Italian Cookies + VIDEO

These Italian Cookies are the perfect bites of sweetness and are the perfect choice for any cookie platter, holiday or otherwise. See this recipe MADE ON VIDEO HERE.

Let the festivities begin! It's hard to believe it's already December 1st. With everything on my to-do list, I often wonder how it will all get done. I need a holiday assistant, wouldn't that be fun?

Now, on to cookies. I LOVE baking holiday cookies of all kinds. Big ones, little ones, sugar-cut-outs, chocolate, I could go on forever. I believe there is nothing more heartfelt than receiving homemade gifts during this season...especially if it arrives as a tray of sweets.

When I saw these Italian Cookies, I knew I had to make them. They are the perfect bites of sweetness for this time of year and they will pimp out your holiday cookie platters.

Who doesn't love sprinkles anyway?

Let's whip these up...

Here's what you'll need for the cookies and the glaze:Butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, anise extract, all-purpose flour, eggs, table salt, shortening and baking powder. Ingredients not shown: Milk.

Sift 3 cups all-purpose flour, 5 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a bowl. Set aside.

In the microwave, melt 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup shortening (makes sure the shortening is fresh or it will taste bad) together in a bowl.

Beat the melted butter and shortening together until it is completely incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup granulated sugar and mix well. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, about 1 minute each. Mix in 2 teaspoons anise extract.

Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture slowly, until fully incorporated. Don't overmix. If the cookie dough is too sticky to roll in the palm of your hand, add a bit of flour. However, the dough should remain very soft, so don't add too much.

Roll the cookie dough in small balls (they puff up quite nicely) and place them on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes (mine took 8 minutes). The bottoms of the cookies should be lightly browned but the tops should remain light in color.

Remove cookies from cookie sheet immediately and move to a wire rack. Cool completely before glazing.

For the glaze, slowly mix 3-4 Tablespoons milk with 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon anise extract. The glaze needs to be thick to adhere to the cookie.

Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze. I dipped about 10 cookies at a time.

Sprinkle each cookie with nonpareils and leave them to completely dry.

This recipe made approximately 100 cookies when dough was rolled into 3/4" balls.

Perfect for tea time.

Or a coffee break.

Or anytime really. Just try them, they are really good.

Italian Cookies from

Print Recipe

Italian Cookies

Recipe from: Inspired by Bunny's Warm Oven | Serves: 100 cookies when dough is rolled into 3/4


For the cookies:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons anise extract (okay to use vanilla or lemon)

For the glaze:

  • 3-4 Tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon anise extract


  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.
  • In the microwave melt butter and shortening (make sure the shortening is fresh or it will taste bad) together in a bowl.
  • Beat the melted butter and shortening together until it is completely incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add granulated sugar and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, about 1 minute each. Mix in anise extract.
  • Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture slowly, until fully incorporated. Don't overmix. If the cookie dough is too sticky to roll in the palm of your hand, add a bit of flour. However, the dough should remain very soft, so don't add too much.
  • Roll the cookie dough in small balls (they puff up quite nicely) and place them on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes (mine took 8 minutes). The bottoms of the cookies should be lightly browned but the tops of should remain light in color.
  • Remove cookies from the cookie sheet immediately and move to a wire rack. Cool completely before glazing.
  • For the glaze, slowly mix milk with powdered sugar and anise extract. The glaze needs to be thick to adhere to the cookie. Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze. I dipped about 10 cookies at a time. Sprinkle each cookie with nonpareils and leave them to completely dry.


Post a Comment

171 Comments and 70 Replies

  1. snowmoonelk 1

    So pretty! Is it authentic to use anise flavour? – not sure if I would like, but I do like being authentic! Mmm, dilemma!

    • sandys 2

      If you don’t like anise flavor (tastes like licorice) you can use Lemon Extract, that’s what I like. Some have used almond extract.

      • Joannr 3

        Almond extract is also often used to flavor glazes on Italian cookies. I prefer it.

      • Janet Lupoli 4

        I have made these for years and use lemon extract. My Italian family called these Egg Cookies.

      • Karen 5

        Coming from an Italian family, my grandmother, mother and aunts always used vanilla extract! The best cookies EVER!!!
        I have had the anisette, and it is good as long as it is not too strong!
        I have been baking them for years now, and now my girls are making them with their children! What a life!!!

    • Barbara Martino 6

      My grandmother always used anise. I believe traditional for southern italy. My friend from Venice would use lemon

      • Veronica Pozarvitz 7

        I remember them being called the “Italian Wedding Cookies”. Whenever you went to a wedding, the bride and groom had them all on a HUGE platter and had to go to each table and give each person some. Always made with Anise !!

      • Mary English 14

        My husbands Nana (great gran) was from Calabria (SP) and she used anise. When my mother-in-law runs out of anise, we go down to Baldwin extracts in West Stockbridge, MA. The make their own and are wonderful. The are online too.

    • Donna Penner 15

      My Italian family never used anise but vanilla instead.We also use only butter, no shortening. These are also amazing straight out of the oven with melted butter and a cup of coffee!

    • Matthew 23

      I am speaking for my family, but lemon is what we always use, as far back as my grandmother coming here from Italy.

      • Judy Nicosia 24

        My husband’s family always uses lemon,too,but I think anise would be a pleasant change.

    • Flavia 25

      My mom always made these for weddings committee trays & the holidays. She would make the cookies vanilla, but flavor & color the icing. Yellow icing was lemon, green was anise, pink was cherry or brandy, white was vanilla.

    • MissyT 26

      Actually they are more authentic if you use lemon…………..

      • Robyn Britton 27

        You’re wrong if you come from Southern Italy! Lemon was used by the Northern Italians only.

        • Rosemarie 28

          Agree on anise. We called these grandma cookies and she used to store them in a bushel basket covered with a mopene! When we wanted cookies she would whip up frosting and we’d frost what we wanted! Just made these last weekend and of course being the Sicilian that I am used anise!

    • Vera 29

      Anise is the traditional extract used for these cookies

    • Rosie 30

      All of my family came from Italy. I’m first generation American. My mother and most of the rest of them, did not use butter — they used oil. And vanilla extract if any at all. The glaze was made with the powdered sugar and lemon extract. Mom never used a recipe. She just made them. The last time she made them before she died, I wrote down exactly what she used and did. And none of them made them into balls. What they did was take a chunk of dough and roll it into a pencil shape — about three or four inches long. And then wound it into shape. :)

      • Linda Olivotti 31

        Mind did that too! My nana and aunts made them just like you said! And they were from Sicily.

    • Rosie 32

      The anise is fine if you like it, lemon will do, I prefer vanilla. The non authentic part is the butter — my italian immigrant family only used oil, never butter. Butter was only used to put on toast. And you don’t make them into balls. You shape them into spirals – don’t think I’m explaining that correctly but balls are NOT it.

      My mom would make it without a recipe but had no clue as to how much was needed. We wanted to make six dozen total the last Christmas she made them before she passed away. And I was writing down the directions as she did it. She used a dozen eggs — we ended up with something like 12-13 dozen onjenetti and my dad ate them until Easter. LOL! I still have the ingredient list. LOL!!

      • Deb 33

        One of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes, learned from Italian in-laws – shape piece of dough into a short rope, wrap around your index finger, pinch the ends together and slide it off your finger onto the baking sheet. The raw cookies look like small rings, but they swell as they bake and the center hole becomes just an indentation. I make using butter, so I chill the dough thoroughly before shaping.

    • Patty 34

      My mother and grandmother would make these during the holidays, although the cookie also had lemon zest, but the addition of anis is authentic. In fact, that flavoring takes me right back to my mom’s Italian kitchen.

  2. Flea 35

    Oh MAN, those look good! Will you be running any cookies for cute cookie cutters? I recently came into some adorable ones and need an excuse to use them. :)

  3. Flea 36

    Your comment section doesn’t like me. :( But your cookies will like me and I’ll like them! Do you have recipes for cookie cutters? Mmm!

  4. Laura 37

    Christmas cookie “poppers?”
    The cranberry cocktail might be appearing at my place this month. But, where does a person find anise pod?

  5. These are going on my Christmas cookie list! Yum!

  6. Becky 39

    They look delicious and easy.
    They’ll have to be added to my recipe box!!

  7. tipper 40

    Looks perfect for the Christmas party at school!!

    • Tammy 41

      Lucky you that you have a school that will accept homemade treats because none of the schools around us allow them. They have to be store bought with a manufacturer’s label that says “nut free.”

  8. I saw these on Bunny’s site as well. Let the festivities begin!!!!

  9. We love these cookies. We call them Auntie Mary Cookies because, well, Auntie Mary makes them! Time for me to get baking!

  10. Kim 44

    I am right there with you Cathy, as soon as December 1st comes, I have full license to decorate, bake and turn on the Christmas music. These cookies look especially kid festive.

  11. I have a great story about Italian cookies…

    When my daughter was just over 2 years old, we went to a Christmas party one of my husband’s aunts was hosting at her home. She had a ton of cookies and candies out, including some Italian cookies. We found my daughter right next to the cookies, taking them and licking the frosting off the top and putting them back, upside down. I was horrified, but my husband’s aunt laughed so hard I thought she was going to pass out.

  12. Elle 46

    Oh my gosh, they’re so cute! You’re right, too–everyone loves sprinkles, don’t they?

  13. These look amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  14. Can you send me 14 dozen of those for my cookie exchange?

  15. Oh those look so tasty and pretty! I think I’ll try them w/ lemon extract as my kids love lemon cookies.

    I’ll go check out your other recipes!

  16. Teri 50

    OH NO… I did not just see this as my first email of the day!!! Now am I going to have to stop reading your blog for December, or just wear stretchy pants for the duration!?!

    Oh Martha Stewart better look out! These cookie pictures look better than any of hers in her book… yum!

  17. Jeff 51

    I love those cookies. Reminds me of grandma but I still have a soft spot for forgotten cookies.

  18. Katrina 52

    I have a similar recipe that uses buttermilk. They bake up the same, are cute, easy and great with sprinkles! Let the holidays (and holiday baking) begin!

  19. Yum! Those look so good. I got an entire magazine filled with cookie recipes that I’m going to try. I will let you know which are the good ones;)

  20. So cute! I love making Christmas cookies as well.

    Oh, and those meatballs you wrote about on the other site? YUM! Can’t wait to make some of those.

  21. Marjie 56

    I would love these! And in my house, 100 cookies would last about 5 minutes – if you can assume consumption of no more than 2 cookies per minute per person, excluding me. (sigh) And now you know why I personally do not make cookies, but just drool over those made by others!

  22. ELRA 57

    You can hire me, Cathy. I’d be a very good assistant for you!
    And those cookies look so delicious. I can smell christmas is already here!

  23. DARLING!!! I love sprinkles!!!!!! These little bites will definitely be appearing on our Christmas treat plates and gift boxes. : D

  24. I’m a cookie fanatic, and I can’t wait to try these.

    And cranberry martinis? I’m there.

  25. Alisa 60

    You are evil! I have all the proof I need now to know that you are set to make my thighs the size of Mt. Everest (sideways of course).
    Thanks for sharing, as always. These look to die for. I shall make them for the teachers’ lounge at school. That way, I can only eat 20 or 30.

  26. Julie 61

    Those are awfully cute. I should make those for work, or better yet, just for me :)

  27. Natalie 62

    These look amazing!! I was wondering- would it be ok to use Annisette instead of the anise extract? What measurement equivalent would you guessimate?

  28. Chris 63

    Can I use this glaze for frosting sugar cookies before decorating or do you recommend a different frosting? I’m at a loss! Thanks

  29. Cathy 64

    I’m not sure, I’ve never used Annisette in a recipe.

  30. Cathy 65

    Yes you can.  Just use any flavor extract of your choosing.

  31. Cathy 66

    In your grocery store spice aisle.  It will be labeled, “star anise”.

  32. Rosa 67

    So pretty and delightful! I love those cookies! as a matter of fact, I made some today…



  33. Pam 68

    Oh Cathy, I could eat WAY too many of these little beauties. The photos are amazing!

  34. They look delicious but I’m Grinching right now

  35. misty 70

    these are so cute!!!!

  36. vanessa 71

    These are very cute indeed. I have to participate in a “cookie swap” at work next week but am not really a baker or cookie-person so this is good inspiration. Post more cookies!

  37. Now, who can I get to make these for me?

  38. Hillary 73

    Yum! Love the beautiful colored sprinkles on top! You should submit these to our holiday cookie recipe contest!

  39. You want to see something really funny? Get together a group of Italian-Americans, preferably having them represent ancestry in a few different regions of Italy, and ask them what these cookies are called.

    A fight may break out, but it’s still really funny. Taralle? Anginette?

  40. Biz 75

    Those look so good! I might use them for my cookie exchange this year!

    BTW, I have a giveaway on my blog today – my brothers book: Why your last diet failed you . . .” from Charlie at I thought I’d mention it to your readers – its a really funny book!

    My favorite though is on the back of the book it says:

    You’ll laugh.
    You’ll cry.
    You’ll put it in your next garage sale!

    Happy Monday!

  41. krysta 76

    mmm.. those look wonderful.

  42. melissa 77

    These look so easy to make. I need something to give to someone tomorrow night. I think I’ll make these in the morning. Unless you post something else yummier tomorrow.

  43. Sandie 78

    It’s amazing how much joy something as simple as sprinkles can bring to someone’s face—never underestimate the power of a cookie to make someone’s day!

  44. A perfect recipe for the after Church fellowship hour in Advent.

  45. Marie 80

    I love these! We make a version with lemon and call them lemon knots. Gorgeous photo’s!

  46. megan 81

    these are too cute and would make the perfect holiday gift to make for my girlfriends! the sprinkles and icing remind me of those frosted animal cookies from a while back :)

  47. Natalie 82

    I’m happy to report that it can be subsituted- I halved the recipe and used 2 Tablespoons of Annisette, as well as a scant 1/2 tsp of vanilla, and they turned out fabulous. So tasty and light!!

  48. Cheryl 83

    So festive. So sprinkly. So on my to-do (or is that “to-eat”?) list!

    Thankee for another sweet treat, Cathy!

  49. Egghead 84

    I am not a fan of anise but I could change the flavor to lemon, orange or almond I bet. Those are cute as can be.

  50. Bunny 85

    Your pictures are beautiful Cathy , those sprinkles just POP with color!!

  51. Laura 86

    These are adorable. I too felt the call of holiday cookies today. I love Christmas–cookies, decorations, etc. What fun! And my eldest loves your sprinkles. :)

  52. Sweet BIPPY that looks AMAZING!!!

    (happy belated thanksgiving, my friend.)


  53. Kate 88

    Is it just me, or is your photography reaching new heights in the culinary arts department? It’s very artful. Very nice.

  54. I think I’ve had a version of these with a bit of lemon zest added — they were delicious.

  55. Oh MAN! You are so driving me off my diet! Great post, as usual, Cathy!

  56. sharon 91

    You did quite a stellar job of rolling 100 cookies! I tend to get bored and have funny / uneven shaped cookies.

  57. KathyB. 92

    Wow, Cathy, another recipe I will need to try out. I tell you, my Hubby is the foody around here and he reads your blog as soon as he gets up ( after he reads mine of course ) and he always asks me ” Did you read Noble Pig ? Did you see her new recipe ? Did you comment ?” I keep trying to convince him to get his own blogger account but he prefers to blog vicariously through me …sigh…

    Anyway, he was even more excited about your cranberry cocktail recipe in Davis Life Magazine, so we WILL be making that for our family Christmas party ! Thanks again.

  58. Oh my Mom and Nonna have been making these for years and years. Brings back memories!

  59. WOW this recipe looks awesome. Perfect all day long – even for breakfast. Cathy… you rock.

    Thanks for sharing

  60. grace 95

    i would gladly be your holiday assistant if product sampling was one of the perks.
    i’ll make the move to ca in a heartbeat. :)

  61. Kristen 96

    Those are so different. What a colorful cookie!

  62. dawn 97

    oh I love these…they so remind me of my hubby’s Italian family.
    Yes, I would love to have a holiday assistant, but should be one that knows how to give a good neck massage.

  63. Diana 98

    Oh, those look so good. I’m seriously drooling right now. :D

  64. Lori 99

    These look like they’d make a great work snack!

  65. M Ayers 100

    This is your best posting yet! I’m from Brooklyn and I love, love Italian cookies! Thank you so much for this recipe…I am baking these bad boys tomorrow! You are the best.

    The Pumpkin Cake for Thanksgiving turned out super. Thanks so much for your awesome recipes.

  66. Carol 101

    Cathy-I’m so glad you made and liked these cookies…you’re so right-they’re perfect for holiday time, tea time, coffee time…and in this house-ANY time! Your pictures are beautiful…makes me crave Italian Cookies! Thank goodness I’m baking them for a baby shower this weekend…..I think I might have to sneak a few and taste them to make sure they’re OK….. :)

  67. Laura 102

    Can the shortening be replaced with butter? My relatives make these, and I would love to replicate them, but I don’t think they use shortening. How do you think it will affect the texture of the cookie?

    • Liz 103

      My Aunt used half butter and half margarine. Somewhat better than Crisco. Flavorings can be a combination of vanilla, lemon, orange and almond if you don’t use anise. The frosting we make is with butter and milk and some orange juice (squeezed) and flavorings of your choice.

  68. Katie 104

    bite-sized cookies are my un-doing. I have no sense of portion control around them.

  69. Mrs. L 105

    These look like awesome little bites of goodness (and something I could actually make!)

  70. Julie 106

    It’s me again. My daughter has been invited to a “cookie swap” at a friend’s house and I’m definitely making these. Do you think they would be okay if I made them 2 days ahead and kept them in the fridge? I could make them the night before after work but that will make me really grumpy.

  71. Suzette 107

    These are just the prettiest little things. I need to find an excuse to try them.

  72. TL 108

    One word…

  73. Deborah 109

    I don’t know why, but something just screams Christmas with these. They are adorable!

  74. sista #2 110

    These are Taralle’s!!!!
    My family loves these….Eyetalian Aunt Menzie gave us the recipe…although I believe she used the liquor anise instead of the extract.



  75. Charla 111

    Thank you for posting these! It brings back memories of me baking with my Italian Aunt when I was a child.

  76. Jesika 112

    I made these and they are SO good! However, I did use vanilla extract instead of anise. I bought the anise extract but little did I know, it is like black licorice…YUCK! That is a personal preference. But with vanilla they are AMAZING!!! I think next time (yes, I will DEFINITELY be making these again…soon) I will try almond extract. Thank you for the wonderful recipe.
    P.S. I am absolutely in love with your website; I think it is wonderful!

  77. Joni-MI 113

    OHMYGARSH! Those look sooo good! I can’t wait to try them. Your photos are gorgeous!

  78. Diana 114

    I saw you post these a few weeks ago and have been waiting for the right moment to try them. Well I just made them and they are SOOOO good! I’m going to be the cool person at the Christmas Cookie Exchange with these! :)

  79. lorraine altieri 115

    I made these cookies for a cookie swap party. They were very easy to prepare, I found the dough to be very sticky, though and used a cookie scoop. Thanks for the recipe. These cookies are delicious and very festive-

  80. kristen 116

    can I substitute anything for the shortening? I want to make these NOW and don’t have any crisco in the house. Thanks!

  81. melpy 118

    These are called anginettes. They look just like my parents’ except that they always use the lemon flavor instead of the anise.

  82. Jackie 119

    My Italian grandmother made these every year. Instead of anise she used orange extract and grated orange peel. She called them biscotti only because biscotti or “biscuit” translates to cookie in English.

    • Rosie 120

      In our family bisocotti were twice baked cookies. :) You all are making me want to start baking now instead of in a month or so!

  83. Karen 121

    These looked so cute….so I made them for church coffee hour. Used vanilla in the cookie,and coconut oil in place of shortening, all fresh squeezed lemon juice in the icing….amazing! They come together quick, and look fantastic done.
    Thanks for inspiring!

    • Karen 122

      Oh, and to combat the stickiness….a tiny bit of water on the hands- worked wonders.:)

  84. G’day! Great cookies, true!
    With a joyful tear in my eye, they remind me of yesteryear and childhood memories too!

    • Peggy Esposito 124

      Joanne – that’s so sweet – I’m glazing these right now and saw your comment – yes, these cookies are amazing – my husband has me glazing with a lemon extract because they remind him of the lemon cookies his mother always made for Christmas (among the many cookies she made!) – she’s still with us but 84 so she doesn’t bake as much :)

  85. Richelle 125

    I’ve recently just tried these. My sister made them from a recipe that was given to her by her Italian friends. If you are afraid of anise, it’s a barely there taste in these cookies. I don’t care for black licorice, but these are lovely. Try them. You’ll love them! :) Can’t wait to make these.

  86. Karen Cicilioni Hitchcock 126

    Ciambelli! (Chiom bay lee) A family favorite, otherwise known as “Italian wedding cookies”, “Italian Christmas cookies”, “Italian Easter cookies”, showers and graduation……a staple around here.

  87. Sherree Williams 127

    My Italian friends made cookies that looked like this but, they were filled with grounded up chocolate, nuts, raisins, and orange peel. She would have a cookie making party and we would all go and help her make them for Christmas.

  88. Elizabeth 128

    In Italian they are called “ainginette” not sure of the spelling or meaning, some call them Italian wedding cookies similar to Mexican wedding cookie idea. Anise is authentic flavor. My grandmother (94) makes these all the time they are a staple in her house. Love them.

  89. Julie Bunge 129

    Is there a chocolate version to this recipe?

  90. Marlene 131

    We called them Knots. I also used lemon or orange extract for changes.

    • Barb 132

      Also call them knots, roll into a “rope” and tie into knot, still comes out round….we save anise for pizelles and use orange zest and juice in this cookie recipe and we like dipping them into shredded coconut, this is very festive for Christmas.

  91. Pam 133

    My family who are Italian have been making these for year! We substitute lemon fir anise as many are not fans of licorice.

  92. Do you have a recipe for an italian cookie we call S cookies? Stella door breakfast treats are similar in taste,but not really. I plan to make these sprinkle cookies. They look similar to the ricotta cookies I make.

    • Jessie 135

      Recipe for S Cookies

      These have been in my family for years.

      Don’t know if this is what you are looking for.
      1/2 lb lard melted
      1 1/4 cups sugar
      3 large eggs
      1 cup of milk
      I tsp vanilla – I always add more
      6 heaping tsps. baking powder
      5 1/2 cups of flour – do not add all at once as you may not need all of it

      Mix sugar, eggs and cooled lard, add vanilla, then gradually add baking powder and flour mixture, dough may be slightly sticky. Hand roll in to a rope shape, cut and shape into “s” shape. With all the baking powder this will double in size, so don’t make the rope too thick. Bake 375 until bottoms are medium brown. Frost with a confectionary frosting. No need to grease cookie sheets.

  93. michele olexa 137

    These cookies are the best gotta try them thanks,

  94. mary 138

    how do I print these recipes.?????

  95. Katie Arnold 139

    Can the cookies be frozen for a few days without the glaze ? and then glazed after thawing ?

  96. patty welch 140

    Can you freeze these or how long and how to store. Need for wedding in august

    • Cathy 141

      I have never tried. It’s possibly they get too crumbly but I would suggest a test batch and wouldn’t glaze until the day of the wedding.

    • Rosie 142

      You can freeze them with the glaze. My elderly cousin (85 years old) made a giant tray of them for my niece’s baby shower two months ago. I snagged three of the cookies for my adult son, who loves them, and stuck them in the freezer. Just gave them to him yesterday and they were as fresh as if she just took them out of the oven and frosted them. LOL!!

  97. Jim and MaryAnn Sweeney 143

    I make mine almond extract they are so delicious,

  98. Vivian Tordeau-White 146

    My Zia Annie used lemon..

  99. Liz 147

    I make these every Christmas! I use almond extract. My whole family loves these. Just the right amount of sweetness.

  100. diane bongo 148

    I make a cookie like this, but it has ricotta cheese in them and cream cheese,powdered sugar and vanilla icing 100% YUMMY if you would like this recipe I will give it to you, but I have never given it out before! they turn out cake-like and ohhh sooo good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but I will give these a try they sound so good, i love a soft cookie my mouth is watering!!!

  101. Eileen Szudejko 151

    my Italian grandmother used to make us these cookies. Only she just rolled them in confection sugar while still a bit warm. She said that was the way her mom’s family in Italy did it.

  102. Pauline 152

    I remember havng a chocolate cookie like these with. Choc chips in them
    Do you know of this receipe?

  103. christina dellaratta 153

    We made these delicious cookies with anise and called them Anginettes..

  104. nicole 154

    wondering if there is an alternative to using shortening? would all butter be ok?

  105. Ann Sinavage 156

    6141 Vermont mom used to make some thing similar.after making the ball of dough, when it was dry enough, break off a small piece, roll into a thin rectangle maybe 5 inches long & then make a knot, like a pretzle,then ice & put on sprinkles. Hence the name Italian Knots…

  106. Gina valentine 157


  107. Dixie Barringer 158


  108. Betsy Sicurella 159

    THESE COOKIES SOUND WONDERFUL… I would probably use vanilla or almond extract…maybe lemon…….. JUST WONDERING HOW TO PRINT THE RECIPE!!!!!?????THANK YOU FOR ANY HELP!!!!

    • Ann Swearingen 160

      You can copy the recipe and paste to a notepad or word document. Then you could print from there.

  109. Betsy Sicurella 161

    I misspelled my email address as sfaurbunny it is sfairbunny

  110. Sandy Karbacka 162

    I grew up with these cookies we call them Easter Biscuits or Tallels sp

    & I am old I have been making them for 50 years My Mother & Grandmother The Great Grandmother all made this I have my own recipe .

  111. Marie Ross 163

    I use almond extract, or Lemon extract in the cookie dough, with Vanilla in the frosting.

  112. L Rad 164

    I add anisette to the glaze

  113. Nicole 165

    My mom makes these every Christmas…and since i was a little girl i was there making them from scratch with her…i usually full Christmas tins and give them to friends….but my mom always put anisette In the icing…YUM!

  114. destini 166

    These cookies are called zucurinis

  115. Pattislots 167

    I am 76 and have been making these cookies for as long as I can remember, it would’nt be XMAS without them we call them Knot Cookies, because we roll them , and tie them in a knot ,!It is an old Italian recipe,I learned from relatives from Italy they are the best !!!

  116. Carol Egan 168

    Can you make these Italian cookies ahead of time and freeze them and for how long? Are they a hard cookie or soft?

  117. ken 170

    My family always used Anise, but my mom prefers lemon. I myself like to use Almond for the cookie and Anise for the glaze. A nice combo .

  118. BBGrammy 171

    Is there any chance you could provide a “print” option?

  119. Charmiann Miles 172

    Can the cookies be frozen? Before frosting or after frosting. Please advise as 100 cookies may be too many for some people to have around.

  120. Deb DUrso 174

    These cookies are called Anginettes and are made either with Anise OR Lemon. Also, you can make them with oil instead of the butter/shortening. Delish! :-) Have been making them for 40 years.

  121. Joyce 175

    Have always had these cookies with the anise flavoring. They are delicious!

  122. Beverly Luginski 176

    Thank you!! I love these cookies! My sister-in-law’s cousin makes them and I have asked her, very nicely, for the recipe at least 3 times and she would never give it to me. Now I don’t have to ask her again!

  123. gail kirkwood 177

    Is there a printer friendly version? I would love to try these..

  124. Maria T Russell 178

    These cookies are sooo good! But to make them even more festive for the holidays, I make the same cookie, put a maraschino cherry (that has had the juice strained) inside each cookie, and I use a tablespoon of the cherry juice to make a pink glaze for the top! VOILA! They are now Cherry Bon Bon cookies! My mom taught me this as a child. These have always been my FAVORITE! Scrumptious!

    • Maria T Russell 179

      Whoops! I add a tablespoon of cherry juice to the glaze mixture and use less water!

  125. Kathleen Erdner 180

    While living in Southern Italy, we ate these delicate cookies often, with various flavorings, depending on the occasion…..since nothing is ever wasted in the Italian household, flavorings come from the gardens and orchards around the area. The almond trees of course give their mamy almond treats, plus their many citrus trees give their orange, lime and lemon flavors. Then you have the anise flavors, which is also in their fennel root. They also are big on mint, too.Of all of their flavors, I love their Almond flavor the best!!

  126. Ann Swearingen 181

    i have made these and they are very good, but they don’t keep as long as many of my Christmas cookies. For a festive touch, I dip the frosting in green or red sugar crystals.

  127. kathleen deluca 182

    I have always heard that these cookies were referred to as Tarolli’s.

  128. Jean 183

    My daughter and I really love anise cookies. The rest of the family not so much. They sound like a great cookie for Christmas. Thanks a lot.

  129. Sherri Jarvis 184

    I do not like anise flavor so if made them would use vanilla, almond, or lemon.

  130. Lisa Dello 185

    Would love to make these cookies for the holidays. Can I freeze them to use at a later date?

  131. Gina Rigatuso 187

    I have an authentic Italian biscotta recipe that dates back hundreds of years, handed down generation to generation. They only get made during the Christmas holidays and have always been looked forward to every year. Viva Italia’

  132. I love that Italian cookie recipe and plan on using it for Christmas

  133. Geri Parese 189

    I love these cookies but i use lemon in the batter and the frosting so delicious.

  134. Kristen 190

    Directions call for ungreased cookie sheet but the picture is showing wax paper? Do you lign with wax paper? And if so does anything need to be added onto the wax paper?

  135. Lisa 192

    My hubby is Italian so I pinned this cookie when I came across the recipe on Pinterest. We made a GF version of them today and I have to say they turned out pretty well. We used pure anise favor, which I like, but I think almond would be a better fit for my palate. I’m sensitive to corn products and most cupcake and cookie decorations contain corn starch and/or corn syrup, so we used Trader Joe’s powdered sugar (made with tapioca instead of corn starch) and added colored sprinkles and Christmas jimmies to some, but left some plain for me to enjoy. Thanks for sharing this recipe. It’s nice to have an array of cookies to make this time of year since my MIL is gone and she left some big baking shoes for me to fill at holiday time.

  136. Candace 193

    i made these today, and I had to double the recipe. I would definitely recommend using a little more flour.. initially my dough was extremely sticky, ended up using another 2/3c of flour. otherwise yummy

  137. Linda 194

    I made these today and they were really dry. I followed the directions and baked for exactly for 8 minutes.
    They look perfect though. My batter wasnt nearly as thin as it appeared in the photo either. I’m pretty disappointed since I made these for a party. Any suggestions on what might have gone wrong?

  138. angie 195

    I made these cookies twice I had so many people tell me what wonderful cookies they are and some have fought about someone eating all the cookies I am shocked at how many loved these cookies I now make them every week they are the best cookies I have ever made

  139. Lisa 197

    I had made these cookies twice now,my daughter who is six loves them. She says they are her favorite cookies.

  140. Lisa 198

    Growing up Italian, we always had these for Easter. This is a great standard recipe for anyone looking to make this classic kind of cookie. You must make tiny cookies because I only got 4 dozen & I didn’t think mine were that small. Breaking out the sprinkles! Love your blog!

  141. Sally M. 199

    followed this recipe as posted, they came out very moist and yummy. Used vanilla extract in the mix and lemon in the frosting. The only change that I made is that I added an additional tsp. of lemon extract. Nice flavor..

  142. sandy l 200

    can you freeze the cookies? making them for my sons wedding at the end of May….If I can freeze them do you suggest freezing them iced or ice them after freezing.

  143. Susan 203

    As an Italian American woman, I’ve been making (and loving) these cookies for many years. You know they’re Italian cookies by the bickering amongst the Italian women over who makes them the right way. The truth is that they’re delicious in every variety! No two regions of Italy make anything exactly the same way and often times people make changes to a recipe based on what is available. Looking forward to baking season :)

  144. Brenda 204

    My mom has been making these for 40+ year, she learned from a group of older italian women when she was first married. They used to make these and the chocolate ones with chopped walnuts and coffee in the recipe, diamond shaped and chocolate frosted. They made a lot of these as a group before the holidays, then each would make platters for their friends, relatives and parties. They can be frozen before frosting, my mom used to keep them in a clean pillowcase in the freezer, I don’t know why a pillowcase, it’s what I remember. She made enough so that for Easter there were plenty to make trays using pastel colored frostings and sprinkles or jimmys. Unless I missed it, I didn’t see where anyone posted this little morsel of goodness, she always put 2 or 3 chocolate chips in the middle of the cookie! Yummmmmmm!

  145. Nadine 205

    My nana taught me to put some ice cream in the mix to make them extra moist.

  146. chicken lover 207

    yes you can

  147. Barbara Allen 208

    I make these every year but with butter, lemon extract & lemon zest in the cookie. They are as close as I can get to my “immigrated straight from Italy” Grandma Silvestri’s cookies she made every Christmas! They are THE BEST!!

  148. Kim 209

    I grew up with a Sicilian mother. She made these cookies all the time. It was unheard of to her, my aunts, and grandmother to use, Anise Extract. To them, the cookies weren’t worth cooking or, eating if you used extract. Oil of Anise is the only flavor to use. It’s hard to find in stores but, believe it or not, you can get it at a drug store with the pharmacist. If they don ‘t have it on hand and they have to order it, you can always purchase it on-line, you’ll probably get it quicker. It’s relatively cheap and because it’s so strong, you don’t need to use a lot!

  149. Andrea 210

    Does anyone know how well these freeze? As a cookie and as the dough?

  150. Sue 212

    How long can you store these if made ahead? Can you freeze them?

  151. Donna Valente Clark 213

    My grandparents were from Calabria and Naples, we used anise. We rolled them into a thick pencil shape and tied them into knots, so we called them Italian Knots! Same great cookie, many different names! Happy Holidays!

  152. Nick m 214

    Awesome recipe! I ended up with 73 because I rolled them a little bit larger. 8 minutes flat and they were perfect. I used silicon making mats so the bottoms were a perfect golden brown

  153. Meghan 215

    I grew up in Rhode Island, where the bakery cookies are identical to these. This recipe was spot on and reminded me of living there! I used the Anise flavoring from Baldwin Co., which made all the difference in flavor. I did use a little less Anise in the glaze, just to my taste. Great recipe- thank you!

  154. VP 217

    For anyone who’s interested in freezing these, it works great. I doubled the recipe and made all four flavors, anise, lemon, vanilla, and almond using different colored food coloring in the frosting for each flavor about a week ago. I went ahead and sprinkled them with the non-pareils while the frosting was wet. When the frosting had dried, I put them all on cookie sheets between parchment paper, then covered them tightly with foil, and stuck them in the freezer. A week later, I just took them out of the freezer, and two hours later, voila! Perfect cookies ready to go in a large plastic container for Christmas Eve. They look and taste perfect. The non-pareils did not run at all.

  155. Carmella 218

    When I make mine, the sprinkles run and looks terrible. How can I keep it from running. Even when I freeze them the non-pareils run.

  156. Sheryl 220

    I made them exactly as written and they are great. Ive done both Lemon and Anise…Great receipe that family loves

  157. Kathy 221

    can these Italian cookies be frozen with the glaze on. I want to make them for my Sons wedding a month a head of time. Thank You

  158. Jackie 223

    I have always used an old recipe found in a church cookbook for Biscotti cookies (bake once). That recipe calls for double the flour and makes dozens of cookies. I decided to try this one this year and so far so good but it made less than half of what this recipe indicated.

  159. Bea Didio 224

    The recipe I have used only contains butter, but the cookies dry out fast however they never last more than 2 days. Does the shortening help kept them from drying out so fast, they are good still but we like them the first day. I too make them with Anise and some with lemon for those who do not like Anise. Delicious.
    Thanks for your help.

  160. Laura 225

    What are the ones like this but with a cooked raison filling?

  161. Amber 226

    Is it OK to use more butter instead of shortening? I have a soy allergy and cannot use shortening….it’s dreadfully inconvenient!

  162. Rock Massa 228

    Been Reading The Comments…The Cookies Shaped Like Snakes Are Called Tatalles. Just Made Butterballs…Yumm. Buon’ Natale ♡☆♡☆♡☆♡

  163. JUdy 229

    Where do you get anise extract?

  164. Meowl1210 230

    Instead of anise, use almond extract! It makes them even better! That’s how I learned to make Italian egg biscuits.

  165. Dawn 231

    My grandmother made these every year, but twisted them into a knot (like the breast cancer knot). How do you get the nonpareils not to bleed into the icing!

  166. S 232

    Question- Can you make the dough ahead and refrigerate? If so, how long will it keep? TIA

    • Dawn 233

      Yes, you can refrigerate it, make sure is covered completely with plastic wrap. I’ve used it up to three days after I make the dough. Let it come back to room temp and you may have to remix to incorporate a little. Good luck!

  167. Patricia Scarpato 234

    Finally! I have made many versions of these. Some from old recipes from my Italian Mother-in-Law and other Italian friends. They were all good. But this recipe is PERFECT! The batter was beautiful. And you can flavor them any way you like. Because I make a ton of Pizzelles too, I didn’t use the anise. I flavored the cookie with just vanilla and made different flavor glazes, lemon, orange, almond. They are superb! Thank you!

  168. Made the cookies our dough came out great . Timing for the oven was right on 8mins.
    Funny thing coming from an Italian family . I have never used Anise extract I have always used Anise Oil . If you use the Anise Oil remember to use a dropper .I for got and we added the teaspoon full WOW all I can say is that are cookies very flavorful !!!!!

  169. were theese cookies eaten in ancient times? I am considering making them for a 6th grade food tasteing project and i have ancient italy.

  170. Gayle Onohan 238

    can you use gluten free flour with this recipe?

  171. CAROLYN 240



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