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White Italian Cookies

Updated on December 18, 2014

White Italian Cookies

These cookies are typically made with anisette flavoring, but my husband doesn't like that taste so I omit it. So, please feel free to put in a teaspoon or two in the batter. You can make them any shape; you'll see in the pictures below. These are showing just 2 shapes, but I also shape them like pretzels and candy canes in swirls, or anything you can think of. I save them for holidays like Christmas when I make the whole recipe and Easter, when I make half the recipe and try to shape them like little eggs.

When I give out a plate of all the cookies I make for Christmas, the first question I get is, do you have the white cookies in there?

My mother-in-law and my husband's aunt used to just call them "Biscuits". But, us Americans think of something else when we say "Biscuits". To us biscuits are little savory buns that goes with fired chicken or another meal. But they claim that biscuits in Sicily refers to cookies.

After they are iced, you can sprinkle them with red and green sugar which makes them real Christmassy. Sometimes I even color the glaze icing which makes them look like little bon-bons. They are a little work but worth it when you bite in that sweet and buttery cookie.


  • You can make them ahead of time and freeze them before you ice them. Then when you are ready to use them, just thaw them out and ice them.
  • After mixing all the flour into the batter and they are still sticky, add a little more flour until the batter no longer sticks to your hands. Don't add more then that or the cookies will be heavy and not light. They should be light as a feather.
  • After the cookies are glazed, put them on clean cookie sheets and let them dry for an hour or two and then turn them around and let them completely dry for several hours. If they are not dry enough, when you pack them away they will get sticky and moist. I even let them sit overnight sometimes.

Photos of White Italian Cookies

Finished product
Finished product | Source
Butter and sugar creamed
Butter and sugar creamed | Source
After the baking powder is incorporated. Notice how puffy.
After the baking powder is incorporated. Notice how puffy. | Source
Before they are baked
Before they are baked | Source
After they are baked. Should be just a little golden on top.
After they are baked. Should be just a little golden on top. | Source
A different shape.
A different shape. | Source

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5 stars from 1 rating of White Italian Cookies


The 8 minutes is per tray. Of course, if you have and you will have more then one tray, the time will increase. I put my racks in the middle of the oven and one higher. I bake them for 4 minutes on the middle rack and 4 minutes on the higher rack so the bottoms don't get too brown. Your oven my bake better then mine, so you will have to try it out for yourself.

Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 8 min
Ready in: 53 min
Yields: 12 dozen cookies, depending on size


  • 1 lb. butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 12 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons anisette flavor, optional
  • 12 heaping teaspoons baking powder
  • 12 cups flour, sifted


  1. Cream together: butter and sugar
  2. Add: the eggs, milk and vanilla and or anisette
  3. Add the baking powder and let it sit for a minute or 2 till it puffs up. Make sure they are a little heaping.
  4. Add the flour a little at a time, with the mixer at first, when it gets too stiff then mix by hand. Add enough flour till the dough no longer stick to your hands.
  5. Preheat the oven at 375 degrees Start forming your cookies by hand on greased cookie sheets. When your oven is ready you can start baking.
  6. After the cookies are baked and cooled, you can cover them completely with the glaze and then sprinkle the sugar or sprinkles on while the glaze is still wet.
  7. FOR THE GLAZE: For the whole batch, use 2 boxes of 10X sugar, 1 teaspoon of Crisco and 1 teaspoon of corn starch and just enough milk to make it the consistence of a light glaze.


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    • Rachel L Alba profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel L Alba 

      4 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      You're welcome. You could decorate them anyway you want to. You could even color the glaze.

    • Susan Recipes profile image


      4 years ago from India

      Wow.. This looks absolutely fantastic, I wish I could taste them now. Thanks Rachel for the recipe.

    • Rachel L Alba profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel L Alba 

      4 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Thank you, that was very nice of you to say that.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Please pass me some.

      they look so good and they remind me of when I was home for Christmas from college. the little lady down the street always made cookies like these, decorated them beautifully, and brought us dozens. YUM. thanks for sharing

      Angels are on the way ps


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