St. Hilary from Poitiers (315 approx. – 367) is the Patron of Parma. He is celebrated tomorrow, January 13th, the day of his death.

It is said that as the poor Saint passed by Parma a cobbler, seeing his broken and haggard shoes, was moved with compassion and gave him a pair of new shoes. The morning after, as he opened his little shop, instead of Ilario’s miserable footwear, he found a pair of golden shoes.

This is why, even today, on Sant’Ilario’s day here we eat delicious shoe-shaped biscuits.

Here is the recipe!

foto Alberto Rossi



for the biscuits

500 gr. (1,1 oz) flour

4 eggs

250 gr. (0,55 oz) sugar

150 gr. (0,33 oz) butter

vanilla, some grated lemon zest, a pinch of salt

for the decoration

250 gr. (0,55 oz) icing sugar

the juice of half a lemon



Pour the flour on a work surface, forming a crater, pour there the previously softened butter, two whole eggs and two egg yolks, keeping the egg whites aside. Add the vanilla, a pinch of salt and the grated lemon zest.

When the dough is compact, film it and put it in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Roll it with a rolling pin, until it is 0,2 inches thick. Cut it in pieces in the shape of shoes, place them on a greased baking sheet and cook in the oven at 180° C. (356 F) for 30 approximately 30 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the glaze: whip the two egg whites lightly, add the icing sugar and the filtered lemon juice. Continue to whip until the mixture is firm, smooth and creamy.

Once the biscuits are cooked, let them cool down, then decorate them with the glaze by using a sac a poche.

If you want you can also decorate them with a chocolate glaze, and add codettes or other decorations



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