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30 Nonna-Approved Italian Christmas Cookies

Make your holiday special with these Italian Christmas cookies that taste like they came right out of Grandma's kitchen.

Find the Taste of Home team’s essential tools for holiday baking and more.

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Italian Christmas Cookies

A single batch of these ricotta cheese cookies is never enough. I usually make one to give away and two more to keep at home. The ricotta cheese makes the morsels extra moist. —Doris Marshall, Strasburg, Pennsylvania

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Italian Christmas cookies happen to be some of the most popular Christmas cookies in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.

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Italian Horn Cookies

My family has been making these delicate fruit-filled cookies for generations. They’re light and flaky, with the look of an elegant old-world pastry. —Gloria Siddiqui, Houston, Texas

Try all 150 of our best Christmas cookies ever.

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Italian Rainbow Cookies

My family has made these classic Italian rainbow cookies for generations, and this homemade version is so much better than the bakery version. They are always a special treat during the holidays or any time of year! —Cindy Casazza, Hopewell, New Jersey
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Torcetti

Our Sicilian grandmother often had my sister and me roll out the dough for these tasty torcetti. Their melt-in-your-mouth goodness is delicious without being overly sweet.—Joy Quici, Upland, California
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Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

Chocolate, pistachios and cranberries make a dramatic, delicious trio. Introducing the cranberries to this recipe added tartness, texture and color, too. —Gilda Lester, Millsboro, Delaware
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Anise Sugar Cookies

As much as I love giving away my baking, a few goodies—like these anise sugar cookies—are keepers. The light anise flavor and buttery texture make them a perfect Christmas treat. —P. Marchesi, Rocky Point, Long Island, New York
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Chocolate Amaretti

These classic almond paste cookies are like ones you'd find in an Italian bakery. My husband and children are always excited when I include these goodies in my holiday baking lineup. —Kathy Long, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
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Pizzelle

This recipe was adapted from one that my Italian-born mother and grandmother followed. They used old irons on a gas stove, but now we have the convenience of electric pizzelle irons. These delectable cookies are still a traditional treat in our family. —Elizabeth Schwartz, Trevorton, Pennsylvania

These traditional Christmas cookies are made for spreading holiday cheer.

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Chocolate Fruit N Nut Cookies

Filled with fruit, nuts, chocolate and loads of flavor, these traditional Italian treats hit the spot. We enjoy them at Christmas with a hot beverage.

Here are all of the best vintage Christmas cookies to make this year.

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Cuccidati

The compliments make these Sicilian cookies worth the effort. It’s the best recipe for cuccidati I’ve found! —Carolyn Fafinski, Dunkirk, New York
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Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Pizzelle

I've experimented with different varieties of pizzelle recipes, but this is definitely a favorite. My dad likes to help make them so that we don't run out!—Aimee McCullen, Youngwood, Pennsylvania
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Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies

I recently found this old family recipe in my mom’s kitchen. I made a few adjustments to streamline the process, and the cookies turned out wonderfully. —Shawn Barto, Winter Garden, Florida
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Italian Sesame Cookies

These nontraditional European cookies aren’t overly sweet and have a wonderful crunch from sesame seeds. They’re the ideal accompaniment to a freshly brewed cup of coffee or tea.—Sarah Knoblock, Hyde Park, Indiana
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Glazed Italian Fruitcake Cookies

Glazed Italian Fruitcake Cookies

I grew up in Italy eating these every Christmas. I have such fond memories that I make them every year and give them to friends.—Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Almond Chocolate Biscotti

My neighbors look forward to getting my gifts of these chocolate-covered cookies. I love that this chocolate biscotti recipe is such a cinch to make. —Ginger Chatfield, Muscatine, Iowa
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Italian Cenci Cookies

My mother brought this special family recipe from Europe a century ago. Cenci can be “dressed up” for any holiday—at Easter, I sprinkle yellow, pink and lavender jelly beans over them, and for Christmas, red and green candy sprinkles give the cenci a festive look. Even without the garnish, they always disappear fast! —Anna Coduto, Fullerton, California
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Tender Italian Sugar Cookies

These traditional Italian cookies are moist and tender. —Weda Mosellie, Phillipsburg, New Jersey
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Holiday Biscotti

A twice-baked Italian cookie, biscotti makes a wonderful "dunker." A pretty way to present a batch is on a seasonal plate arranged in a wagon-wheel fashion. —Libia Foglesong, San Bruno, California
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Italian Pignoli Cookies

Cookies are the crown jewels of Italian confections. I can’t let a holiday go by without baking these traditional almond cookies rolled in mild pine nuts.—Maria Regakis, Somerville, Massachusetts
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Hazelnut Almond Biscotti

Pour a cup of coffee and indulge! Crisp, crunchy biscotti cookies are perfect for dunking. Hazelnuts and almonds make my favorite version even better. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Citrus Almond Cookies

These frosted goodies were a "must" every Christmas in my mother's family. I think the blend of milk chocolate, toasted almonds, lemon and orange is cookie perfection.
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Italian Honey Clusters

My mother made these treats flavored with cinnamon and anise for neighbors, teachers and anyone who stopped by. Make sure the honey doesn’t boil longer than a minute or it could burn.—Sarah Knoblock, Hyde Park, Indiana
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Gingerbread Amaretti Cookies

The classic Italian cookie gets a new gingerbread twist! Don’t overbake—they should be slightly chewy. —Tina Zaccardi, Eastchester, New York

If you want to try more Italian recipes, learn to make these gluten-free amaretti cookies.

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Almond-Ricotta Twists

A very dear friend gave me this recipe so I make these to remind me of our time together. I like to drizzle melted white chocolate or chocolate chips on the baked cookies.—Paula Prechtl, Brockport, Pennsylvania
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Italian Lemon Cookies

Christmas wouldn't be the same without my grandmother's cookies. A plate full of these light and zesty cookies is divine!—Elisabeth Miller, Broadview Heights, Ohio
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Italian Sprinkle Cookies

Of all the Italian cookie recipes I make, this is my favorite. These sprinkle cookies take some time, but, believe me, they are well worth it! My husband and I used to operate an Italian American restaurant, and this recipe goes back generations. —Gloria Cracchiolo, Newburgh, New York
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Hazelnut-Espresso Sandwich Cookies

The inspiration for this cute cookie came from my sister's description of a hazelnut cookie she tried in Italy. She declared my version to be a wonderful approximation. My family likes to help fill and trim them. —Cindy Beberman, Orland Park, Illinois
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Italian Cornmeal Spritz Cookies

A chef at a local culinary school gave me this recipe, and I've been using it for years. Italian cornmeal cookies are from the Piedmont region of northern Italy. They're not too sweet, and the glazed cherries add just the right touch. — Kristine Chayes, Smithtown, New York
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Frosted Anise Sugar Cookies

These soft, cake-like cookies have a pleasant anise flavor that’s distinct but not overpowering. I add red and green sprinkles for Christmas, but you could decorate them to suit any occasion.—Janice Eanni, Willowick, Ohio
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Anise & Wine Cookies

My grandmother did not speak English very well, but she knew the language of great food. These wine cookies are crisp and best eaten after being dunked in even more wine.—Julia Meyers, Scottsdale, Arizona

Amy Glander
Amy is a book editor at Taste of Home where she gets to pour her passions for food and storytelling into trade and series cookbooks. When she’s not writing or editing, you’ll find her antiquing, cooking and baking from her favorite vintage cookbooks and exploring Milwaukee’s urban beauty with her digital SLR in hand.
Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.