Italian Christmas Cookies Zuccarini

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My first teaching position was at a private preschool in a nearby resort town.  One year, one of the moms brought these amazing Italian cookies in to share with us.  Oh my goodness, they were about one of the best cookies I had ever eaten.  I asked if she would share the recipe with me, and she did!

I love the taste of anise, and these cookies are loaded with anise flavor!  They are so light and buttery.  They are one of my hubby’s favorites:).  From the buttery cookie to the sprinkles on top (please don’t forget the sprinkles), these are sure to please!!   

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature (113 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract (or pure vanilla extract)
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour (489 grams)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of fine kosher salt

Icing:

  • 2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (or anise)
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • sprinkles

Instructions:

In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set  aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar for 2 minutes.  Scrape sides of mixing bowl and paddle.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in the vanilla.  Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Refrigerate for one hour.

Scoop or cut off a small amount of dough and roll on floured surface into 6 inch strips.

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Roll into shape and place on greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes (the bottom should be lightly browned but the tops should remain light).

Remove cookies to wire rack and cool completely before glazing.

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Add the icing ingredients to a bowl and whisk until smooth.  You want it more thick than thin, but still runny.

Dip the tops of the cooled cookies into the glaze, allowing it to drip down the sides of the cookie.  Top with sprinkles while the icing is still wet.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to set (about an hour).  Enjoy with your hot beverage of choice (mine is a nice cup of hot black coffee…yum!).

I hope you make these, and if you do, I am sure they will be one of your favorites.  Maybe they already are your favorite and you misplaced your recipe (it could happen).  Either way, tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to hear from you and see your photos!