These little bites of joy are the epitome of all things wonderful in the cookie universe—a soft and sweet cake-like treat adorned with heavenly icing and festive sprinkles. The best part? You probably have all the ingredients right in your kitchen, just waiting to be transformed into a batch of homemade Italian Christmas cookies! These cookies make a delightful solo gift for your neighbors or coworkers or as the star attraction on a Christmas platter.
- Your butter needs to be room temperature. It should be soft enough to easily stir. You don't want it to melt.
- Make sure you don't overmix the dough. If you do, you will end up with tough cookies.
- Chill the dough; this will help meld the flavors and keep the dough from spreading.
- Spray some nonstick spray on your hands if your dough is too sticky to work with.
- Be careful not to overbake the cookies; bake until barely light brown on the bottom.
- Your Italian Christmas cookies need to be completely cooled prior to icing; otherwise, if still warm, the cookies will absorb the icing.
- Keep your cookie dough in the fridge (between batches in the oven); that way, it stays cold prior to baking or handling.
Mix it up with some variations:
- Use different extracts, like vanilla, anise, or lemon. You can use it in the cookies and in the glaze.
- Use different types, colors, and shapes of sprinkles that are non-perils for the top.
- You can top with crushed candy canes.
- 2 1/4 C. flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 C. granulated sugar
- 1 stick of butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
- 2 C. confectionary sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons of milk or half and half
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- nonpareill sprinkles, crushed candy, etc.
For the cookies
- Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper and place them to the side.
- Using a small bowl and a whisk, mix the baking powder and flour. Set to the side.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, add your butter and beat until light in color and of a fluffy consistency.
- Next, add your eggs, granulated sugar, and almond extract, and mix. Your batter will be chunky.
- Now add your flour and baking powder mixture and combine until just mixed; do not overmix the batter.
- Add your dough to the fridge for an hour.
- Use a small cookie scoop (tablespoon) and roll into balls. Your dough will be sticky.
- Add your dough balls to your parchment-lined cookie sheets, 1" apart.
- Add your cookies to a preheated 350°F oven. Bake for 8–10 minutes. Don't overbake, or they won't be moist.
- Make sure your cookies are completely cool prior to icing.
For the icing
- Add your powdered sugar to a medium-sized bowl.
- 1 tablespoon at a time, mix into your powdered sugar until a thick glaze forms. Then add your extract.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then add a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet.
- Then dip your cookies. I like to hang on to the cookies upside down and dip them in your glaze. You could also spoon glaze over the top.
- Flip the right side up and add to the cooling rack. This allows your excess glaze to drip off onto your parchment-covered (easy cleanup) cookie sheet.
- While your icing is still wet, add your decorations over the top.
Enjoy, friends! ❤️