Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe
Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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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, 0 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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Inessa1103 User ID: 8190760 240816
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!"

karinmair User ID: 4663623 239825
Reviewed Dec. 20, 2015

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

redcottagechronicles User ID: 7297725 238532
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."

kimbojones User ID: 5394373 237413
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!"

jumpseatjen User ID: 6748822 215342
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??"

murrell006 User ID: 2357453 73438
Reviewed Dec. 19, 2013

"I have been making this cookie at least since 2006. It is a hit every year. My size is larger than a tsp closer to a tbsp"

karsmitty2 User ID: 2642616 36983
Reviewed Nov. 24, 2013

"These cookies are the best! So moist & delicious."

puffybloomers User ID: 1501090 83072
Reviewed Nov. 20, 2013

"this are easy to make and taste great, what more could you want in a cookie"

dunkinjean User ID: 3847980 30864
Reviewed Oct. 28, 2013

"I made this cookie last Christmas and everyone said it was absolutely delicious.

I recently made it again for a baby shower but used only blue sprinkles (a boy) - everyone wants the recipe!"

dunkinjean User ID: 3847980 89318
Reviewed Oct. 24, 2013

"I have made these cookies for the past 2 yrs for the holidays. They are very moist and delicious. I just made several batches for my daughter-in-law's baby shower and used baby blue sprinkles in lieu of holiday. They were beautiful, wonderful and everyone enjoyed them! Last night I made a batch to bring for our trip to visit the expecting parents since they stated that "Nicholas Parker" (baby to be in 1 month) wanted some!!"

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