Italian cookies come from some of the freshest ingredients like anise extract, almonds, figs, pistachios, sesame and fresh eggs. There are more traditional Italian cookies like Anisette that is made with extracts that taste like black licorice. There are a great variety of Italian cookies as you will soon learn that will suit any celebration. Biscotti means twice baked and is referred to for many types of Italian cookies. The term also means biscuit and is one of the delicacies in Italian baking. Read on to discover great Italian recipes.
Italian Cookies Recipe
Having an Italian cookies recipe means a smorgasbord of taste. Italian cookies include: amaretti, anginetti, baci, biscotti, canali, farfelette, milan cookies, pignoli, pizzelle, savoiardi, sesame cookies, quarisimali, rum balls and wedding love knots just to name a few. These cookie recipes bring along an entire culture of Italian baking that focuses on love of family and friends.
Italian Wedding Cookies
These cookies are sometimes called Russian tea cakes, Mexican Wedding cookies or butterballs. You will need 1 cup of unsalted butter, 3/4 cups confectioners sugar, 3/4 teaspoon of salt,1 and 1/2 cup finely ground almonds, 4 and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, 3 cups sifted all purpose flour and1/2 cup of confectioners sugar for rolling the balls. Pecans can also be used to add extra flavor.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, Place butter in a bowl and slowly add confectioners sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Add almonds and vanilla extract and flour and mix well. Shape into balls and place onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
Italian Almond Cookies
They are similar to macaroons. They ae crisp on the outside with a chewy inside. They can be baked plain or come with festive decorations. that include candy, whole almonds or jam. You will need 2 cups blanched almonds, 2/3 cups of granulated sugar, 2 egg whites, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, confectioners sugar and cherries for garnishing.
Use a food processor for half the almonds and half the sugar. Repeat with the other half to grind them into a coarse meal. Place egg whites and almond extract into a separate bowl. Add the almond and sugar mixture. Whisk until you obtain a dough like consistency. Roll the mixture into 24 blobs, then dent the cookies. Heat for 30 – 35 minutes in a pre heated 350 degree oven.
Italian Butter Cookies
These cookies are usually served at the end of holiday meals. They are creamy and buttery just like the name suggests. You will need 1 cup of unsalted butter, 2/3 cup ungranulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 egg yolks, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 cups all purpose flour and 2 tablespoon of milk. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line cookie trays with parchment paper, add butter, sugar and salt and whisk until light and fluffy, Mix the flour with the butter until large crumbles form.
Transfer the dough to a piping bag to spread the crumbles onto the cookie sheet. The piping bag should have a star shaped tip to create the star shaped butter cookies. Bake for about 10 -13 minutes or until golden brown.
Italian Rainbow Cookies
These cookies are also called Neopolitans, Venetians or Tri-colored cookies. They are also referred to as the seven layer cookies that contain 3 cakes, 2 chocolates and 2 jams. These cookies are actually dense layers of sponge cakes. They are great for baking during Christmas time to celebrate family. It is made with flour, sugar, butter, eggs and almond paste which gives it a distinct flavor. The cake layers have a very thin spreading of apricot or raspberry jam. It is then chilled and covered with melted chocolate. Once this is chilled, they are cut into rectangular shaped cookies.
Italian Chocolate Cookies
They are a great delicacy that can be eaten with each meal. You will need 3 cups of all purpose flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 3/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 cup softened butter, 1/3 cup milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, 2 squares of unsweetened chocolate, 1 tablespoon softened butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 cups confectioners sugar and 1/4 cup hot milk. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, Sift 3 cups of flour into a large bowl.
Add baking soda, white sugar and cocoa powder. Cream butter into flour mixture. Add 1/3 milk, vanilla extract and nuts. There should be a dough like consistency. Pinch off about 1 teaspoon for rolling dough balls. Each ball should be about one inch in diameter. Place on greased cooking sheet and cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Italian Lemon Cookies
These are some of the most popular delicacies in Italy. These cookies look like figure 8’s and are great around the dinner table during holidays. You will need 1 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 large egg yolks, 2 teaspoon grated lemon zest, colored sugar and 2 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
Beat in egg yolks, lemon zest, and four. Refrigerate until firm enough to shape. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Shape dough into an S and then coil other dough until it touches the center forming the shape of an 8. Place cookie dough on a greased cookie sheet. Whisk egg whites over the cookies and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 12 – 14 minutes or until golden brown.
Italian Fig Cookies
These cookies are a specialty taste that is for the true Italian cookie lover. They are also called Homemade Fig Newtons. They are great with a hot cup of coffee and for serving during the Christmas holidays. You will need 2 cups shortening, 3 cups white sugar, 6 eggs, 8 cups all purpose flour, 7 teaspoons baking powder, 2 tablespoons vanilla extract, 1 pinch salt, 2 cups whole milk, 4 pounds of dried figs, 1 pound raisins, 2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 whole orange with peel, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 small apple, 1 and 1/2 cup pecans and water as needed
Place cream sugar and shortening, eggs, vanilla, salt, flour and baking powder and mix into dough. Add milk to reach a consistency where you can knead. Cut figs, oranges and apples into small pieces and grind Add spices and chopped nuts. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll dough onto ungreased cookie sheet. Pour out fig mixture and wrap dough over to get figs inside of dough. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Italian Sprinkle Cookies
Ingredients for this delicacy include: 6 large eggs, 5 cups all purpose flour, 2 cups of confectioners sugar, 2 tablespoons baking powder, 1 cup shortening, 3 teaspoons almond extract, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of lemon extract. For the glaze use 3 and 3/4 cups of confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup of warm 2 percent milk, 1 teaspoon almond extract, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and colored sprinkles. Beat the eggs with a mixer until foamy , let stand for about 5 minutes, add flour, confectioners sugar and baking powder. Gradually add beaten eggs until dough is stiff. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 – 14 minutes or until golden brown.
These are some great Italian cookies for you to try at home. These should bring back warm memories of your grandmother’s kitchen where everything was done with love.