Italian almond Christmas cookies

italian-almond-christmas-cookies

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Hope you’re all enjoying the holidays with family, friends, and fur balls. And if you’re not, whip yourself up a batch of these—I swear you’ll perk up in no time!

Never have I ever made a cookie so addicting that I (with help from a few others) ate four batches in a week! Tis’ the season, am I right? The texture is unlike any cookie I’ve had before. It’s light and airy, yet dense—like a cross between a muffin and a cookie (and maybe shortbread. Or a donut??). The actual cookie itself isn’t super sweet, so it’s a good balance with the sugary sprinkles, and the nutty almond flavor of the icing.

Big thank you to Peggie Constantino for sharing this recipe with me—I’ll be making these every year from here on out!

I don’t know what it is, but Italians always win when it comes to simple, yet delicious food. They can turn three ingredients into a homemade marinara sauce that’ll outshine any sauce you’d find at most Italian restaurants (at least in LA, anyway).

The secret? Keep it simple, stupid. 

I brought a batch of these to work and they disappeared in what seemed like seconds, which was probably for the best since I’d already eaten two on the way to work and a handful more after we’d finished frosting. Definitely pencil some trips to the gym into your New Years Resolutions if you make these!

Now, let’s talk decorating.

To keep it traditional for the holidays we went with a red, white, and green theme, but by the fourth batch, I ventured off the beaten path a bit. If you make 100+ cookies in a week, you’re going to want to mix things up, too—trust me.

confettin-xmas-cookie-2_ig

So I did this—it’s a.. birthday cookie? I simply mixed a couple drops of food coloring into the dough for a green marbled affect. Then I gave them a bath in frosting and a heavy dose of multi-colored sprinkles and voila! 

You can also add some food coloring to the icing if you’re bored with the white. The most important thing to keep in mind is to be very generous with the frosting and sprinkles—the crunchy, sweet layer of sugar is what really drives these babies home. I found that a thicker frosting worked better—it clung to the cookie nicely and acted like a glue for the sprinkles.

Have fun and enjoy!

Ingredients

*Recipe makes 30-40 cookies

For the cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (+ extra if dough is sticky)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the almond icing

  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-4 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp almond extract

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two cookie sheets and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl stir flour, baking powder and salt together with a whisk and set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla together with a hand mixer until well combined.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until a dough forms. You may have to finish mixing it by hand if it gets too sticky for the beaters.  Add a little more flour to the dough if it’s still sticky after everything is mixed in.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until bottom of cookie is golden brown. The tops will be pale and cracked.

Let cookies cool on a cooling rack while you make the frosting.

For the icing, sift 2 cups of flour into a mixing bowl. Add the almond extract and milk 1 tbsp at a time, until it’s the consistency you want. I like a thicker icing, so I used about 3 tbsp. Add a couple drops of food coloring to the icing if you want it colored.

When cookies are cool, keep them on the cooling rack and put a cookie sheet underneath to catch the frosting. Icing them on the cooling rack allows the frosting to drip off the cookie for a cleaner look. Frost with a thick layer of icing and decorate with lots of sprinkles!

*To store, place  decorated cookies in layers separated by wax paper in an airtight container for up to three days. OR freeze undecorated cookies for up to three months. Thaw cookies before decorating.

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One thought on “Italian almond Christmas cookies

  1. I happen to be eating these tasty, sweet, and yes, addicting cookies right now. And, I am enjoying them with a glass of red wine. I love the smell of almond as it wafts out when the lid is lifted. They are the perfect bite – maybe two – tender but not fluff. I want to thank Lauren for sharing these with our family for Christmas. It was worth that third trip to the grocery store for the sprinkles! Make these!

    Liked by 1 person

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