In my big Italian family, these light lemony cookies with a sweet glaze often made their appearance during the holidays. With colorful sprinkles added, anginetti make wonderful cookies for Easter. The bright lemon flavor is perfect for welcoming spring, and because the dough can be formed into many traditional shapes, the cookies are fun to make with children. Even the littlest ones will be able to add the colored sprinkles...
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Cleo Coyle's Anginetti
Italian Lemon Cookies
This recipe is very close to one made by my beloved late aunt Mary. I've mentioned Aunt Mary on this blog in other recipe posts. She was born in Italy, and she helped my mother raise me and my sister, Grace.
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Cleo Coyle's Anginetti
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest (grated from rind, no white pith)
1/8 teaspoon table salt (about two pinches)
3 large eggs (lightly whisked with fork)
1/4 cup whole milk
4 teaspoons baking powder
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Step 1 – Make your dough: Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in the vanilla and lemon extracts, lemon zest, and salt. Add the eggs and beat for a full minute until light and fluffy. Add the milk and baking powder and beat for another 30 seconds. Finally, blend in the flour, but take care not to over-mix at this stage or you will develop the gluten and your cookies will be tough. The dough will be soft and sticky. Be sure to chill the dough at least 1 hour—cold dough is easier to work with. AND use flour-dusted hands when working with the dough. If storing overnight, take out dough, pat into a disc and tightly wrap in plastic.
Bake about 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 3 – Make the glaze: Into a bowl sift 2 cups powdered sugar. In a separate, small bowl place 4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (you should be able to extract this from 1 large lemon). Add 2 teaspoons pure lemon extract and 2 teaspoons water.
Add the lemon juice mixture to the sifted confectioners’ sugar. Fork-whisk until the glaze reaches the consistency you wish. If the glaze is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar. If too thick, add a bit more water and blend until smooth.
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