Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (2024)

Published: Last updated: by Shelby Law Ruttan · As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This Italian Christmas Cookies recipe is an Italian classic cookie that is popular during the holiday season. They are a soft ball shaped cookie glazed with a thick glaze and sprinkled with colored sprinkles. A festive cookie everyone will love to find on their cookie tray!

Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (1)

This is my favoriteItalian Christmas Cookiesrecipe. These soft cookies that are coated with an almond-flavored glaze,then topped with festive sprinkles. They make the perfect holiday treat and is one one that my whole family loves.

Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (2)
Jump to:
  • ❤️ Why you'll love it
  • 🥘 Ingredients
  • 🥘 Ingredients
  • 🔪 INSTRUCTIONS
  • 🥄Equipment
  • 👪 Serving size
  • 🥫Storage
  • 📖 Variations
  • 💭 Tips
  • 📚 Related Recipes
  • 🍽 Serve with...
  • 🏫 The last word
  • 📖 Recipe
  • 💬 Comments

❤️ Why you'll love it

  • It is a big batch Italian cookie recipe making it perfect for the holiday season and cookie exchange parties.
  • These cookies are soft and have a buttery almond flavor and make a delicious addition to cookie trays.
  • These are not only great for the holiday season but also special occasions such as potlucks, church events, or just because.
Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (3)

🥘 Ingredients

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*Please see recipe card for full ingredient list and instructions*

All-purpose flour

Confectioners Sugar

Butter Flavored Vegetable Shortening, I like to use this to have buttery flavor with a softer cookie that has a cake like texture.

Large Eggs

Almond Extract

Vanilla Extract

Lemon Extract

Fun Christmas Cookie Sprinkles

Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (4)

🥘 Ingredients

*Please see recipe card for full ingredient list and instructions*

All-purpose flour

Confectioners Sugar

Butter Flavored Vegetable Shortening

Large Eggs

Almond Extract

Vanilla Extract

Lemon Extract

Fun Christmas Cookie Sprinkles

Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (5)

🔪 INSTRUCTIONS

For the cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees f. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Add the eggs to a large bowl and using a hand mixeron medium speed,beat the eggs for 5 minutes, until light and foamy. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, combine 5 cups of theflour, confectioners’ sugar, and baking powder. Stir with a whiskto combine. Set aside.
  4. On low speed, gradually beat the vegetableshortening and extracts until combined. Gradually mix in the beaten eggs.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixtureto the egg mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. The doughshould be stiff. If it is not stiff enough to roll into a cookie ball, gradually add more flourbeginning with ½ cup. (This is where the extra cup of flourcomes in). If still not stiff enough, gradually add remaining half cup. By this time the cookie doughshould be stiff enough to shape into a cookie ball.
  6. Scoop dough with a 1 tablespoon sized cookie scoop. Then roll doughinto balls. Place the cookies at least 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake cookies at 12 minutes, until dough is no longer wet on top and bottom of cookies are slightly brown.

For the icing:

  1. While the cookies are baking, make the icing. In a small bowl, combine the confectioner’s sugar, milk and extracts until smooth. As soon as cookies are removed from the oven, quickly dip two or three times into the glaze.
  2. Place on a wire rack with wax paper beneath itto drain and immediately top with sprinkles. Let dry 24 hours. Place in airtight containers to store.
Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (6)

🥄Equipment

Large mixing bowl

Medium mixing bowl

Cookie sheets

Parchment paper

Electric hand mixer

Small cookie scoop (1 tablespoon sized)

👪 Serving size

Yield is approximately 4-½ dozen (56) cookies. Two cookies are equal to one serving.

🥫Storage

Air-dry the cookies on a cooling rack for 24 hours then store the cookies on the counteror fridge for up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.

📖 Variations

  • Substitute room temperature butterfor the shortening.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon spiceto the flour mixture.
  • Use orangeextract and substitute orangejuice for the heavy cream in the glaze.
  • Sprinkle with colored sugars instead of jimmies.
  • Substitute 1 teaspoon vanillaextract for the almond extract.
  • For Italian Lemon Cookies, substitute lemon extractand sprinkle lemon zestover the top of the iced cookie.
  • Substitute 1 tablespoon of the light cream for honeyin the glaze.
Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (7)

💭 Tips

  • Sift the flourfirst, then lightly spoon it into the measuring cups, leveling it off with a knife before combining with the sugar.
  • Add the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time, stirring until well combined after each addition.
  • If the doughstarts to become stiff before all of the flour mixtureis added, then don’t add any more flour.
  • Frost the cookies while they are still warm by dipping them in the bowl of icing. This allows the icing to seep into the cookie.
  • Sprinkle with the colored jimmies immediately after you dip the cookie in the icing.
  • If the glazeseems too thin, add more powdered sugarone tablespoon at a time until it is at the desired consistency.
Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (8)

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🍽 Serve with...

Serve these cookies with a tall glass of cold milk or hot cup of coffee or tea.

🏫 The last word

Not everyone loves the traditional anise flavor of this Italian christmas cookie recipe, so I used almond and vanilla extract in its place.

Making there Italian classic has become a regular family tradition.

I was curious about the origin of Italian Christmas Cookies. All I really knew was they were also called Italian Wedding Cookies. I did an online search to find out exactly where these came from. I really couldn't come up with anything other than recipes, so I went toWikipediaand found a whole list of cookies! There were 9 cookies that were labeled Italian. Not a single cookie on that list of 9 cookie recipescame close. So, while these are called Italian Christmas Cookies, I am not exactly sure why.

Don't forget to check out my Amazon storefront for some of my favorite products!

When you make this recipe, please comment below and let me know what you think. I'd love it if you tag me on Instagram @grumpyshoneybunch or #grumpyshoneybunch so I can see your photos!

If you love this recipe, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating

📖 Recipe

Italian Christmas Cookies

Shelby Law Ruttan

This Italian Christmas Cookies recipe is an Italian classic cookie that is popular during the holiday season. They are a soft ball shaped cookie glazed with a thick glaze and sprinkled with colored sprinkles. A festive cookie everyone will love to find on their cookie tray!

4.42 from 121 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe Save

Prep Time 20 minutes mins

Cook Time 45 minutes mins

Total Time 1 hour hr 5 minutes mins

Course Cookie Recipes, Desserts

Cuisine Italian

Servings 56

Calories 147 kcal

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Ingredients

For the Cookies:

For the Glaze:

Instructions

For the cookies:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees f. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  • Add the eggs to a large bowl and using a hand mixeron medium speed,beat the eggs for 5 minutes, until light and foamy. Set aside.

  • In another large bowl, combine 5 cups of theflour, confectioners’ sugar, and baking powder. Stir with a whiskto combine. Set aside.

  • On low speed, gradually beat the vegetableshortening and extracts until combined. Gradually mix in the beaten eggs.

  • Gradually add the flour mixtureto the egg mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. The doughshould be stiff. If it is not stiff enough to roll into a cookie ball, gradually add more flourbeginning with ½ cup. (This is where the extra cup of flourcomes in).

  • If still not stiff enough, gradually add remaining half cup. By this time the cookie doughshould be stiff enough to shape into a cookie ball.

  • Scoop dough with a 1 tablespoon sized cookie scoop. Then roll doughinto balls. Place the cookies at least 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.

  • Bake cookies at 12 minutes, until dough is no longer wet on top and bottom of cookies are slightly brown.

For the icing:

  • In a small bowl, combine the confectioner’s sugar, cream, and extracts until smooth. As soon as cookies are removed from the oven, quickly dip two or three times into the glaze.

  • Place on a wire rack with wax paper beneath itto drain and immediately top with sprinkles. Let dry 24 hours before storing in an airtight container.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 147kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 2gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 65mgPotassium: 24mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 40IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 1mgNet Carbohydrates: 24g

Keyword Italian Christmas Cookies

Tried this recipe?Mention @grumpyshoneybunch or tag #grumpyshoneybunch!

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About Shelby Law Ruttan

Shelby is the author/owner of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Established in 2007, she shares and preserves family recipes as well as recipes for cooking light and keto. She has authored the One-Pot Paleo Cookbook and The Pescatarian Keto Cookbook. She is an experienced, self-taught home cook who loves to share recipes with others. She also authors the websites Honeybunch Hunts and The Best Vegetarian Recipes. You can see her work on websites such as Veal Made Easy, Parade, Community Table, SoFab Food, Yummly, and FoodGawker.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Debbie

    Hi, if I wanted to use anise, does it replace both the almond and vanilla or just one of them? Thanks

    Reply

    • Shelby Law Ruttan

      There is almond in the cookie dough and the icing. If you want to replace in the cookie dough, I would say yes. I don't think I would add anise to the icing. I think it would be overpowering. This is a large batch recipe, so I would stick with the tablespoon in the dough and leave out the lemon. For the icing, I would probably just use vanilla and skip the almond in the icing if using anise in the dough. I hope that was helpful!

      Reply

    • Sharon Valentine

      The Italian anise cookie came from an Italian cookie named Biscuita from Italy. I’m not sure what region of Italy but if you would want more information I can ask my sister in-law. My husbands parents are gone now but we make the Biscuita for every holiday occasion. They are a round flat cookie that have two ends overlapping each other, with a hole in the middle. They are a coffee dunking cookie. Hope this helps

      Reply

  2. Valerie

    Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (14)
    What a perfect Christmas cookie recipe. Rather than convection bake, I baked my 66 cookies on the regular baking temp on a baking mat. The glaze was so easy and I had plenty for all the cookies. And, they are beautiful as they dry to put into containers for friends and family. Oh, yes. I stopped using Crisco after open-heart surgery in 2010, but I added a 1/4 C. of Smart Balance to the butter.
    No dryness, just one happy baker

    Reply

  3. Carmin

    Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (15)
    I made these today; followed the recipe with a slight variation in that I added 2 tsp almond extract to the icing instead of vanilla and almond. What's interesting to me is that my batch made 104 cookies rather than the estimated 56 (the uncooked balls were 1" each). I also went through 3 batches of glaze; 2 makes sense since for some reason the cookie quantity was double...I'm not sure why three. I went through a lot of powdered sugar!! My resident quality tester tried one and then came back for two more, so I assume they passed the taste test!!

    Reply

  4. Rose

    I love your butter version of this recipe. Can you be more specific on the kind of shortening? What brand do you use? Thanks

    Reply

    • Shelby Law Ruttan

      Hi Rose, I use crisco vegetable shortening. Thanks for stopping by! Shelby

      Reply

    • Linda

      Can I make these all lemon with lemon icing?

      Reply

      • Shelby Law Ruttan

        Hi Linda, yes, you can use lemon icing. Enjoy!

  5. Alex

    What festive cookies! I know my kid would just love these. I'm saving these for Christmas!

    Reply

  6. Erin

    What a fun treat! I've never had these before but I so want to try them after reading this. I especially love how colorful they are!

    Reply

  7. Enriqueta E Lemoine

    Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (16)
    I made your Christmas cookies yesterday and we're all in love. The only thing I did differently was skipping the confetti. A new staple in my kitchen. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply

  8. Tristin

    Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (17)
    Adding almond extract to cookies is one of my favorite things to do. These cookies are going to be a great addition to the cookie table this Christmas!!

    Reply

  9. NATALIA

    Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (18)
    These are easy to make and taste great, what more could you want in a cookie! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  10. Petro

    Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (19)
    These look so good! I love Christmas recipes, I'll make these soon!

    Reply

  11. Michele

    Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (20)
    I made this batch for the family and they were gone in no time. I will be baking these again for Christmas. I anticipate that they will be on my holiday baking list every year!

    Reply

  12. Allyssa

    Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (21)
    This taste so delicious and really flavorful! So easy to make as well, thanks a lot for sharing this amazing christmas cookies recipe! Will surely have this again! Highly recommended!

    Reply

  13. Kathryn

    Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (22)
    I would make and eat these cookies year round! I love the sprinkles and how easy they are to make. Definitely adding these to my list of cookies to bake this season!

    Reply

    • Donna

      I made these cookies today. I did half butter flavor Crisco and half butter, thinking they would have a richer flavor. They tasted great but aware pretty dry. Did the butter make them dry?

      Reply

      • Shelby Law Ruttan

        Donna, Butter will definitely make the cookie firmer and probably is the reason they were pretty dry. I too love cooking with butter, but this cookie I always use all crisco. Thanks for trying the recipe! Shelby

  14. Loreto and Nicoletta Nardelli

    Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (23)
    Pretty and festive with the sprinkles! They are already putting us in the Holiday mood 😉 !

    Reply

  15. Karen

    Can I make the dough and freeze it to make them at a later date? I think freezing the baked cookie alters the fresh baked flavor.

    Thanks.

    Reply

    • Shelby

      Hi Karen, Freezing it will not alter the taste of the baked cookie unless you freeze them too long. I would think 3-4 weeks would be fine in an airtight container. I have frozen these before. However, you can shape the dough into balls and then freeze the balls. Take them out to bake when you're ready. Your baking time may change because they are frozen, but I'm fairly certain it would work.

      Reply

  16. Nikki

    We love to make cookies for Christmas! I love the almond and lemon in these!

    Reply

    • Alice

      Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe - Grumpy's Honeybunch (24)
      Best cookies I’ve ever made
      My grandkids loved them.

      Reply

      • Shelby Law Ruttan

        Hi Alice, so glad you and your grandkids enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for coming back and giving it a rating! Shelby

  17. Ellen

    Such a pretty and festive cookie. This will make a lovely addition to my holiday cookie tins.

    Reply

  18. Anne Lawton

    These cookies are so festive looking - just perfect for the holidays!

    Reply

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