Posted by request, these pretty little cookies are very often served at holiday gatherings in many Italian American families. You may shape them any way you prefer, and change the flavoring of the icing slightly to suit your tastes. The original recipe came from one of my favorite community style cookbooks called "Preserving Our Italian Heritage" compiled by the Sons of Italy Florida Foundation. I combined several variations submitted by 5 different ladies, all of whom used the same basic cookie recipe but used slightly different methods in shaping and icing the cookies. The yield will vary depending upon how you shape your cookies.
- 1⁄2 lb butter, softened (2 sticks)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons vanilla
- 1 3⁄4 cups powdered sugar (1/2 of a 1-pound box)
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon anise extract or 1 tablespoon vanilla or 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- colored crystal sugar, to decorate
- Cream butter and sugar until soft and creamy.
- Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well.
- Combine flour and baking powder, then blend into the butter mixture.
- Break off small, walnut sized pieces of dough and shape into bows, braids, knots,"s" shapes, or any shape you desire.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 375 F until lightly browned, about 15-20 minutes.
- Cool on wire racks,then ice as desired.
- Icing: Blend sugar and your choice of flavoring, adding milk slowly to form a soft, smooth icing (some ice the cookies while they are still warm, others wait until they are cooled).
- Sprinkle with colored sugar or confettini (tiny multi-colored sprinkles) before icing sets.
These cookies are excellent! DD and I made these together today, they were very simple to make, and delicious. We had about 3 dozen when we were done and now after taking them to my parents we have maybe 1 dozen left. They aren't too sweet which was good but just sweet enough too. Great with coffee also. These are now a keeper and let me tell you Heather my Nana (grandmother) who is 100% Italian loved them and said they tasted like the ones she use to make :-)
I am the one that was looking for this recipe and this is truly the one I was looking for. The cookies are delicious! I am keeping this one! Thanks so much for this recipe HeatherFeather ; )
EXCELLENT!! similar recipe has been in my family for years. my mom was alwyas the one to make them. this year, i made them according ot this recipe and everyone said that they were better than my mom's!!!