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 (or make them my delicious Italian lemon pizzelle)!
- 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.
*Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. Nutrition information can vary depending on many factors, such as products used, measurements and substitutions, therefore it is recommended that you obtain nutritional calculations based on your own finished recipe.