Italian Sugar Cookies – soft lemon sugar cookies with a lemony glaze and sprinkles on top! These are a Christmas favorite and are so cute in cookie tins.
I am so excited to post some Christmas cookie recipes finally!
I make these every year because everyone loves them. They are just the quintessential Christmas cookie to me. All my cookie tins includes Italian Sugar Cookies. Santa gets Italian Sugar Cookies. They just look like Christmas to me!
They are pillowy soft lemon sugar cookies with a sweet glaze and topped with sprinkles! And they’re so easy and quick to whip up. You’re going to love them!
How To Make Italian Sugar Cookies
Italian Sugar Cookies are one of the simplest Christmas cookies!
They start with a very basic sugar cookie dough but instead of vanilla extract, Italian sugar cookies get lemon extract. The other interesting thing about these cookies is that they don’t spread out into thin cookies like a normal sugar cookie. They stay as little ball-shaped cookies.
They bake for only 7 minutes, until the bottoms just start to brown. You don’t want the top of the cookies to brown. This way they stay moist and tender. Then let them cool completely before glazing.
The glaze is just powdered sugar and milk with a tiny bit more of lemon extract. Then you dip the top of the cookies into the glaze, place them on a wire rack so excess glaze drips off, and then top with sprinkles.
I like to use these Christmas nonpareils but you can use whatever your favorite sprinkles are!
Can You Make Italian Sugar Cookie Ahead?
Yes! There are a couple different ways you can make them ahead of time.
You can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it. Just wrap it in plastic wrap and then place it in an airtight plastic bag, making sure to squeeze out as much air as possible. You can keep the dough in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To bake the frozen dough, defrost it in the fridge overnight and then follow baking instructions.
You can also freeze the already baked cookies. But don’t add the glaze! Freeze the cookies in an airtight plastic bag and squeeze out all the air. Defrost them on the counter until they are room temperature and then you can glaze and sprinkle them!
How Do You Store Italian Sugar Cookies?
Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. I like to layer them with parchment paper so the glaze doesn’t get everywhere.
More Christmas Cookie Recipes
- Cranberry Orange Cookies
- Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
- Almond Bark Drop Cookies
- White Chocolate Orange Cookies
- Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies
- Gluten Free Snickerdoodles
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 eggs
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- dash of salt
For the glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 - 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating after each one. Add lemon extract; beat until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add this to the butter mixture and beat until just combined.
- Taking a tablespoon at a time, roll into balls and place on prepapred baking sheet.
- Bake for 7 minutes or until the bottoms are a nice golden color.
- Cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing. Repeat with remaining dough.
To make the glaze:
- Whisk powdered sugar, heavy cream (or milk), and lemon extract until no lumps remain.
- Dip each cookie in the glaze and top with sprinkles. Place on a wire rack over a paper towel to catch any drips. Allow glaze to harden before packing in an air tight container.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 148 Total Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 46mg Sodium: 48mg Carbohydrates: 20g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 9g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g