Soft, tender Italian Christmas cookies with hints of lemon and vanilla, smothered in a sweet confectioners’ icing topped with red and green sprinkles, they’re perfectly fitting for the season.
Not to mention, irresistible.
The cookie itself isn’t all that sweet so icing them makes perfect sense.
Super easy to make and as humble as they are, they will be a favorite on your holiday cookie tray!
It wouldn’t be Christmas without them.
- ¾ cup shortening
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, just the yellow, not the white pith
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon milk, plus more if needed
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 + ½ cups confectioners' sugar, plus more if needed
- colored sprinkles
- In a large mixing bowl cream the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy about 3 minutes on medium speed.
- Beat in eggs, vanilla and lemon zest just until combined.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture a cup or so at a time and beat well on low speed until combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line 2 baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.
- Scoop up the dough and roll into 1 + ½-inch balls. Place on cookie sheet 1 to 2 inches apart.
- Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until lightly browned on
bottombut not on the top. Refrigerate the dough in between batches and let the cookie sheets cool.
- Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool.
- In a medium bowl whisk the milk, butter, vanilla, lemon and confectioners' sugar until smooth. It should be slightly runny - add more sugar if needed to get the right consistency. It should be thinner than a cake frosting but not as thin as a glaze - somewhere in between.
- Dip the tops of the cookies in the icing and let the excess drip off. Top with sprinkles before the icing dries.
- Store in a cool, dry place up to 10 days.
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