How do you make Italian Christmas cookies? Got recipes?

Question by Silver: How do you make Italian Christmas cookies? Got recipes?
Years ago, we used to receive about five pounds of cookies every Thanksgiving, from an old Italian lady we knew. They were the best cookies I ever ate. They were of all different kinds, but tended to be dense, flavorful, and not terribly sweet, which allowed the flavors to come through.

One in particular was a little glob of delicate spiciness, with a slight glaze.

Years later, in Italy, I discovered that Italian sweets and desserts are not as sweet as French, German and American sweets.

Do Italians hold down the sugar content?

What are the other secrets?

I’m capable of improvising if you don’t have recipes.

Best answer:

Answer by BOUDICA !!!!

1 c. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. orange extract
1 1/2 tsp. anise extract
4 c. flour, sifted once with 4 tsp. baking powder
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
6 eggs

Mix all ingredients in large bowl until a dough consistency. Roll in a little flour to handle and break off small pieces. Roll and twist. Bake 8-10 minutes on greased pan at 350 degrees. Cookies will be very light after baking.


Confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tsp. orange extract
1 1/2 tsp. anise extract
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
A little milk

Mix and dip cookies in icing. Allow to dry before handling. Yield about 4-5 dozen.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

Posted by in Italian Cookies and tagged with christmas, cookies, Italian, Recipes | Trackback
  1. Jennifer M says:

    These are similiar to what I grew up enjoying – my mama is from Italy:


    3/4 c. shortening
    1/4 c. butter
    1 tsp. salt
    1/2 c. powdered sugar
    2 tbsp. vanilla
    2 c. sifted flour
    1/2 c. chopped pecans

    Blend shortening, butter, salt, sugar and vanilla. Add flour and pecans. Drop by tablespoon full onto cookie sheet. Bake in slow 325 degree oven for 25 minutes. Cool then roll in confectioners’ sugar.

    2 c. + 2 tbsp. flour
    4 tsp. baking powder
    1/4 tsp. salt
    3 eggs
    5 tbsp. sugar
    1/4 c. oil
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 tsp. anise or almond extract
    1 box confectioners’ sugar

    Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl beat 3 eggs and add sugar, vanilla and oil; beat again. Add to dry ingredients.
    Grease cookie sheet (2 sheets) spray with Pam in place of oil or butter. After all mixed together divide dough and able to make shapes; dough may be moist, add more flour. Take small amount, roll in your hand whatever length and shape.

    Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.


    1/2 box powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon anise and enough water to texture. Dip cookies in icing and sprinkle with colored sprinkles.

    and, my very favorite (but ours didn’t have hazelnuts):

    3 lg. eggs
    3/4 c. sugar
    2 1/2 sticks butter, melted
    1 tbsp. orange zest
    1 tbsp. vanilla
    2 c. flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    2/3 c. Hazelnuts
    1/3 c. almonds (or 1 c. any nuts)

    Beat eggs and sugar. Add butter, zest and vanilla, beat well. Sift flour, soda and add and beat well. Stir in nuts using spoons; divide sticky dough in 1/2. Place each 1/2 on cookie sheet. Shape into flat loaf 10 x 14 inches. Bake 20 minutes or until firm. Cool a few minutes. Cut into 1/2 inch slices and place on sides on cookie sheet. Bake 7 minutes on each side. Cool on rack. Dunk into wine/coffee. Can be served for breakfast.

  2. astrokick says:

    This is far fetched but plain sugar or pastry cookies topped with prepared cannoli.

  3. Massive Mann says:

    The reciipes above are spot on, but you HAVE to get an Italian to bake them too. I’ll be right over!!!

  4. Katie says:

    Makes 2 – 3 dozen

    ½ cup Butter, softened
    1 cup, Sugar, granulated
    3 Eggs, lightly beaten
    ½ tsp. Vanilla extract
    ½ tsp. Lemon zest
    2 ½ cups Flour, all purpose
    2 ½ tsp. Baking powder
    Icing ingredients
    1 cup Confectioners Sugar 2 tbs. Milk
    ½ tsp. Vanilla extract or flavored liqueur

    In mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, add eggs, vanilla, and zest. Sift together flour and baking powder then slowly add to mixture. Continue to beat until soft dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up dough.
    Preheat oven to 350º.
    Lightly grease and flour 2 large baking sheets. Grease hands and pull teaspoonful of dough, form into a small ball and place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
    Bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until edges of cookies turn light golden. Remove to cooling rack. Allow to cool 5 minutes before icing.
    Mix icing by pouring confectioners sugar in to a small bowl, add milk and extract (liqueur). Mix with a wire whisk until smooth. Add food coloring, if desired. Dip tops of each cookie in to the icing allowing excess to drain. For thicker icing, wait a minute then dip cookie again. Allow icing to set up for 5 minutes.

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