Italian Christmas Cookies are soft, buttery, fluffy and melt in your mouth delicious. Flavored with a hint of vanilla and a sweet glaze, these tasty treats are a perfect holiday treat. Take them to your next cookie exchange, party or just for fun occasion!
These will be perfect on a plate along with some Christmas Gooey Butter Cookies, Christmas Crack and Snow Kiss Cookies for a festive dessert platter. Everyone will love these, and you’ll love how easy they are to make!
Easy Italian Christmas Cookies
These Italian cookies are often made with anise, which is a licorice flavor. Not everyone loves that flavor so I swapped it out for vanilla and topped it with an amazing almond glaze. They are fluffy and decadent and very festive. They are a great cookie for kids to help with.
This recipe makes quite a big batch, which is perfect for gift giving and having enough to eat too. You can double the recipe if you need more and you can half the recipe if you’d like less. Perfect!
Christmas Cookie Ingredients
Ricotta cheese is the secret ingredient for moist tender cookies
- Butter: Soften the butter but don’t melt it.
- Sugar White sugar not brown.
- Flour: All purpose flour or unbleached flour all work
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder: Raising agents for fluffiness
- Ricotta cheese Look for ricotta cheese with other italian cheeses in the refrigerated section
- Eggs: Binder for the cookies
- Vanilla: Delicate flavor
Whipping Up Italian Christmas Cookies
These are quite easy to make, have to love that!
- Beat: Place the butter and sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer and beat till fluffy, can also use a hand mixer
- Add: Add in the ricotta and eggs and mix till incorporated.
- Separate: In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and powder. Slowly add to the wet ingredients and beat till combined
- Scoop: Scoop the dough by teaspoon size and roll into a ball. Drop on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake: Bake for 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven till just set.
Almond Glaze Ingredients
- Powdered Sugar: Base of the glaze
- Milk: Add slowly so not to make the glaze too runny.
- Almond Extract: Gives it the almond taste
- Sprinkles: Pick the color and style you desire
How to Glaze the Cookies
In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and almond extract till you get the desired consistency. Frost and sprinkle the cookies once cooled.
Tips and Variations
These are sure to please any crowd and with these tips and variations they’re a winner!
- Glaze: Add a tablespoon of milk one at a time to get the desired consistency instead of all at once. You can make it thick or thin, it’s up to you.
- Sprinkles: Change the color of the sprinkles for the holiday, or occasion. Example Black and orange for Halloween or pink or blue for a baby shower. You can serve these cookies anytime of the year despite their title!
- Flavoring: These are very flexible cookies. Change out the vanilla extract for peppermint, almond, coconut, or any other flavoring and add a complimentary flavoring in the icing, orange, cocoa, etc.
- Don’t Overbake: These shouldn’t be brown on top. If you over bake them, they’ll be dry.
- Frost: If you glaze the cookies while slightly warm, the glaze can seep into the cookie, yum. Always decorate with your sprinkles right after you glaze so that they’ll stick.
- Scoop: If you have one use a cookie scoop so they are the same size, they’ll cook easier that way.
Storing Italian Cookies
You probably won’t be able to keep these around for too long, they’re just too fun to eat!
- Storing: Let the cookies set for up to 24 hours before transferring to an airtight container to keep for up to a week. Letting them set up will keep the glaze from becoming wet and slimy.
- Freezing: You can freeze these unglazed once they’ve completely cooled or freeze them glazed. They’ll keep for up to 2 months in a freezer safe container or bag. Just remember freezing the cookies glazed could create the sprinkles to dissolve and the glaze to become melty when thawed. Glaze frozen cookies once thawed.
More Christmas Cookie Recipes to Taste
- Perfect Gingerbread Cookies
- Grinch Cookies
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Homemade Danish Butter Cookies
- Best Ever Molasses Cookies
Italian Christmas Cookies
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 15 ounce container ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2-4 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Christmas sprinkles for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until fluffy with the paddle attachment. Add in the ricotta cheese and eggs and mix until incorporated.
- In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and powder. Slowly add to the wet ingredients and beat together until combined.
- Scoop the dough into teaspoons and roll into a ball. Drop on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just set. Remove onto a wire rack to let cool.
To make the glaze:
- In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and almond extract until you get the desired consistency. I like to dip the top of the cookies in the glaze and let them set on parchment paper. Sprinkle with Christmas sprinkles immediately.