Bake up these Italian lemon drop cookies just like the pros at your local bakery. These cookies have a cakey, lemony texture and are baked to a light golden brown. After they cool, they are smothered in a bright, fresh lemony icing. Yum!
Italian lemon drop cookies are synonymous with holiday baking. Sometimes referred to as anginetti, these cookies always make their way to my Easter table. I prefer mine more "cakey" on the inside. The insides are soft and pillowy, not dense like some store-bought varieties. You will often find them adorned with multicolored sprinkles. But I like mine naked, with just a shimmery, satiny lemon icing.
My dear friend Christine gave me this recipe, and we have been friends ever since. Make a batch for your friends and family today!
- Don't skip the resting time in the fridge. You want the shortening to be cold for a good rise in the oven.
- Use a cookie scoop and a kitchen scale to ensure your cookies are even in shape and size. They will not only bake evenly in the oven, but they will look better for serving.
- Your icing should be THICK. If it's too runny, add more powdered sugar. Icing too hard to spread? Add a drop of milk. The icing won't set up immediately. Let the cookies stand to set, or place them in the fridge to speed up the process.
- For storing, place in an airtight container for up to 4 days for maximum freshness.
Italian Lemon Drop Cookies
- large bowl
- stand mixer
- baking/cookie sheet
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- ½ cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1-2 tablespoon milk; more if needed
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
- In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and shortening at medium speed, until light and fluffy.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended.
- Stir in the milk, lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Add the dry ingredients, and beat until combined and smooth.
- Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Pinch off a piece of the dough, roughly the size and shape of a golf ball. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until firm when pressed, but not brown.
- Cool cookies on wire rack.
- Let cookies completely cool before frosting, or you can put them in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
Make the Icing
- Combine the lemon juice, zest and powdered sugar. Add milk to thin slowly until it reaches a very thick, but spreadable consistency. * I like to double the icing and really give my cookies a good coating.