There's a tantalizing thrill in opening one of those classic white boxes wrapped with string and finding a pile of tender Italian Sugar Cookies inside. It's even more thrilling to stack a plate of Italian Sugar Cookies fresh from your own oven! The pillowy cookies are positively heavenly, especially when topped with creamy, sweet icing and crunchy coarse sugar. Add in a few drops of food coloring and you have a rainbow of vanilla-flavored baked goods you can't help but love! These are perfect to serve up for parties, holidays, or just as a surprise treat for friends or neighbors!
IngredientsFor the cookies: • 3/4 cup shortening • 3/4 cup sugar • 3 large eggs • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 3 cups all-purpose flour • 3 teaspoons baking powder • 1/8 teaspoon salt For the icing: • 1/4 cup milk • 2 tablespoons butter, melted • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar • food coloring, optional, of your choice • coarse sugar, optional, of your choice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, cream the shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Gradually add the dry ingredients mixture into the shortening mixture and mix well.
Shape the dough into individual 1 1/2-inch balls.
Place the balls 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake until lightly browned, for about 8-10 minutes. Bake in batches if necessary.
Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, remaining vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
Tint the icing with food coloring, if desired.
Dip the tops of the cooled cookies into the icing, allowing any excess to drip off.
Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with the coarse sugar.
Place the cookies on waxed paper and let stand until the icing sets.