Italian Easter cookies are made with a twist and a hug of batter. A light vanilla almond sugar cookie with sprinkles and frosting are easy.
It is fun to do some baking during the holidays. If you want to integrate a new quick easy dessert into the mix this year give these Italian Easter cookies a whirl. It’s a fun twist (literally) on traditional vanilla cookies. Dress up any way you want with a bit of frosting and sprinkles. (affiliate links present)
Easter Cookie Recipe
We have made many cute Easter desserts over the years, this just adds to the mix. Last year we came up with Easter egg bread using frozen dough which was fun (and yummy). In preparation for sharing yet another one, this came to mind.
I had these as a child at a friend’s house and wondered what the significance of the shape was. I never found that out but it was still so interesting and delicious that they stayed in my mind even as an adult. When it was yucky outside my girls and I got to experimenting.
Italian Cookies with Sprinkles
Tips when baking cookies
- Always measure flour properly, that means that you do not scoop it out of the bag or container. This mistake will lead to heavy, not fluffy, dense bakery items. No good.
- Use room temperature eggs whenever possible.
- Your butter should be softened at room temperature. Do not try to soften it in the microwave, it’s likely to melt and be the wrong consistency.
- When scooping on to your baking sheet make sure that each one is the same size or some will be underdone while others are too crispy. Using a cookie scoop is ideal.
If you do have a stand mixer that is ideal. It saves your arm, a bit of time and will make your batter a more smooth consistency overall. Can’t bear to part with your old fashioned hand mixer? By all means just use that baby instead.
If you like learning about recipes from around the world this and our lebkuchen cookie recipe are perfect for that. Of course it is best if there’s some sort of a significance to them too and a story behind it. The German cookies above was something my Grandmother made every year, and only once during Christmas time.
Each family got a tin of homemade items, so there were only about 4 per family and I hoarded them for myself. 4 per year was never enough but certainly made me appreciate them and remember her every time I make these. Perhaps these are special to you in that same sort of way.
If you were to do the same type of holiday tin with these you might consider adding some biscotti into the mix too.
Now let’s get to the shape, it is easy to do really. You’ll still scoop and roll them into a ball but then roll them out like a snake and twist like a hug in a way. That is all there is to it. I mean some resemble a knot even.
Easy Italian Easter Cookies
If you’re ready to make this sort of twist on an old boring shortbread cookie recipe then let’s get to it. Exact ingredients listed below in the printable recipe card, here’s a quick rundown of the steps though:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with some parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and baking powder. In a large bowl mix and beat the softened butter for 5 minutes or until it’s nice and creamy.
- Add the sugar. As you mix, scrape down the sides and continue beating until it’s fluffy. Add the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat until blended.
- Add the flour mixture into the batter and beat together just until blended.
- At this point you could add food coloring to add some flair.
- Portion dough into 1″ to 2″ balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pieces of dough into a 5 inch rope. Twist the rope into a knot.
- If dough is a bit soft you could chill the dough for an hour to stiffen up a bit.
- Place the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes until edges are golden brown. Cool completely before icing.
- Make smaller with less time if you are adding them on to an Easter charcuterie board for the holidays.
You can just whisk together some powdered sugar and milk until it is the right consistency to make an easy cookie frosting, use a tub of already made or leave off. Top with sprinkles, lemon zest, or nothing. The one below goes a step further with vanilla and almond extracts. You could opt to flavor with lemon juice instead.
We have this free Easter color by number page you can whip out too for the day if you’re having a holiday day together for fun. If you’re looking for another sweet treat to make that will make everyone happy, give our cinnamon raisin bread pudding a whirl.
How to save leftover cookies
It is best to only frost the ones you are going to eat right away. If you are going to store some on the countertop or freezer you’d want to do it when they are plain for best results. Use a freezer bag to slide them in, suck all the air out, and store on the counter for up to 3 days or 3 months in the freezer.
Jump to the recipe below and give it a whirl. If you have a favorite tweak to these you swear by let us know in the comments below so we can try that next time.
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Italian Easter Cookies
- 3.5 c all purpose flour
- 5 tsp baking powder
- 1 stick butter softened
- 3/4 c sugar
- 3 eggs room temp
- 1/4 c milk
- 1/4 c vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 c milk
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2.5 c powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter for 5 minutes or until creamy.
- Add the sugar, scraping down the sides and continue beating until fluffy. Add the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat until well blended.
- Beat the flour mixture into the batter just until blended. Portion the dough into 1 to 2 inch balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll the balls into a 5 inch rope. Twist the rope into a knot.
- Place the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely before icing.
- To make the icing, mix all of the ingredients together. Invert the cookies and dip in the icing. Immediately add sprinkles if desired.