Traditional Italian Christmas Cookies | The Recipe Critic

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Italian Christmas Cookies are soft, buttery, fluffy and melt in your mouth delicious. Flavored with a hint of vanilla and a sweet glaze, these tasty treats are a perfect holiday treat. Take them to your next cookie exchange, party or just for fun occasion!

These will be perfect on a plate along with some Christmas Gooey Butter Cookies, Christmas Crack  and Snow Kiss Cookies for a festive dessert platter. Everyone will love these, and you’ll love how easy they are to make!

Sweet, buttery Italian Christmas Cookies

Easy Italian Christmas Cookies

These Italian cookies are often made with anise, which is a licorice flavor. Not everyone loves that flavor so I swapped it out for vanilla and topped it with an amazing almond glaze. They are fluffy and decadent and very festive. They are a great cookie for kids to help with.

This recipe makes quite a big batch, which is perfect for gift giving and having enough to eat too. You can double the recipe if you need more and you can half the recipe if you’d like less. Perfect!

Christmas Cookie Ingredients

Ricotta cheese is the secret ingredient for moist tender cookies

  • Butter: Soften the butter but don’t melt it.
  • Sugar White sugar not brown.
  • Flour: All purpose flour or unbleached flour all work
  • Baking Soda and Baking Powder: Raising agents for fluffiness
  • Ricotta cheese Look for ricotta cheese with other italian cheeses in the refrigerated section
  • Eggs: Binder for the cookies
  • Vanilla: Delicate flavor

Whipping Up Italian Christmas Cookies

These are quite easy to make, have to love that!

  1. Beat: Place the butter and sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer and beat till fluffy, can also use a hand mixer
  2. Add: Add in the ricotta and eggs and mix till incorporated.
  3. Separate: In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and powder. Slowly add to the wet ingredients and beat till combined
  4. Scoop: Scoop the dough by teaspoon size and roll into a ball. Drop on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake: Bake for 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven till just set.

Ingredients for Italian cookies

Almond Glaze Ingredients 

  • Powdered Sugar: Base of the glaze
  • Milk: Add slowly so not to make the glaze too runny.
  • Almond Extract: Gives it the almond taste
  • Sprinkles: Pick the color and style you desire

How to Glaze the Cookies

In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and almond extract till you get the desired consistency. Frost and sprinkle the cookies once cooled.

Cooking and decorating Italian Christmas Cookies

Tips and Variations

These are sure to please any crowd and with these tips and variations they’re a winner!

  • Glaze: Add a tablespoon of milk one at a time to get the desired consistency instead of all at once. You can make it thick or thin, it’s up to you.
  • Sprinkles:  Change the color of the sprinkles for the holiday, or occasion. Example Black and orange for Halloween or pink or blue for a baby shower. You can serve these cookies anytime of the year despite their title!
  • Flavoring: These are very flexible cookies. Change out the vanilla extract for peppermint, almond, coconut, or any other flavoring and add a complimentary flavoring in the icing, orange, cocoa, etc.
  • Don’t Overbake: These shouldn’t be brown on top. If you over bake them, they’ll be dry.
  • Frost: If you glaze the cookies while slightly warm, the glaze can seep into the cookie, yum. Always decorate with your sprinkles right after you glaze so that they’ll stick.
  • Scoop:  If you have one use a cookie scoop so they are the same size, they’ll cook easier that way.

Red, white and green decorated Christmas Italian cookies

Storing Italian Cookies

You probably won’t be able to keep these around for too long, they’re just too fun to eat!

  • Storing:  Let the cookies set for up to 24 hours before transferring to an airtight container to keep for up to a week. Letting them set up will keep the glaze from becoming wet and slimy.
  • Freezing: You can freeze these unglazed once they’ve completely cooled or freeze them glazed. They’ll keep for up to 2 months in a freezer safe container or bag. Just remember freezing the cookies glazed could create the sprinkles to dissolve and the glaze to become melty when thawed. Glaze frozen cookies once thawed.

Decorated Christmas Italian Cookies on a plate.

More Christmas Cookie Recipes to Taste

Italian Christmas Cookies

Author Alyssa Rivers

Servings 24 Cookies


Italian Christmas Cookies are soft, buttery, fluffy and melt in your mouth delicious. Flavored with a hint of vanilla and a sweet glaze, these tasty treats are a perfect holiday treat. Take them to your next cookie exchange, party or just for fun occasion! 



  • 1/2
    cup
    butter
    softened
  • 1
    cup
    sugar
  • 2
    cups
    flour
  • 1/2
    teaspoon
    baking soda
  • 1/2
    teaspoon
    baking powder
  • 1 15
    ounce
    container ricotta cheese
  • 2
    eggs
  • 2
    teaspoons
    vanilla extract

Almond Glaze:

  • 1
    cup
    powdered sugar
  • 2-4
    tablespoons
    milk
  • 1/2
    teaspoon
    almond extract
  • Christmas sprinkles for topping



Serves: 24

Calories164kcal (8%)Carbohydrates22g (7%)Protein4g (8%)Fat7g (11%)Saturated Fat4g (20%)Cholesterol34mg (11%)Sodium79mg (3%)Potassium46mg (1%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar13g (14%)Vitamin A222IU (4%)Calcium49mg (5%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.





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