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Italian Sprinkle Cookies Recipe

Italian Sprinkle Cookies Recipe

These 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
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 15 min./batch + standing YIELD:42 servings


  • 6 large eggs
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • GLAZE:
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Colored sprinkles


  • 1. Using a heavy-duty mixer, beat eggs on high speed until light and foamy, about 5 minutes; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, confectioners' sugar and baking powder; on low speed, gradually beat in shortening and extracts until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Gradually add beaten eggs (dough will be stiff).
  • 2. Roll dough into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12-14 minutes (tops of the cookies will not brown, but bottoms should brown slightly).
  • 3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, milk and extracts until smooth. As soon as cookies are removed from the oven, quickly dip two or three at a time into glaze. Remove with a slotted spoon or tongs; place on wire racks to drain. Immediately top with sprinkles. Let dry for 24 hours before storing in airtight containers. Yield: about 7 dozen.

Nutritional Facts

2 each: 176 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 31mg cholesterol, 82mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.

Reviews for Italian Sprinkle Cookies

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walkerjo User ID: 7514182 266257
Reviewed May. 23, 2017

"These are heavenly!"

[email protected] User ID: 1303238 258276
Reviewed Dec. 18, 2016

"I make a somewhat similar recipe handed down through generations of Italian family for Christmas every year. Butter and sugar instead of shortening and confectioners sugar. Vanilla & Anise extract instead of almond & lemon extract. I use a small baking painters brush to frost cookies 2 or 3 at a time and then add sprinkles. Also make different shapes by rolling small pieces of dough into logs and then twist into "S", ribbon or spiral shapes. Everyone raves and can't wait for their share. Time consuming but well worth it in the end with a soft cookie eaten by itself or dunked in coffee (my Mom's favorite way to eat with no frosting)."

DecadentDessertLady User ID: 7347634 258270
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2016

"I think they came out fantastic. I was worried about the extract combinations but absolutely love them. I only had one stick of Crisco butter flavored shortening so I used a stick of butter with it. The glaze dries pretty quick so have someone else put the sprinkles on! I ended up drizzling more glaze on some so I could add sprinkles since I didn't have help. I think 12-14 minutes is way too long so watch them carefully."

Meesh233 User ID: 272245 258267
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2016

"I am an experienced baker and these were AWFUL. I tasted the batter and thought they were gross, but went ahead and baked one tray hoping the finished product would be better. NOPE. They were dry and crumbly with an overwhelming almond flavor (and I love almond). Waste of ingredients."

SimplyJoan User ID: 7556471 251695
Reviewed Jul. 21, 2016

"Taste as good as they look! My daughter helped -dipping and sprinkling quickly is much easier working together. Make it a bonding experience. She took half the recipe to work and receive rave reviews and they looked so professional!"

Inessa1103 User ID: 8190760 240817
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2016

"My family loved them, they are not really soft kind cookies but taste great! I jsed lemon extract instead of almond and they were delicious! Nice change to chocolate or sugar cookies!"

swaide911 User ID: 2628526 239945
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2015

"I wasn't sure about the flavor combination, but it worked very nicely. Italian desserts are not overly sweet, which is sometimes a pleasant change. One question : After they have been glazed, air-dried and placed in an airtight container, can they be frozen and thawed later? I know someone said they froze the dough and it turned out fine."

Dellast User ID: 4180994 239900
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2015

"Cut the recipe in half (thank goodness) and made exactly as directed. Sorry, don't like them at all. Funky taste, kind of dry and not sweet. Perhaps too much Almond extract in these. I ended up frosting the tops in an effort to save them. I would not make again."

egtimmons User ID: 6718860 239879
Reviewed Dec. 20, 2015

"Cisco has butter flavored shortning in sticks. I use that for the shortning. Very easy to measure and makes the cookies light.

You don't have to dip the cookies in the glaze if you don't want to. You can put the glaze on with a small spatula one cookie at a time. Put the sprinkles in a small bowl and then dip the glazed cookies one at a time in the sprinkles. I lay them out on the table on waxed paper to dry. I find this works best for me."

bevsq55 User ID: 3403536 239836
Reviewed Dec. 20, 2015

"I made these for my Christmas cookie trays and I really like the dough. The only thing I would have done different is to make it with all lemon extract or anise extract, because those are the flavors I like best. I will definitely use this recipe again."

KathyCooks1943 User ID: 8651526 239666
Reviewed Dec. 18, 2015

"Lard is not shortening... Lard is animal fat. Shortening is vegetable. Crisco.....Happy baking"

Water4Chocolate User ID: 7962831 239652
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2015

"I am looking forward to making these but wondered if someone would kindly answer two questions. 1-Can butter be used or is a Crisco type vegetable shortening necessary? 2-Arthritis doesn't allow me to dip the cookies quickly, do you think they could be dropped into the glaze or have the glaze drizzled over the tops? Thank you."

dhucki User ID: 7629306 239639
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2015

"Do you use shortening or butter"

JessieGentile User ID: 7041890 239545
Reviewed Dec. 16, 2015

"Everyone loved these cookies, I made the dough ahead of time and froze, perfect"

craftymimi7 User ID: 8139785 239258
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2015


sing4yoursupper User ID: 4543964 239101
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2015

"These are now a favorite at Christmas time and any time of the year! Wonderful!"

funny_face4 User ID: 8004582 236839
Reviewed Nov. 6, 2015

"I have a question, do these keep well in an airtight container? For how long? Thanks"

GStaelens User ID: 1765741 235942
Reviewed Oct. 29, 2015

"Great alternative to anise cookies"

cbenne12 User ID: 7424916 229764
Reviewed Jul. 18, 2015

"Fantastic! I decided to try this recipe when my husband was away for work, and wasn't sure if it would turn out right. I gladly told him that night when we talked that I had made cookies to rival his mother's!"

ruth562 User ID: 7541208 13068
Reviewed Dec. 15, 2013

"Wonderful! I just tried them and now they will be in my annual list of must haves! My sister tasted them and asked for the recipe too . I am only an amateur cook but I can follow a recipe and I didn't have any trouble making these."

mcardentey User ID: 2689965 36875
Reviewed Jan. 15, 2013

"I first saw this recipe a number of years ago in one the Taste of Home Christmas Cookies book - it was the small one - I had been on the search for a cookie that tasted like my Grandmothers. This is it. I make them every year. I made them this past weekend for my daughters baby shower - tinting the frosting pink and using pink sprinkles - I have been asked for this recipe by three people already - they are delicious!!!"

youssesl User ID: 6935776 201262
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2012

"This has become a Christmas staple! This is my favorite Christmas cookie!"

KristiJo User ID: 887218 8648
Reviewed Dec. 19, 2012

"We make it every year for Christmas - gluten free flour - and it's still a hit!! So tasty and yummy!"

hayeva User ID: 5992885 13067
Reviewed Sep. 25, 2012

"Simply Delicious!"

Irene3 User ID: 5890354 8647
Reviewed Sep. 22, 2012

"I made these cookies for my wedding. Yes they are work but what isn't? Nothing good comes easy, but these cookies are outstanding.You gotta try them...Excellent.."

laurenphelps80 User ID: 2969893 25263
Reviewed Nov. 19, 2011

"I have been making these for my Christmas cookie trays for about 4 years now. They are my favorite cookie. Great almond flavor."

Irishmama7 User ID: 6194448 17800
Reviewed Sep. 9, 2011

"I had gotten this recipe out of the Country Woman magazine over 10 years ago and have made it every year for Christmas and Easter. I try to make it early in the day so I can pack them away before retiring to bed. They are a fantastic cookie! Sometimes I add vanilla extract in place of the lemon. This one is worth the effort!!"

dorito User ID: 3059713 12470
Reviewed May. 26, 2011

"My wife just finished making a batch of these things with the plans of taking them to our daughter?s end of the year school party. She?s headed back to the grocery store to BUY some cookies to take. These things are so horrible, I?m not even going to try and feed them to dog and besides, I don?t think he?d eat them either. Don?t waste your time and energy making these things?I refuse to call them cookies."

Irene3 User ID: 5890354 34344
Reviewed Mar. 20, 2011

"I made these cookies for my wedding. I make alot of different italian cookies that people rave about. They liked these also. They are work, but they are worth it!AAA+++"

bubbula User ID: 1293248 34315
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2010

"Just like my Italian parent and grandparent made. Excellent..even passed my Mother's approval."

JoanieC. User ID: 4580162 10741
Reviewed Nov. 29, 2009

"I got this recipe from the magazine many years ago, and have made them for many years. They are delicious. I was so glad to see the recipe online."

TolleFamily User ID: 3758537 24994
Reviewed Jun. 16, 2009

"Can you tell me the historical background of this cookie? How it is used in relation to italian customs."

hummervic User ID: 936962 13015
Reviewed Mar. 8, 2009

" "

hummervic User ID: 936962 13014
Reviewed Mar. 6, 2009

"I make alot of Italian cookies that my mother-in-law showed me and gave me recipe. I have one that I'm not sure I'm doing right it is a egg bisquite and you drop in boiling water when they come up you cut slice around cookie not all the way through and then you bake then, they all so have fennel or anise seed in them. If you could help me my husband loves them even if there not made right ofcourse his Grandma like them to even if they didn't come out right.

[email protected]"

jsgriffi1 User ID: 2714500 201261
Reviewed Jan. 16, 2009

"I made these for Christmas gifts and they were absolutely delicious and very pretty. If you put the sprinkles on make sure to put them on right away after dipping in the glaze or they won't stick. I plan on making them again with the girls - who says they're just for Christmas!"

lanetal User ID: 3602574 25262
Reviewed Dec. 24, 2008

"Just to make sure, do I leave the cookies on the wire racks for 24 hours before putting them in the airtight container? Thanks!"

cher58 User ID: 610833 25250
Reviewed Dec. 15, 2008

"I just made my second batch, They are delicious. I will be keeping this recipe as I will be making them often."

pipolota User ID: 3682565 12916
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2008

"Also, between batches, I keep the glaze covered with a wet dish towel."

pipolota User ID: 3682565 8634
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2008

"I drop the whole cookie in the bowl of glaze, and flip them once or twice."

amanda021 User ID: 3350343 24933
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2008

"do you dip the entire cookie in the glaze or just half of it?"

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