Quaresimali Toscana

Quaresimali Toscana

All over Tuscany, Quaresimali are made especially for the season of Lent.  The cookies use only the whites of eggs and no shortening, possibly so that something has been ‘given up’ for Lent.  The batter is formed into alphabet shapes and baked until quite hard, which again may be considered appropriate for the season. 


(Makes about 30 cookies)

  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 1-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder



  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.  Grease 3-4 baking sheets with butter.
  2. Whisk or beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  Sift the sugar, flour, and cocoa over the egg whites.  Gently fold in the dry ingredients until completely dark and smooth.
  3. Place the batter in a pastry bag with a round tip (about 1/4 inch).  Form letters about 3-1/2 x 2-inches directly on the baking sheets.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until slightly puffed and hard.  Immediately remove the cookies with a metal spatula to a wire rack.  If the cookies become difficult to remove, put the baking sheet back in the oven for a minute.

Quaresimali Toscana are best eaten within a day or 2 of baking as they lose their crispness when stored too long.


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