No. The stockings are not hung by the chimney with care. Nor is my tree decorated. And the presents remain unwrapped. But I’m having fun baking holiday cookies! And this is probably my all-time favorite Christmas cookie, as it was one of two recipes that my mom would make to kick-off the holiday season. The other was strufoli, a labor-intensive little morsel drenched in honey and adorned with tiny, colorful sprinkles that everyone, except me, just loved.
There are so many versions of Italian Christmas Cookies, but this is the recipe that has been handed down in our family, and I am happy to share it with you!
4 1/2 cups flour
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Cream butter and sugar until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Slowly add flour to creamed mixture and mix until blended. If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle a bit more flour. Hand-roll teaspoon-sized balls and place 2″ apart onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 until cookies are set and bottoms are lightly browned.
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla, almond, lemon, or anise extract (my personal favorite)
1/4 cup water
Mix all ingredients with an electric mixer, or by hand. Beat until smooth. Dip tops of cookies into frosting. Leave plain or add colored sprinkles. Let dry completely on cooling rack.
I have 15 days to make it all happen. I do believe in miracles, I do believe in miracles….