7 Irresistible Italian Christmas Cookie Recipes

Buon Natale! 🎄

By: Felicia LaLomia, ISDA Contributor 

Italian cookies during the Christmas season are an absolute must. After a packed dinner of pasta and wine, the perfect digestif is an Italian Christmas cookie. And what every family makes and puts on their cookie platters is very different. Here’s a listing of some of the best Italian morsels you can add to your dessert tray this holiday season (click the subheads below to open the recipes).

7. Italian rainbow cookies

Sure, you don’t need to have these for Christmas. You can enjoy them all year round. But adding them to the Christmas cookie platter adds a beautiful burst of color. Plus, what better way is there to represent the Italian flag on your dessert table? The cookie has a bit of an interesting history, but there’s no denying how delicious it is. 

6. Italian fig cookies (Cucidati)

These are truly a labor of love. They take all weekend to make and are filled with sweet, delicious citrus flavors that stand out against a platter of other cookies. Once sliced into, the cross section of these are gorgeous to look at too. The golden fig mixture is wrapped in a sweet sugar cookie draped in white icing and covered with colorful sprinkles. They may take a long time, but it’s a recipe and traditional that can be passed on through the family.

5. Florentine (lace) cookies

There is no denying these cookies are gorgeous. They can add some textural variety to the other cookies on this list, and they have a certain lightness to them that makes them a little different. The addition of dried oranges adds a note of brightness. Plus, who can deny the combination of oranges and chocolate?

4. Thumbprint cookies

These cookies are delicious for a few reasons. One, they can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Two, you can change out the fig spread for basically any other kind of jam. And three, although they are somewhat labor intensive, they are so, so worth it. Something I like to do is experiment with different kinds of filling to see which ones tastes the best.

3. Italian Christmas cookies

Here is a pretty classic selection to add to your Christmas cookie platter. You can get your children or grandchildren involved in the decorating process and even try out different colored glazes, sprinkles and cookie shapes. The addition of anise extract adds that little something extra that traditional sugar cookies don’t have.

2. Anise pizzelle 

Traditionally made with anise, but you can also use vanilla, rum, lemon or orange, or even chocolate. Serve these scrumptious morsels hot off the press. Yum!

1. Butterballs

Butterballs are a dream. They are the best cookies, hands down. They represent Christmas with their snow-like shape and look, and they literally melt in your mouth. You can change up the type of nut you use to flavor it (my preferred is hazelnut), so as they dissipate on your tongue, you’re left with a warm, nutty flavor. There’s no real story behind their name, other than the fact they have tons of butter in them, which is the reason they are so delicious.

What Christmas cookies are you making this year?

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