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Italian Cookies Recipe

Italian Cookies Recipe

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 YIELD: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
  • Sweetened shredded coconut or assorted sprinkles


  • 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.

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 73 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 21mg cholesterol, 40mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.

Reviews for Italian Cookies

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suefalk User ID: 6736080 258935
Reviewed Dec. 31, 2016

"A very good Anise cookie, much like my own. But, I do always frost mine (with anise) in the icing too."

squaredancer2825 User ID: 7010227 103986
Reviewed Dec. 7, 2012

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

Gina059 User ID: 6679413 119001
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."

bobbi61554 User ID: 1448286 163807
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."

aug2295 User ID: 4631582 179167
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."

Ron07 User ID: 5239194 165629
Reviewed Jan. 8, 2011

"Yummy love them"

chefforlife User ID: 5747268 163805
Reviewed Jan. 8, 2011

"These cookies look great and taste even better!"

mnotaro User ID: 4947260 163803
Reviewed Jul. 3, 2010

"Very easy to make.I generally don't bake so I was happy to try this.I used rainbow nonpareils instead of the coconut."

my_litch91 User ID: 1925659 179166
Reviewed Jun. 20, 2010

"My husband liked them a lot, but i have more of a sweet tooth, so I didn't care for them much."

evarogers72 User ID: 4479370 95287
Reviewed Jun. 19, 2010

"Yes, these are the best..."

kaykeays User ID: 3077699 103985
Reviewed Jun. 19, 2010

"I also make an Italian cookie but my recipe calls for 16oz of Ricotta cheese it keeps them moist"

popowich User ID: 1412533 178152
Reviewed Jun. 19, 2010

"Made these this morning. I suppose if you are used to store-bought cookies these might be acceptable. They were boring, tasteless and dry. Awful cookies. No one liked them. Would certainly never recommend this recipe to anyone who likes home-made cookies. Very disappointed."

Jinnylou User ID: 1215934 143008
Reviewed Jun. 19, 2010

"Have made these for years with the exception that my recipe calls for 1/2 c milk and 2 Tbls. anise. Use chopped nuts for topping"

AnnaRoseH User ID: 1058322 111142
Reviewed Oct. 29, 2009

"Very good cookies....I made them with sprinkles instead of coconut and all loved them, including the kids except for the 5 year old who declares cookies are supposed to be flatter :) bake them at the lowest time you possibly can to keep them from drying out, maybe even go 25 degrees cooler."

Crystaleastman User ID: 2235084 182217
Reviewed Sep. 30, 2009

"I made these for a reception and they looked great but taste terrible. They were extremely dry, and bitter from all of the baking powder in them. Will not make them again.


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