These Italian Peach Cookies are two vanilla cookies stuffed with both vanilla custard and chocolate custard, sandwiched together, dipped in pink Italian booze and rolled in sugar to resemble a real peach! Soft, flavorful, with a fun crunch from the sugar - these cookies are just like the ones my Italian grandma made so they are sure to be a success!
Preheat the oven to 320F (150C) making sure the fan is turned off. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Make the cookies. Simply mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, egg, milk, butter, vanilla, extract, and salt until combined. The cookie dough will be very thick. Divide the cookie dough into 18 equal balls. Each ball should weigh 1.1 oz or 30 g. Roll each ball until perfectly soft and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently press each cookie onto the baking sheet so it sits without rolling.
Bake until the cookies are golden all over with golden brown bottoms. The cookies shouldn't crack but if they do, you can still use them. Allow the cookies to cool down completely before moving onto the next step.
Carve the cookies. I recommend doing this on day 2. Make sure the cookies are room temperature before carving, then use a spoon or knife to carve each cookie to make room for the filling. Be gentle as you don't want to break the cookies.
Make the vanilla custard. Add the milk to a medium pot over medium-low heat. Heat the milk until hot but not boiling or simmering. Meanwhile, vigorously whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, and egg yolks until combined and pale in color. Transfer the egg mixture into the milk mixture and cook, stirring continuously until the custard has thickened and is bubbling. Turn off the heat and fold in the vanilla extract. Transfer half of the custard to a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap making sure the plastic wrap touches the custard to keep it from forming a skin.
Make the chocolate custard. Add the milk, powdered sugar and cocoa powder to the remaining custard, turn on the heat and cook until fully combined and thickened again. This is your chocolate custard. Cover with plastic wrap making sure the plastic wrap touches the custard to keep it from forming a skin.
Fill the cookies. Fill half of the cookies with your prepared vanilla custard and the other half with your prepared chocolate custard. Be generous with the filling because that's the "glue" that keeps the cookies together so you want to make sure the edges have a thin layer of filling slathered over the top. Combine a vanilla custard cookie with a chocolate custard cookie, sandwich them together and set them aside.
Dip in Alchermes. Dip each assembled peach cookie in Alchermes for just a few seconds. Be gentle when doing this but work quickly: the cookies aren't supposed to soak up too much liquor or they will fall apart later on.
Roll in sugar. Immediately roll each peach cookie in sugar and set aside.
Chill for at least 3-4 hours or overnight (recommended). The cookies need some time to set, soak up all the flavors and soften up. Top each cookie with a mint leaf right before serving. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
How To Substitute Alchermes (Alcohol-Free Option): in a medium pot, add 1 cup (250 ml) water, 1 cup (200 g) white granulated sugar, 2 tbsp vanilla extract, 1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, peel of 1 medium orange, 1 box of strawberry or peach flavored jello. Heat over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring from time to time. Allow the flavors to bloom, then turn off the heat and stir in 1-2 drops of red or pink food coloring. The liquid is supposed to turn into a dark pink or ruby red color. If the liquid has thickened too much and has a syrupy consistency (like maple syrup), you can add some extra water to thin it out.Make-Ahead Instructions: on day 1 follow the recipe through step 3, then allow the cookies to cool down to room temperature overnight. On day 2, move onto step 4 and follow the recipe through step 9. Allow the cookies to chill in the refrigerator (step 10) and serve after 3-4 hours or on day 3 (recommended).Storing Instructions: store the whole cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature for a day. Store the finished peach cookies in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 daysFreezing Instructions: freeze the whole cookies or carved cookies in an air-tight container or ziplock bag for up to 2-3 months, then fill, dip, roll, chill, and serve as written in the recipe card above.📷 DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?!Tag @itsdamnspicy on Instagram and hashtag it #itsdamnspicy