Do you remember these cookies from your childhood? I remember the bakery up the street from my house sold these Italian lemon drop cookies. They would fly off the shelf around Christmas time! The light, citrus flavor of these cookies adds variety to your holiday cookie tray and their biscuit like texture is a delight to eat. These cookies really remind me of home and the holidays.
These cookies have a few names. Italian lemon drop, lemon cookies, and anginetti are the popular ones. Whichever way you say it, they are very popular in Italian culture. Italy is know for their food. The quality of the ingredients used in Italian food makes the finished dish very unique. Italian recipes are all about enhancing the ingredients and tend to be very simple.
Tips for making Italian lemon cookies
- Expired baking powder will cause the cookies to lose their fluffy texture so make sure the date is still good.
- Don’t skip the icing! The flavor of these cookies are a very subtle lemon. It’s not big on flavor because the big punch comes from the glaze.
- If you use a small cookie scoop, you should get 2 dozen plus cookies in this recipe. If you don’t have a cookie scoop, feel free to use 1 tablespoon.
- These cookies can be made days before. But I recommend not glazing them until the day they are going to be served. The reasoning is the sprinkles will bleed onto the white glaze, making these cookies not so perfect.
- You can also completely omit the sprinkles as well. The cookies taste just as good without (just not as festive) I used some extra sprinkles I had left over but you could grab these sprinkles from Amazon if you’re looking for holiday sprinkles.
The recipe only takes about 22 minutes to make and will make about 24 cookies.
Italian Lemon Drop Cookies
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup Sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp lemon juice 1-2 lemons
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
- 1½ tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice ½ lemon
- ½ tbsp lemon zest
Making the cookies
- Preheat oven to 375° F
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Add the egg and vanilla to the butter mix. Beat until combined and smooth.
- Add the lemon juice and lemon zest and mix to combine.
- Add half the flour mix to the butter mix and mix until just combined.
- Add milk and mix. Add the remaining flour mix and stir until completely mixed. (The dough will be a thick, sticky batter.)
- Us a small cookie scoop (or 1 tbsp) to scoop the dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until the bottom edges are golden brown. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Preparing the glaze
- In a medium bowl, beat together the powdered sugar, butter, milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest until smooth.
- Use a spoon to top each cookie with a heaping teaspoon of frosting. Use the back of your spoon to spread the glaze all over the cookie.
- Return the cookie to the wire rack and let the frosting finish coating the cookies. Let set until the glaze firms up a little.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container until ready to serve.