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Italian Cookies

Italian wedding cookies are so wonderfully sweet and delicate and you’ll love how they look with rainbow sprinkles, or any sprinkles that match the season. Delight your friends and family with these easy to make cookies!
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Table of Contents
  1. INGREDIENTS FOR ITALIAN COOKIES
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS ITALIAN COOKIES RECIPE
  3. STORAGE
  4. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  5. JUMP TO RECIPE

Italian Cookies with sprinkles are so pretty and a delicious little treat. They are just perfect for the holidays, a wedding or party, or for a wonderful afternoon treat with a mug of coffee or tea. So easy to make in just under 40 minutes, this simple Italian cookie recipe will be one of your favorites to bake for any occasion.

Speaking of cookies, be sure to check out our incredible Lofthouse Cookies recipe and everyone’s favorite chocolate-filled copycat recipe, Doubletree Cookies

INGREDIENTS FOR ITALIAN COOKIES

You will need:

For the Cookies

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups shortening
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

For the Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Sprinkles

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

No Almond Extract: Almond extract is a strong flavor that some people do not enjoy. You can eliminate this extract in the cookies and glaze and use vanilla extract instead, or simply reduce the almond extract to ½ or even ¼ teaspoon for just a hint of almond flavor.

Sprinkles: Use multi-colored nonpareils for Italian rainbow cookies, white nonpareils for really lovely Italian wedding cookies, red and green sprinkles for Italian Christmas cookies, or any colors that coordinate with the season or occasion. Nonpareils are usually the best sprinkles to use, but you can also try jimmies, sanding sugar, or crystal sugar.

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HOW TO MAKE THIS ITALIAN COOKIES RECIPE

STEP ONE: Prepare cookie sheet by covering with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper.

STEP TWO: In a large bowl, beat the eggs, shortening, sugar, and almond extract together until light and fluffy.

STEP THREE: Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.

STEP FOUR: Using a one tablespoon cookie scoop or measuring spoon, measure our 24 cookie balls then roll between your palms. Place on the prepared cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between each cookie dough ball. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer and freeze for 20 minutes.

STEP FIVE: While the cookie dough is freezing, preheat the oven to 350F. Place the cookie sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 9 minutes (baking times may vary). The cookies will be done when the bottoms are slightly browned but the tops are still white. (They should hold their round shape when baked.)

STEP SIX: Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature. 

STEP SEVEN: Warm the heavy cream for a few seconds in the microwave. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, almond extract, warm heavy cream, and salt.(Start by adding 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, you can add additional heavy whipping cream one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. The icing glaze should easily coat the cookie, and drip down the sides as it sets.)

PRO TIP:

For the glaze, sift the confectioner’s sugar instead of scooping it. If it is scooped the ratio is slightly off because it is compacted. 

For the glaze, sift the confectioner’s sugar when measuring? Don’t make it too far in advance because It sets up as it sits. You could try warming the heavy whipping cream a bit or adding a tablespoon more at a time if it seems too thick, but it will get very runny very quickly. I found that three tablespoons mixed in JUST before it was time to dip was the right ratio and timing.

STEP EIGHT: Once the cookies are completely cooled, dip the top of each cookie into the prepared glaze, then drop sprinkles over the glazed top.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: Store the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

IN THE FREEZER: These Italian cookies may be frozen without the glaze and sprinkles. Place the cookies into an airtight food storage container or a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. Before serving, thaw the cookies at room temperature then glaze as directed.

Italian wedding cookies are so wonderfully sweet and delicate and you’ll love how they look with rainbow sprinkles, or any sprinkles that match the season. Delight your friends and family with these easy to make cookies!

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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Italian Cookies

5 from 1 vote
Italian wedding cookies are so wonderfully sweet and delicate and you’ll love how they look with rainbow sprinkles, or any sprinkles that match the season. Delight your friends and family with these easy to make cookies!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 39 minutes
Servings 24 cookies

Ingredients
  

Cookies

  • 2 eggs
  • cups shortening
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoon kosher sea salt

Glaze

  • 2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • teaspoon salt
  • sprinkles

Instructions
 

  • Prepare cookie sheet with silicon baking mat or parchment paper.
  • Whisk eggs, shortening, sugar, and almond extract in a large bowl. 
  • Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. 
  • Using a one tablespoon scoop, measure then roll between your palms – 24 cookie balls. Place on the prepared cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between them. 
  • Freeze for 20 minutes.
  • Before freezer time is up, preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • Place the cookie sheet in the preheated oven and bake for about 9 minutes. Oven times may vary. The cookies will be done when the bottoms are slightly browned but the tops are still white. 
  • Transfer the baked cookies on to the cooling rack.  
  • Time to make the glaze! Warm the heavy cream for a few seconds in the microwave. Combine confectioners’ sugar, almond extract, warm heavy cream, and salt in a medium sized bowl. 
  • Once the cookies are completely cooled, dip the top of each cookie into the prepared glaze. Then drop sprinkles over the glazed top.

Notes

These are a slightly crumbly cookie but they should not be dry. Think more dry and dense than something like a snickerdoodle but softer than a danish cookie. 
They should hold their round shape when baked. 
 
Tip for the Glaze:
For the glaze, sift the confectioner’s sugar when measuring? Don’t make it too far in advance because It sets up as it sits. You could try warming the heavy whipping cream a bit or adding a tablespoon more at a time if it seems too thick, but it will get very runny very quickly. I found that three tablespoons mixed in JUST before it was time to dip was the right ratio and timing.

Nutrition

Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 47IU | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg
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