Tender Italian Sugar Cookies Recipe
Tender Italian Sugar Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Tender Italian Sugar Cookies Recipe

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These traditional Italian cookies are moist and tender. —Weda Mosellie, Phillipsburg, New Jersey
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
MAKES:36 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
MAKES: 36 servings


  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ICING:
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Food coloring and coarse sugar, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 136 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 54mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (12g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fat.


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  2. Shape dough into 1-1/2-in. balls. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  3. For icing, in a small bowl, combine milk, butter, vanilla and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Tint with food coloring if desired. Dip tops of cookies in icing; allow excess to drip off. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set. Yield: 3 dozen.
Originally published as Tender Italian Sugar Cookies in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2006, p11

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janr13 User ID: 7441067 246814
Reviewed Apr. 9, 2016

"Just made these cookies and also found them a little bland, will make them again just will add some orange extract to flavor them up. Icing was very runny even after adding extra sugar."

cdugdell User ID: 5127261 240741
Reviewed Dec. 31, 2015

"Love these cookies and they are always a hit a Christmas time"

CarrieBerry4Chad User ID: 5330384 225239
Reviewed Apr. 22, 2015

"Just ok. I agree with others that these are pretty bland. Not a very sweet cookie if that's what you're looking for.Easy to make, but not my idea of a sugar cookie."

auntyshock User ID: 4755810 222720
Reviewed Mar. 13, 2015

"For more flavor use almond flavor in cookie and i used peppermint flavor in icing"

slmerk User ID: 7826999 222634
Reviewed Mar. 12, 2015

"Easy to prepare with ingredients that are always on hand. Very nice presentation Unfortunately they don't have much flavor. I used extra vanilla in the dough and icing and double dipped them and they were still just eh. I was pretty disappointed."

Christine1003 User ID: 8177530 215642
Reviewed Dec. 22, 2014

"I just made these with white frosting & sparkling white sugar. They look so pretty, like snowballs. They do taste a little bland, though. I will definitely try them again with some anise extract added."

miw User ID: 7181521 107888
Reviewed Apr. 24, 2014

"Followed the recipe, very good! Not sure I'll make again though. The kids didn't love em.."

minnie User ID: 7775663 207662
Reviewed Apr. 23, 2014

"can someone help I made the tender italian sugar cookies and they tasted like flour. Why??"

mjclarke User ID: 7764115 107824
Reviewed Apr. 15, 2014

"Question - Do you have to use unbleached flour? What is the difference or benefit?"

Kelway User ID: 7758897 156970
Reviewed Apr. 12, 2014

"Super easy and everyone loves! Very moist and delicate flavor- can be addictive! I will try butter flavor shortening next time. This will be my go to cookie for special occasions!"

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