Best Italian Christmas Cookies – lemony cookies topped with a sweetened glaze and fun colorful sprinkles. These are a classic Italian cookie that can be served year round but are very popular around the holidays. Let me show you how to make our family’s favorite Christmas cookie recipe with you!
These cookie recipes will be great for hosting a cookie exchange, give away cookies as gifts or just bake for your own family, If you do plan on giving them as gifts, print out the FREE Christmas recipe cards so you can easily write out the recipe to give as part of the gift.
If you need gift tags, there are some really cute ones over in the WOS Shop.
This recipe for Best Italian Christmas Cookies is my mom’s recipe. My mom has been making this cookie recipe for years. She makes them for all our family gatherings, parties, weddings, etc.
Every Christmas she bakes these cookies along with her Pizzelle Cookie Recipe and gives them as gifts to her hairdressers. Her hairdressers started calling them, “Italian Lady Cookies” because, well my mom is Italian.
This was my first time baking them. My sister actually came over a few weeks ago and together we baked 7 different Christmas cookie recipes. Doesn’t that sound exciting?
The cookies are delicious. This recipe never, ever fails.
Helpful Kitchen Tools
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- Rubber spatula
- Measuring spoons
- Cookie scoops
- Parchment Baking Sheets
- Crushed Candy Cane Pieces
- Colorful Sprinkles
Exact measurements are listed below in the recipe card. Make sure you scroll down to print and save the recipe for later!
For the Cookies
- Baking powder
- Baking sodea
- White sugar
- Lemon Extract – see note below
For the Glaze
- Confectioner’s Sugar/Powdered Sugar
- Lemon Extract
- Vegetable Oil
- Warm Milk
- Assorted Christmas sprinkles or crushed peppermint candies
Baking Tip: Feel free to substitute the lemon extract with anise, orange or even vanilla extract if you prefer.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your KitchenAid mixer beat together the sugar and butter. Add the eggs, one at a time and then beat in the lemon extract.
Lower the speed of the mixer and gradually beat in the flour mixture until all is blended.
Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven or until the bottom of the cookies are a light golden brown.
Remove the cookies from the baking tray to a wire rack to cool completely. Do not try to glaze them while the cookies are still warm. The glaze will melt into the cookie and they won’t look as pretty as the photographs.
How to Glaze the Cookies
Prepare the glaze by combining the ingredients in a small bowl. If you find that the glaze is too thick, add another few tablespoons of milk.
Dip the tops of the cookies in the glaze and immediately add the nonpareils, sprinkles or Crushed Candy Cane Pieces.
The glaze hardens pretty quickly so if you wait too long, the sprinkles, nonpareils or crushed candy cane pieces will not stick.
Let the cookies set until dried completely before storing in an air-tight container.
Frequently Asked Recipe Questions
These cookies freeze really well. Allow the glazed and decorated cookies to harden completely. Then place them on a baking tray that’s been lined with parchment paper for about 30 minutes. Remove the cookies from the tray and then place them in a freezer-safe container or plastic baggie.
This is a funny question to me, because, my Italian grandmother would start baking Christmas cookies months before and freeze them. She would ship a box of cookies to us a few weeks before Christmas and they were always delicious and always in perfect condition.
You can also make the dough a few days ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Tried this recipe? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to rate it!
Ready for More Christmas Cookie Recipes?
- Shortbread Cookies – my favorite cookies all year long!
- Slice and Bake Colorful Swirl Cookies
- Candy Cane Sugar Cookies
- Classic Oatmeal Cookies
- Freezer Friendly Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies
- Gingersnap Cookies
- Vanilla Chocolate Slice and Bake Cookies
- Italian Ricotta Christmas Cookies – A Family Tradition
For the Cookies
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter; softened
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract - see not below
For the Glaze
- 3 1/2 cups powdered/confectioner's sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup warm milk - see note below
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your KitchenAid mixer beat together the sugar and butter.
- Add the eggs, one at a time.
- Beat in the lemon extract.
- Lower the speed of the mixer and gradually beat in the flour mixture until all is blended.
- Using a small cookie scoop, place the cookies on a baking tray that's been lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven or until the bottoms are a light golden brown.
- Remove the cookies from the baking tray to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Prepare the glaze by combining the ingredients in a small bowl. If you find that the glaze is too thick, add another few tablespoons of milk.
- Dip the tops of the cookies in the glaze and immediately add the nonpareils or crushed candy cane pieces. The glaze hardens pretty quickly so if you wait too long, the sprinkles will not stick.
- Let the cookies set until dried completely.
Feel free to substitute the lemon extract with anise, orange or even vanilla extract if you prefer.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 56 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 106Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 78mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g
The nutrition information is calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you, please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator.