Recipe: Rose Del Deserto (Desert Roses)

Enjoy every bite of these scrumptious Italian morsels.

The following recipe, prepared by Dr. Paola Lovisetti Scamihorn and Paola Palestini, PhD, appears in The Mamma Mia Diet. 

Kids need between-meal pick-me-ups. Why not make this Italian variation of yummy chocolate chip cookies? “Desert roses” are delicious, perfect for a tasty and healthy snack to enjoy with a glass of milk. Even adults love them with a nice cup of tea or, even better, with an Italian espresso or cappuccino. These cookies get their name from the rosette-shaped formations of  ocher-colored minerals found in desert areas.


Preparation time: 20 minutes               Baking time: 10 minutes                Yield: about 35-40 cookies


130 g (⅔ cup) granulated sugar
120 g (4.3 oz ) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
240 g (1 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
5 g (1 teaspoon) baking powder
Pinch of salt
180 g (1 cup) chocolate chips
200 g (7 oz) approx., cornflakes (like Special K) or similar
Powdered sugar

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  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350 °F)
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a medium-sized bowl with an electric mixer
  3. Add the eggs and the vanilla extract
  4. Mix the flour and the baking powder in a small bowl
  5. Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips
  7. Roll teaspoon-sized balls of dough in a bowl of cornflakes
  8. Place the cookies, well-spaced (about 3-4 cm), on a greased cookie sheet
  9. Bake about 10-12 minutes
  10. Remove from pan and cool on a rack
  11. Cover with powdered sugar sprinkle on top, just before serving.

Note: This recipe makes about 35-40 cookies.  If the dough is too sticky, add one or two spoons of flour. You can substitute chocolate chips with other ingredients such as raisins, for an even healthier snack.  Store in a airtight container.   You can also store the baked cookies in the freezer; before serving, let them thaw at room temperature and then sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.  -Paola

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