Sunday, December 18, 2011

“12 Days of Christmas” Day 6, “Italian Knot Cookies”

She lit another match, and then she found herself sitting under a beautiful Christmas-tree. It was larger and more beautifully decorated than the one which she had seen through the shop windows. Thousands of tapers were burning upon the green branches, and colored ornaments twinkled so bright. The little maiden stretched out her hands towards them when--the match went out. The lights of the Christmas tee rose higher and higher, she saw them now as stars in heaven.
“The Little Match Girl” by Hans Christian Andersen


“The 12 Days of Christmas” are just rolling along and today is Day 6, as we continue to countdown to Christmas Day. My recipe for you is "Italian Knot Cookies," which are easy and scrumptious.  There is nothing like a genuine homemade Italian cookie. It is like a little taste of love all wrapped in one small bite. Italian mothers and grandmothers have used their recipes and have passed them down from generation to generation. They use the finest and freshest ingredients available so that you can taste a real quality cookie. There are many names and variations of these cookies, depending on the region that they originated from. In the end, the result is the same no matter where they came from, a soft, moist and crumbly cookie with a citrus flavor that gives them a delicate fresh balance. Once you place them on a beautiful Christmas plate your holiday table will be complete. They are definitely an Italian tradition in my house, so I hope that you will make them a tradition in your home this Christmas!

Italian Knot Cookies


3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cups of sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons orange zest (you can use lemon zest)
2 tablespoons orange juice (you can use lemon juice)
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
4 to 5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
Colored sprinkles or confetti


Preheat the oven to 350 ° F. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the orange zest and juice. Then beat in the dry ingredients gradually, and beat well to mix. The dough will be soft; wrap it in waxed paper and refrigerate it for 1 hour to make it easier to handle.

Place the dough on a well-floured surface. Pinch off small egg-sized pieces of dough and roll each piece into a rope about 7 inches long and the width of your middle finger. Tie into a loose knot and place 1 inch apart on the greased cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool slightly. Frost when still slightly warm.

To make the frosting/glaze in a bowl, combine the sugar and 1/4 cup of the milk and beat until smooth. Add more milk if necessary to make a thin frosting or glaze. Beat in the almond extract.

Dip the top of each cookie into the frosting, shaking off the excess. Place them on racks and sprinkle with colored sprinkles or confetti. Let the frosting dry before storing. These will keep in an airtight container for up to a week; or freeze them for up to 3 months. (If there are any left)

Yield : 3-3 1/2 Dozen   Enjoy!  Ciao!  

Till Next Time………
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