know what these are. In the U.S., they are considered just a perfectly light but crunchy and still sort of soft cookie. They are either shaped in a knot, braided or twisted how they are in my photos. Italians generally call most of their cookies a biscuit but in America, most people consider them a cookie, so I called them Italian twist cookies.
If you have ever had an “S” cookie the Italian twist cookies are similar to those. They may have a different name sometimes but for the most part, they should all have that distinct texture and that perfect Italian flavoring that I, unfortunately, can never achieve.
What are the flavors used in a lot of Italian biscuit cookies?
As I stated above I can’t figure out the particular flavor combo. I know most Italian bakeries or bakers use anise, almond, and vanilla extracts, sometimes a berry flavoring for those iconic pink leaf cookies. I just haven’t been able to put my figure on what extract or combo of extracts are used in the traditional Italian twist biscuit. They taste like they may have more than two maybe even three extracts. This is partially why I decided to make them orange creamsicle! Citrus is a popular flavor among Italian desserts so I knew I couldn’t go wrong with the orange creamsicle combo! True authentic Italian desserts and pasta are usually made with semolina flour which could also explain the reason I cannot achieve the same flavor. Semolina has an earthy, sweet, and nutty flavor it is also yellow in color.
Whats different about this cookie recipe?
Orange creamsicle Italian twist cookies have a little bit of milk in them. I believe the combination of the milk with the rest of the ingredients helps lend to the texture of the cookie. I have also decided to add an egg wash on top using a pastry brush, this helps make that golden brown color on top of them which should remind you of the Italian cookies you used to get as a kid!
Orange Creamsicle Italian Twist Cookies
- Stand Mixer
- Cookie Sheets
- Parchment paper
- Pastry brush
- 1 stick unsalted butter softened
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/6th tsp salt
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 1 tsp fresh orange juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 oz melted white chocolate
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg optional
- Zest one orange and then juice it in a separate bowl.
- In a small bowl sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside.
- Next, get 2 cookie sheeta and place parchment paper on them. Set the oven to 400 degrees.
- Melt your white chocolate until fully smooth, be careful not to burn it, follow package instructions.
- In a stand mixer cream butter and sugar together until thoroughly combined.
- Add the egg, salt, vanilla, and freshly squeezed orange juice, mix until fully combined.
- Add the slightly cooled melted white chocolate and thoroughly mix.
- Add in the bit of milk till just combined then add in the flour.
- Next, pull off a small rectangle of parchment paper and lightly tape it to your work surface. Take about a 1 tsp of dough and roll it into a cylinder shape that is 2-3 inches in length then do it again so you have two 2-3 inch cylinders. Align them next to one another twisting one behind the other. Continue this process until you have about 36 twists. Place them on the cookie sheets leaving a little room between each.
- Crack one more egg into a small bowl and whisk, take a pastry brush and lightly baste each cookie. You can skip this but most Italian cookies have an egg wash on them.
- Bake the cookies for 10-15 min until golden brown on top and lightly browned on the bottom. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 min.
I hope you try out these cute cookies! They are perfect when paired with some espresso, coffee, or tea!
Hey there! I’m the owner & author of Life Is Homemade (the blog), as well as Mad About Madeleines. I hope you enjoyed some of the delicious recipes, how-to’s, DIYs, & product reviews I blogged about. Thank you for your previous support I hope you stick around on my new journey with Mad About Madeleines.