Monday, October 19, 2015

Italian Christmas Cookies

Photo: Italian N Proud
Every year around this time, I think back to when my grandparents were still with us, and the fall garden harvest. There would be home canning, and herb drying, and such wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen-and in the upcoming holiday months, all these delicious foods that they lovingly grew and preserved would be incorporated into the holiday meals.

There was nothing like holiday time at my grandparent's house. Christmas was the most special time of all, not just because of the food and the gifts, but because of the love and care that went into planning, cooking and serving each meal-and the people who would be gathered at the table to enjoy each other's company and a delicious meal.

My Grandmother's favorite part was the baking. She must have had at least a dozen different types of cookies, including Biscotti and Perfect Pizelles that my grandfather made by saying one "Hail Mary" while the cookie dough was in the press. They came out perfect every time. But one of my all-time favorites used to be these Italian Christmas Cookies, that look very similar to the "wine" cookies she used to make. (That recipe will be in another post.). 

I just came across this recipe and it brought back a memory-of me, about 6 or 7, and my grandmother would keep a few dozen of these cookies (with no icing or sprinkles) in a large Tupperware container on her kitchen counter, with the lid not sealed all the way so they would get stale and rock hard for my grandfather. (He liked 'dunking' them in his coffee.) 

I would notice the lid partially opened, and would keep sealing the lid tight, thinking I was helping her, and she kept unsealing it, wondering who kept snapping the lid shut. 

I know its still 2 months away, but it is with great pleasure that I post this recipe here so you can add it to your collection. 

My grandmother had a secret ingredient that you should also use generously: Love.


Italian Christmas Cookies (Recipe Courtesy of Italian N Proud)

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cup flour
4 tsp. baking powder


Sift dry ingredients. Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs; add vanilla and dry ingredients.

Knead and add flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to hands. 
Pinch off dough, roll in your hands to form a log and then twirl into shape. 
Place on greased cookie sheets. 
Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.


Icing
2 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
6 tsp. water
Stir until creamy


Dip cookies into icing and top with sprinkles. 
Place on wire rack with wax paper on counter to collect the dripping icing and sprinkles
Store in airtight container.


Do you have a favorite Cookie recipe? Please share it with us below!