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 large 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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susan User ID: 9114720 263696
Reviewed Mar. 20, 2017

"I have made Italian cookies many years for holidays and weddings. I saw this recipe and thought it was pretty for a tray. I will not make again. Too sweet and I did not like the taste. I will continue using my recipes I have been handed down from family."

Madeline User ID: 8992840 258675
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2016

"I used almond extract instead and they turned out just great... the icing and sugar sprinkles make up for the not so sweet cookie. This is a keeper!"

JMartinelli13 User ID: 92779 257591
Reviewed Dec. 3, 2016

"Base cookie isn't overly sweet, but was balanced out with the icing and sprinkles. I used a cookie scoop to get uniform cookies."

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.."

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