These traditional Italian Christmas cookies will be hit over the holidays with friends, family and houseguests.
My husband John’s memories of growing up in an Italian family in Brooklyn all centered around food. One of his favorite sweets was angeletti, a Christmas cookie his aunt Lee made with anise and luscious lemon icing sprinkled with colored sugar. Its name translates to “little angels.” I’m not Italian, but I decided to surprise John with my own recipe for angeletti—and he said they tasted just like home.
|4 c. flour||1 c. unsalted butter|
|2 Tbsp. baking powder||1 c. sugar|
|½ tsp. salt||6 large eggs|
|3 tsp. finely ground anise seed||1 tsp. vanilla
|5 c. confectioner's sugar||3 Tbsp. water|
|1 large lemon (¼ c. juice)||green and red sanding sugar|
|1 ½ tsp. lemon extract|
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and anise.
2. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, Angeletti Cookies mixing well. Add vanilla and mix in. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture just until combined.
3. Using a teaspoonsized cookie scoop (#60), scoop 20 dough balls onto cookie sheets. Bake 15 minutes. Cookies will be golden. Cool on a wire rack. Refill cookie sheets 4 times more.
4. Combine confectioner’s sugar, juice from the lemon, lemon extract and water. (Add more water if needed.)
5. When cookies are cool, spread icing over the top of each with an offset spatula. Immediately sprinkle with colored sugars.
Makes 80 cookies.
Nutritional Information (per cookie): Calories: 90; Fat: 2.5g; Cholesterol: 20mg; Sodium: 55mg; Total Carbohydrates: 16g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugars: 11g; Protein: 1g.