Iced Italian Cookies

"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."
photo by jlo2670_11066449 photo by jlo2670_11066449
photo by jlo2670_11066449
photo by Gigi V. photo by Gigi V.
photo by Greeny4444 photo by Greeny4444
photo by Rita1652 photo by Rita1652
Ready In:
1 batch cookies (amount will vary upon shape)




  • 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.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Susan S.
    the cookies had a very bitter after taste. Is the amount of baking powder correct? Ive never used that much in a recipe. Thank you.
  2. nanab42
    Can these cookies be frozen and for how long. Do you suggest with or without the icing. Ginger
  3. Shasta
    Does it matter what kind of flour is used? I have both all purpose and whole wheat? Can I use a combination?


  1. Dana-MMH
    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 :-)
  2. RecipeNut
    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 ; )
  3. joanne breden
    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!!!
  4. Stephanie Conde
    Hello, these cookies were sooo good. Made them on Thanksgiving and they were a hit. The only think I changed was instead of adding the milk to the powdered sugar for the glaze I added amaretto cream and I chose to add the one tablespoon of vanilla and I also sprinkled just a bit of cinammon before the glaze set. Te cookies were just perfect!
  5. Rita1652
    these are GOOD! I dipped them into icing then into colored sugar They look very pretty!


  1. Gigi V.
    1-8 oz package cream cheese 1 stick butter softened 1 c sugar 4 eggs 2 tsp vanilla 5 tsp baking powder 5 c all purpose flour
  2. Aunt Cookie
    These were, far and away, my boyfriend's favorite Christmas cookies this year. We made two full batches (he made a second batch when he realized how delicious the first batch was), and they didn't even make it to the holiday party. He replaced half the vanilla in the batter with anise extract, and we liked the intense licorice flavor that resulted. We were a little concerned about the amount of baking powder in the recipe, but we had no reason to worry...they were perfect. We liked them with and without frosting (without frosting, they're great for dipping in coffee). Thanks so much for posting this!
  3. Sally Cialde
    This recipe would be even better if you substitute Crisco shortening for the butter. The buttery taste overpowers the icing flavors and somewhat changes the authenticity of the recipe



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