Sweet Saturday: Italian Christmas Cookies

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. 

Italian Christmas CookiesThis 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.

Italian Christmas CookiesThen, 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.

Italian Christmas CookiesNext, I slowly added the eggs as my mixer stayed on low. They dough got stiff, as it was supposed to. 

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.

Italian Christmas CookiesAs the cookies baked, I made the glaze. In a medium-size bowl, I whisked together 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup warm milk, 1 teaspoon almond extract, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. 

Italian Christmas CookiesOnce 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.)

Italian Christmas CookiesThe cookies tasted great and were a huge hit with my husband and my oldest daughter! (My youngest just chewed off the sprinkles and glaze.)

Italian Christmas Cookies
Yields 6
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 6 eggs
  2. 5 C flour
  3. 2 C powdered sugar
  4. 2 Tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  5. 1 C shortening
  6. 3 tsp almond extract
  7. 1 1/2 tsp orange extract
  1. 3 3/4 C powdered sugar
  2. 1/2 C warm milk
  3. 1 tsp almond extract
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. colored sprinkles
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. With a mixer, beat eggs on high speed until light and foamy, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and baking powder.
  4. Add shortening and extracts and mix on low until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  5. Slowly add beaten eggs. Dough should be stiff.
  6. With a cookie scooper, roll dough into 1-inch balls.
  7. Place 1-2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
  8. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.
  1. In a bowl, whisk together sugar, milk and extracts until smooth.
  2. As soon as cookies are removed from the oven, quickly dip the tops of the cookies into the glaze using tongs.
  3. Place on wire racks to drain and immediately top with sprinkles.
  1. Let dry for 24 hours before storing in airtight containers.
Adapted from The Life & Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch
Adventures of a Jayhawk Mommy http://jayhawkmommy.com/

About Denise

Hi! I'm Denise, a 40+ year old SAHM trying to navigate the world of motherhood. I blog about parenting, food, and have been featured a few times on BlogHer. I enjoys solving mysteries (Okay..reading mysteries or watching them on TV), cooking, and drinking way too much caffeine than I should. Basically, anything I needs to do to survive the toddler years.



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