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Italian Christmas Cookies

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Italian Christmas Cookies are a delicious cake-like cookie with a hint of anise and sweet sugar glaze. This easy cookie recipe is great to serve any time of the year. 

I can’t really explain why I love these Italian Christmas Cookies so much, I just do. There is something about the cake-like texture with a hint of anise and the sweet sugar glaze that makes me want to eat the whole batch. The struggle is real, my friends. While these cookies are popular in many Italian households, they were not part of mine. My mom never made them.

I remember taking that first delicious bite of one of these Italian Christmas Cookies when I was visiting my aunt many, many years ago. My aunt’s neighbor brought us over a whole dish of these beauties. That’s when I fell in love.

Italian Christmas Cookies are a delicious cake-like cookie with a hint of anise and sweet sugar glaze.

What Ingredients Do I Need To Make Italian Cookies?

No fancy ingredients needed to make this Italian Cookie recipe. Ingredients are pretty straight-forward.

Butter

Powdered sugar

Sugar

Eggs

All-Purpose flour

Baking powder

Salt

Pure Vanilla Extract

Anise extract

Extra powder sugar

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How Do I Make Italian Christmas Cookies?

Tip 1:

I have seen these cookies in many different shapes – knots, S shapes, twists and balls. You can make them in any shape you desire. They are very easy to make. I like to roll mine into small balls.

Italian Christmas Cookies

Tip 2:

I have tried to make the knot shapes but I have determined that I am not a good knot shape maker. So, I take easy road by rolling them into balls and pressing them down slightly with the bottom of a glass.

Italian Christmas Cookies are a delicious cake-like cookie with a hint of anise and sweet sugar glaze.

Tip 3:

Once the cookies are baked and cooled, dip them in a sweet sugar glaze. Don’t forget to add the colorful sprinkles. They are just as important as the glaze. They are such a vibrant color to these gems too.

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How To Store Italian Christmas Cookies

I like to store these cookies at room temperature in an airtight container. They can be frozen, but sometimes the color on the sprinkles runs when thawed. You can always freeze unglazed. Prior to serving, just dip in glaze and then garnish with sprinkles.

How Long Will Italian Christmas Cookies Keep?

They will keep up to three months in the freezer and about seven days in a food storage container on your counter.

Kitchen Baking Essentials: Tools To Bake Cookies:

Stand Mixer

Cookie Sheet

Parchment or Silpat

Cookie Scoop

Wire Cooling Rack

Mixing Bowls

I love the cakey (is that even a word?) texture of these cookies. They have the slightest hint of anise flavor which is not too overpowering. If you are not a fan of anise flavoring, then try using almond flavoring instead. They are equally delicious!

I can’t believe Christmas is almost here. How are you coming with all of your holiday preparations? Enjoy the season….and these Italian Christmas Cookies too!

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Italian Christmas Cookies
Yield: 36

Italian Christmas Cookies

Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 58 minutes

Italian Christmas Cookies are a delicious cake-like cookie with a hint of anise and sweet sugar glaze.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise extract
  • Extra powder sugar

  • Glaze
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Nonpareil Sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time. Then add the vanilla and anise flavoring.
  5. Slowly mix in the flour mixture. Do not overbeat.
  6. Refrigerate dough for one hour.
  7. When ready to bake, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Dip the bottom of a small glass into some powdered sugar and press each ball down slightly.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  10. Remove and cool completely.
  11. To make the glaze:
  12. Sift two cups of powdered sugar in a bowl. Whisk in milk and vanilla.
  13. Dip top of each cookie in the glaze. Garnish with some nonpareil sprinkles.
  14. Allow glaze to dry before freezing.

Did you make this recipe?

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13 Comments

  1. I made them today nd can’t stop eating them. I want to give some to mother in law. Need to know if they can last a week.

  2. This recipe is amazing! My husband who is from Boston says they’re just like the ones his grandma used to make. Thanks!!

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