Italian Christmas Cookies

These are a favorite in my house around the holidays and they’re just the kind of cookie you’d savor with a cup of tea or coffee. On the cakey side, they’re sweet with a hint of anise.

Cookie Ingredients:

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

1⁄2 cup butter

2 teaspoons anise, almond or vanilla extract. (Or you can blend. I’ve used a teaspoon of almond with a teaspoon of vanilla, or combined anise and vanilla.)

3 1⁄2 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder


2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

6 teaspoons water


Preheat the oven to 375°

Sift the flour and baking powder together into a bowl.

In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and add vanilla, then pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix. I use a stand mixer, but whatever your method, add the dry ingredients a half cup at a time.

Turn out the dough on a floured board or silicon baking mat. Gently knead for a minute or two, adding flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to hands.

Pinch off dough, roll in your hands to form a log and then twirl into shape. Place on greased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Combine the last 3 ingredients to make a creamy icing:

Dip cookies into icing.

Place dipped cookies on a wire rack with wax paper on counter to collect the dripping icing, then add sprinkles.