Italian Christmas Cookies

Italian Christmas CookiesWhen my mother and her sisters (my aunts) were in their eighties, I started to write down their recipes. It was very interesting. I would ask a question such as how much flour. They would answer “not too much” or “a little”. Getting exact measurements was a challenge. I collected all the recipes and made a book for each of my three sons and their wives.

Our “Italian butter cookie” recipe is important in our family – it means that the Christmas season is here. Italian Christmas Cookies It has become even more important to me because now – it has become a tradition that my four grandchildren come to my home in early December and the five of us make our family’s Italian butter cookies.

Written by Frank Santoro
Maryland, United States


Italian Christmas Cookies – The Recipe

The Ingredients

3 cups soft butter and 3 eggs
4 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
7 1/2 cups flour
3 cups confectionery sugar (do not use granulated sugar)


Note: knead by hand

* * *


mix flour, butter, and confectionery sugar
add eggs, continue to mix
add extract, continue to mix
separate dough into 3 mounds
add red food color to one mound and green food color to one mound
one remains white-work dough until color is saturated
make cookies with cookie cutter or electric cookie shooter (preferred)
colored sugar sprinkles on top of cookies, sliced cherries, etc.
place on ungreased flat cookie sheet
bake at 350 for appx. 9-11 mins. or so

do not overcook-cookieItalian Christmas Cookiess should not be dough tasting but not cooked so much that cookies are hard or bottoms are dark brown(bottoms should be same color as dough or lightly brown)

remove from pan immediately and cool on plate-place into covered tins so cookies remain soft and do not get hard.