Easy Italian Christmas Cookies with sweet glazed icing and festive holiday sprinkles. This classic sugar cookie bakes up soft and tastes just like traditional rolled Christmas sugar cookies our family bakes every year for Christmas.
Quick and easy, 10-ingredient Italian Christmas Cookies. These cookies will rival your classic sugar cookie recipe that’s been passed down from generation to generation. These cookies are soft, fluffy, and have a buttery-rich sugar cookie flavor.
It’s the start of the holiday season and now is the best time to make a list of Christmas cookies and desserts to make for family parties. Sweet treats like cookies, dessert bars, brownies, and holiday candy regularly make an appearance on our table.
In just a few days, it will be December. This time of year always goes by quickly with Christmas parties, gift exchanges, and holiday work parties. In between shopping and gift wrapping, I like to bake. I always start the season off on Thanksgiving Day where I start planning and baking cookies and fudge for the Christmas season. This season, I’m all about these Italian Christmas Sugar Cookies.
Perhaps the best part of making these easy sugar cookies is that the dough doesn’t need to be rolled out on a floured surface. During the holiday season, I don’t always have the counter space to do that and sometimes I like to pack up all the ingredients and head to a friends house where they don’t the room to roll out cookies. Well these cookies just need time to chill in the refrigerator and that’s totally okay with me while I enjoy a glass of wine with my friend.
I’m a huge cookie fan. Everyone that knows me, knows that I love to bake cookies. Baking cookies is therapeutic for me and it helps to relieve a lot of stress. Other times, I’m simply craving a sweet dessert and cookies are it for me.
It’s been a family tradition since I can remember to bake Christmas cookies throughout the holiday season. I always start with the classics like Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies, Pecan Snowballs, Peanut Butter Blossoms, and Crinkle Cookies, however, I like to try new recipes like these Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies. I’ll also adapt old favorites and introduce them during holiday cookie parties.
This year, I’ll be shipping my a variety of Christmas cookies off to family and friends. We love to do a holiday cookie exchange and these cookies always make the cut.
The secret to creating bakery style sugar cookies is to add vanilla and almond extract. Almond extract is used to give cake batter desserts their flavor and it makes these cookies a go-to Nonna approved Christmas cookie recipe this holiday season.
If you’re looking to add more flavor to these cookies, try experimenting with different extracts and citrus zest. Almond extract is my go-to flavor enhancer when flavoring cookies and cakes as it adds a “cake batter” flavor I remember and loved growing up.
More flavor ideas include peppermint, lemon, caramel, maple, and anise extract flavorings.
Italian Christmas Cookies are classic sugar cookies. The baking powder in the recipe allows the cookies to rise with heat and they stay set throughout cooling. One bite of this Christmas cookie recipe and it will quickly become a favorite. It will even make the Christmas cookie list year after year.
For more Christmas cookie recipes, visit my cookie page here.
Italian Christmas Cookies
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (1½ sticks)
- 1⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract (could also use lemon extract or zest/juice)
- 3¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups powdered confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 2 tsp almond extract
- Christmas sprinkles or jimmies
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- In a bowl fit with a mixer, cream butter, and sugar on high until light and fluffy; about 5 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Beat in vanilla and almond extract.
- Slowly add dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Beat until incorporated.
- Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
- Dough will be sticky. Use a cookie scoop to scoop dough onto baking sheets or simply use a tablespoon to scoop dough. TIP: If scoop gets sticky, dip it into a bowl of powdered sugar between scoops. Space cookies 1 inch apart.
- Bake in oven for 13-15 minutes or until edges are slightly golden.
- Allow to cool. Transfer to a cooling rack. TIP: Pat the tops of the cookies after baking with a flat spatula to decrease the puffiness if desired. This makes it easier to frost and sprinkle.
- In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, water, and almond extract. Whisk until smooth.
- Use a spoon to add glaze to each cookie over a cookie rack. Top with sprinkles.