Italian Cookies are soft homemade cookies infused with a hint of almond extract and topped with a light glaze and sprinkles. They are so delicious and easy to make!
One of my dream vacations is to explore the various regions of Italy. I can only imagine going from shop to café, then sight-see and ending every day with a plate of homemade pasta. One day I am going to wake Kale up and say, ‘Pack your bags and let’s go!’
What I am really most excited about on this fantasy vacation are the sweet treats. Especially authentic Italian Cookies. I recently played around with an Italian cookie recipe and they turned out so good, I thought I would share the recipe with you today!
The base of this cookie is one that may look familiar to any casual baker; sugar, eggs, flour, oil, a pinch of salt, and of course the star of the show, almond extract. Traditional almond cookies are made with anise extract; which tastes like black licorice. I am not a fan of black licorice, so I chose almond extract instead. Vanilla extract is also a great alternative.
After each cookie is baked and cooled they are topped with a glaze so simple to make you may start putting it on every cookie that comes out of your oven. Powdered sugar, milk or cream, a pinch of salt, and a little more almost extract. A little goes a long way in the recipe as the aroma of almond comes to life between the marriage of the cookie and glaze.
- 2 large eggs; grab the two largest eggs that you can find in the carton. This will ensure that all the ingredients come together in the right consistency. For just that little extra rustic touch, I’ll use farm fresh or brown shelled eggs.
- 7 Tablespoons vegetable oil; the staple for many baked goods. Make sure the oil is vegetable and not olive oil. The flavor won’t be quite the same sweetness that vegetable leans itself to in baked goods.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar; two separate kinds of sugar in this recipe. The granulated in the cookie gives the perfect sweetness to each bite.
- 1 teaspoon almond extract; a little goes a long way, and especially with this flavor of extract. Don’t overuse, otherwise the flavor profile of the cookie will be taken over by this one ingredient.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour; one pro tip here I will offer is to sift the flour before adding it into the mixture. It brings air into the flour and turns each cookie into a light, flavorful, little pillow.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder; since this is not a yeast-based dough, we need a little help to give each cookie somebody as it bakes. Baking powder will allow each cookie to plump up and give them body.
- 1/4 teaspoon salt; this really is to your discretion, but no more than a pinch! This is to balance all of the flavors of the cookie rather than give a salty bite to the cookie. Remember, you can always add more, and not subtract. Start small and stay small.
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar; the powdered sugar gives the glaze the right consistency and thickness. If granulated were used here the glaze would not come together properly.
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract; as previously mentioned, a little goes a long way. Since the extract is in both the cookie and glaze, it’s important to not over add in either.
- 4 tablespoons of milk; add the milk gradually so that you don’t make too thin of a glaze.
- 1/8 teaspoon salt; just for balance of flavor, so don’t use too much.
- Sprinkles; this is an optional ingredient. You can enjoy them with or without them. I personally have to have the sprinkles!
HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN COOKIES
Whisk the large eggs, oil, granulated sugar, and almond extract together in a large bowl. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Divide dough into 18 sections (about 1 1/2 tablespoons each) and roll each section into a ball. Chill balls of dough for at least an hour. You can also freeze for 20 minutes instead. Place cold dough balls on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° F. for 8 to 10 minutes only, or until the tops are set. The tops of the cookies should still be white. Don’t over bake. Carefully remove cookies from oven and allow to cool completely.
Combine all glaze ingredients (except for the sprinkles) in a small bowl and whisk until smooth and combined. Dip the tops of the cookies in the glaze, then top with sprinkles.
HOW MANY SERVINGS DO ITALIAN COOKIES MAKE?
This recipe yields 18 cookies.
CELEBRATE WITH ITALIAN COOKIES
Do you have a wedding coming up? These cookies would be beautiful served at a wedding with silver or gold sprinkles! They are also great for holidays, and celebrations. You can always customize the cookies with the color of sprinkles. For Christmas use green and red sprinkles. For Halloween use orange, purple and black. There are so many fun options!
STORING ITALIAN COOKIES
These cookies stay good stored in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.
You can also freeze them without the glaze for up to one month. The cookie dough can also be stored for 2 to 3 months. Thaw the dough in the fridge before rolling and baking as normal.
ENJOY THIS RECIPE? HERE ARE A FEW MORE OF OUR FAVORITE COOKIES!
Sugar Cookie Truffles – These are not your Mama’s sugar cookie! These elegant dough balls are dipped in a right white chocolate and your favorite color of sprinkles.
White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Cookies – Each bite is exploding with flavor with these rich, sweet, and sensational cookies.
Birthday Cake Cookies – Soft, chewy, and not complete until you’ve blown out the candle on top! These bright, sprinkled cookies will help you celebrate any birthday.
Funfetti Cheesecake Cookies – These are as bright as they are flavorful! Rich cheesecake mixture is complemented with delicious white chocolate chips and Funfetti sprinkles.
- 2 large eggs
- 7 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla extract)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 4 Tablespoons milk
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Whisk the large eggs, oil, granulated sugar, and almond extract together in a large bowl. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Divide dough into 18 sections (about 1 ½ tablespoons each) and roll each section into a ball. Chill balls of dough for at least an hour. You can also freeze for 20 minutes instead.
- Place cold dough balls on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° F. for 8 to 10 minutes only, or until the tops are set. The tops of the cookies should still be white. Don't over bake. Carefully remove cookies from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Combine all glaze ingredients (except for the sprinkles) in a small bowl and whisk until smooth and combined. Dip the tops of the cookies in the glaze, then top with sprinkles. Enjoy!