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Italian Easter Cookies

Our family still makes these Italian Easter cookies every year. Everyone loves to get involved in shaping and braiding the dough, and Easter dessert recipes are that much sweeter when made with someone you love.

Cooking Time10 min


  • 12 medium eggs
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 12 cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cream sugar and oil.
  3. Whip eggs until lemony-yellow.  Combine with sugar mixture and beat until light.
  4. Sift dry ingredients together.
  5. Combine with egg mixture and knead until air bubbles are out.
  6. You will have a dough that can be kneaded and rolled and shaped. Roll out long tubes about a half inch in diameter, cut into four inch long pieces, tie into knots or just make circles.
  7. Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees F until lightly browned, about 5-10 minutes.  Watch carefully so they don't burn.
  8. Frost with lemon or anise frosting, sprinkle with confetti colored sprinkles. May use red and green sprinkles to make into Christmas cookies.
  9. To make these into true Italian Easter cookies, roll out a large, flat round of dough and shape it into a boy or a girl shape, about six to eight inches in height.
  10. Flatten the shape onto a cookie sheet.
  11. Make dough ropes and braid them into arms, which are held "akimbo" on the hips.
  12. Set a hard-boiled egg into the belly of the figures, braid some more dough, and criss-cross the eggs with two braids, fastening it down to the body of the figure.
  13. Add cloves for eyes and mouth.
  14. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F until lightly browned.
  15. Make clothing with lemon or anise frosting, leaving the facial features unfrosted.  These are traditionally given to each boy or girl child on Easter Sunday.  Nowadays, we make more nontraditional chickens and bunnies, for the same purpose.



  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • a few tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon or anise flavoring
  1. Combine sugar, milk, and flavoring in a bowl, stirring well until all the sugar is dissolved. 
  2. Drizzle or spread on the cookies to frost.

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