Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe
Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe

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"A single batch of these mouthwatering cookies is never enough," attests Doris Marshall of Strasburg, Pennsylvania. "I usually make one to give away and two more to keep at home. Adding ricotta cheese to the batter makes the morsels extra moist."—Doris Marshall, Strasburg, Pennsylvania
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
MAKES:51 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
MAKES: 51 servings


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • Colored sprinkles

Nutritional Facts

2 each: 150 calories, 6g fat (3g saturated fat), 28mg cholesterol, 131mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (15g sugars, trace fiber), 2g protein


  1. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in ricotta and vanilla. Combine flour, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture.
  2. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to reach spreading consistency. Frost cooled cookies and immediately decorate with sprinkles. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 8-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Italian Christmas Cookies in Country Woman November/December 1999, p41

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Reviewed Jan. 1, 2016

"I made them a few times and added lemon zest to the mix and to the glaze and they tasted fantastic!"

Reviewed Dec. 20, 2015

"The only good thing about these cookies is the texture. The flavor is quite bland. Will probably not make again."

Reviewed Dec. 1, 2015

"These moist, cake-like cookies were flying off the cooling rack before they were even frosted! Makes a nice big batch and freeze well too."

Reviewed Nov. 15, 2015

"I lost my great-grandmother's recipe for ricotta cookies, and have been looking for something similar...these are as close as it comes! Nonna always used almond or anise flavoring, so I added 2 tsp almond emulsion. As soon as they were out of the oven, it was like I was in Nonna's kitchen again! So good! I'll try the anise next time. Thank you so much for posting this recipe and giving me the opportunity to reconnect with the past!"

Reviewed Dec. 19, 2014

"I loved these cookies in years past, but this year I have a daughter that is gluten intolerant, and am wondering if anyone has tried the gf flour (i got mine at Costco) and did they turn out??"

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