As hard as it is to believe, the Christmas season is coming. Every year the weekend after Thanksgiving, my husband, Chris, and I decorate our home for Christmas! The next few weeks will be spent preparing for Christmas; fitting since it is Advent. We start reading our girls stories about the meaning of Christmas. We work on our Christmas cards. We visit Santa Claus and get our shopping done.
One of my favorite activities during the holidays is baking Christmas cookies. I usually bake much more than we can ever eat; sending the extra cookies with Chris to work. I’ve yet to hear is co-workers complain.
This year, I started a bit early and decided to try a new cookie; one I pinned on Pinterest ages ago. The recipe for Italian Christmas Cookies makes a lot of cookies, but they taste wonderful! (I did make one slight change. Instead of using lemon extract, I used orange extract after realizing I forgot to buy lemon extract. Oops!)
After turning on the oven to 350° so it could preheat, I put 6 eggs in my mixer on high, until they were nice and frothy. I transferred the eggs to a smaller bowl, and cleaned out my mixing bowl.
Then, I added 5 cups flour, 2 cups powdered sugar, and 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder to the large mixing bowl and slowly mixed it together. To the dry ingredients, I added 1 cup shortening 3 teaspoons almond extract, and 1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract. I ran the mixer on low. Once everything was mixed, the result looked like small crumbs.
Using my 1-inch cookie scooper, I scooped out dough into balls and put them on my parchment paper-lined cookie sheets about 1-2 inches apart. (The cookies do not spread much when baking.) I baked the cookies for 14 minutes.
Once I removed the cookies from the oven, I added the gaze. To do this, I used a pair of tongs to dip all the cookie except the very bottom. I put the cookie on a wire rack to cool and immediately added colored sprinkles. (If you don’t do this immediately, the glaze will dry preventing the sprinkles from sticking.)
- 6 eggs
- 5 C flour
- 2 C powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 C shortening
- 3 tsp almond extract
- 1 1/2 tsp orange extract
- 3 3/4 C powdered sugar
- 1/2 C warm milk
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- colored sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- With a mixer, beat eggs on high speed until light and foamy, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and baking powder.
- Add shortening and extracts and mix on low until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
- Slowly add beaten eggs. Dough should be stiff.
- With a cookie scooper, roll dough into 1-inch balls.
- Place 1-2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
- Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.
- In a bowl, whisk together sugar, milk and extracts until smooth.
- As soon as cookies are removed from the oven, quickly dip the tops of the cookies into the glaze using tongs.
- Place on wire racks to drain and immediately top with sprinkles.
- Let dry for 24 hours before storing in airtight containers.