Italian Cookies Recipe
Italian Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Italian Cookies Recipe

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My 100% Italian husband will tell you these are his favorite cookies. I make them often, and definitely every Christmas (if not, people get upset). They're good with or without icing and sprinkles. —Marie Forte, Raritan, New Jersey
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 10 min./ batch + cooling
MAKES:84 servings
Quick Diabetic Exchange Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 10 min./ batch + cooling
MAKES: 84 servings


  • 1/2 pound butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla or anise extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ICING:
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons 2% milk
  • Flaked coconut or assorted sprinkles

Nutritional Facts

1 cookie (calculated without decorations) equals 73 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 21 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and extract. Combine flour and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  2. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. For icing, in a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Dip cookies in icing; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper; decorate as desired. Let stand until set. Yield: 7 dozen.
Originally published as Italian Cookies in Taste of Home June/July 2009, p69

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Reviewed Dec. 7, 2012

"Without the icing, these cookies taste similar to biscuits. With icing, I still did not care for them."

Reviewed May. 6, 2012

"I used a little almond extract and a little vanilla. The batter is very thick and stretchy. Different consistency then most cookie doughs, so don't be alarmed. I found that to get smooth tops, I had to actually roll the dough slightly into a ball, otherwise it would be lumpy when cooked.

When I ate these the day I made them, I only thought they were 3 stars. They were way to dry and boring. However, 24 hours later, they tasted much much better! They got moister. So, I would definitely recommend making them a day before you plan to serve them. I dipped the tops in the glaze and wonder if maybe I should have also dipped the bottoms. It's not clear, but maybe that would have made them moister sooner."

Reviewed Dec. 14, 2011

"I love these cookies, my aunt made them for my bridal shower (many moons ago) and I was hooked. I use water instead of milk in the icing, taste the same and they don't have to go in the fridge."

Reviewed Sep. 6, 2011

"These melt in your mouth cookies were really good. They definitely needed the icing though, and I had to store them in the fridge because of the milk, which I didn't really think about before I made them."

Reviewed Jan. 8, 2011

"Yummy love them"

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