These lightly sweet and adorable Italian Easter cookies go by many names, such as uncinetti, anginetti, and taralli dolci. No matter what you call them, these cookies are sure to be a favorite at your Easter brunch or supper. The little knots of sweet and tender dough are coated in a lemony icing and topped with cute, festive sprinkles.
You can make them in lots of different shapes, like knots, drops, rings, or twists. Or you can simply scoop them out with a cookie scoop. They're a fun project with kids: after you chill the dough, let kids form their own cookies into shapes before baking.
- For the Cookies:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (grated)
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For the Glaze:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons whole milk
- Garnish: Nonpareil sprinkles
Gather the ingredients.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Or cream together it in a bowl with a hand-mixer.
Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Beat for 1 to 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
Beat in the milk until incorporated.
Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Gradually add the flour into the wet mixture. Mix until everything is just incorporated and be careful not to over mix. The dough will be soft and sticky.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and add it to the fridge. Chill for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 300 F.
Use a cookie scoop to scoop out small balls of the dough. You can either roll them in your hands to form balls or roll them into rods.
If you roll them into rods you can form them into knots, twists, rings, or pinwheels.
Add the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. The cookies will not brown on top but will brown on the bottoms. Let the cookies cool completely.
While the cookies are cooling, prepare the glaze.
Whisk the powdered sugar with the lemon juice and milk. Add more milk if the glaze is too thick. It should coat the back of a spoon easily.
Dip the top of the cookies into the glaze and top with the nonpareil sprinkles immediately.
Allow the glaze to dry, then serve.
- These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.
You can add other flavorings to the cookies if you like. Just add sparingly since extracts are strongly flavored and can overwhelm the cookies. Some options include:
- Anise extract
- Lemon or orange extract
- Almond extract