Italian Easter Cookies

star rating (15) rate this recipe »
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Italian Easter Cookies

star rating (15) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

Find more great recipes like this in The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion.

2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) vegetable oil
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners' or glazing sugar
2 1/2 cups (10 5/8 ounces)King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners' or glazing sugar
4 teaspoons milk
4 teaspoons light corn syrup

Beat together the oil, butter, eggs, vanilla, salt, baking powder, and sugar until smooth. Add the flour, beating until smooth. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour, or overnight.

Scoop the dough into 2-teaspoon-size (1/2-ounce) balls; a teaspoon cookie scoop works perfectly here. Roll the balls into logs about 4 inches long and about 1/2-inch in diameter. Coil into doughnut shapes, leaving a small hole in the middle.

Place the shaped cookies on lightly greased baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them. Bake them in a preheated 350°F oven for about 18 minutes. They may have the merest hint of golden color on top, but they definitely won't be brown. Remove them from the oven, and transfer to a rack to cool completely before icing.

To ice the cookies: Put 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar into each of four bowls. Add 1 teaspoon milk and 1 teaspoon corn syrup to each bowl. Stir until you've made a soft, spreadable icing, adding more milk if necessary. Tint the icing in each bowl a different color. Dip the top of each cookie in one of the icings. Sprinkle with sugar decorations. Allow the frosting to harden before storing the cookies. Yield: 3 1/2 dozen cookies.


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  • star rating 04/09/2014
  • Beth from Salem, MA
  • I added ~1/2 t anise seed. The dough came together quickly and easily. I put it in the fridge for 90min. The 4in logs were not too difficult to roll out. They were a bit crumbly though so my rings were not an even thickness. Not magazine worthy but on a plate together frosted they are a happy bunch. Not an overly sweet cookie.
    "A bit crumbly" could be caused by dough too cold or a bit too much flour. We're glad you were able to create a nice display of festive cookies. Happy Baking - Irene@KAF
  • star rating 04/06/2014
  • laughandlaughing from KAF Community
  • LOVE these cookies! I grew up on Long Island surrounded by Italian bakeries and these are very similar to the cookies we used to get around Easter time. I thought they were super easy to make- a little time consuming, but worth it. I added a little orange extract to the dough (1/4 tsp) to add a little more flavor to them. My kids love them. I am totally going to make these again.
  • star rating 03/15/2013
  • Madlyn from Clarkston, WA
  • These are Italian cookies people. They are not like American cookies. They are meant to be more like a biscotti in that they are dense and meant to be dunked in espresso or hot chocolate. Over baking can cause them to become too dry and hard. Adding extracts and nuts can make them more flavorful, but Italian cookies aren't as sweet as other cookies. If you were comparing them to other cookies, you would be disappointed.
  • star rating 04/27/2011
  • aimi from KAF Community
  • I didnt have any trouble making these, in fact I didn't mind rolling the circles, that was the easy part. What I would suggest is a pinch of Anise to give them a little more traditional flavor. We colored them the same coloring as the Easter eggs....their gone already!
  • star rating 04/12/2010
  • Patsy from Michigan
  • These were terrible! Hard as rocks. Too much time and tasteless. Patsy
    Sorry to hear of your disappointment. These little cookies are going to be "dense". Could the cookies have been over baked? Frank @ KAF.
  • star rating 04/05/2010
  • GinaG from South County, CA
  • These were very good. I added almond extract for a bit of flavor. They were exactly what I've eaten many times made by my Italian Nonna. They are dry and a little sweet, perfect for dipping in coffee or a liquor.
  • star rating 03/27/2010
  • Akane from Murcia, Spain
  • Perfect recipe. After 1 hour in the freezer, no problems rolling and shaping. They' re deliciouslly crisp, with icing or even on its own. I added some lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon more vanilla .
  • star rating 03/14/2010
  • Jenna from Montana
  • These cookies were not the best. Nothing special and not worth the time put into them.
  • star rating 05/23/2009
  • Rachel from Delaware
  • I love this recipe! This is my second time making these! They are so delicious and so easy and fun to make! I just made some for Memorial Day weekend using red, white, and blue icing with red, white, and blue sprinkles with stars for on top! So much fun and they turned out really cute! Thanks King Arthur for this fabulous recipe!
  • star rating 04/09/2009
  • Dave Young from N.W. Colorado
  • I made my first batch before reading the comments. It took well over an hour to roll out the circles, which was a painful process! As commented earlier they were rather bland. I would recommend increasing your vanilla by at least 1/3rd the recommended. With my second batch I made them with Almond extract, and again increased the amount by 1/3rd. With this batch I made the dough into balls, and then flattened them and pinched them in the middle almost all the was through. This was a faster process than the rolling and making doughnuts! Saved me 45 minutes and also made it easier to apply the frosting/glaze. I simply drizzled it onto the cookie with a teaspoon! Overall though, very yummy... I just had to put more flavor into these for my kids to want to eat them!
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