Italian wedding cookies are light, sweet, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Make them with pantry staples, then top with glaze and sprinkles!
While these are clearly a staple at many weddings, you can serve them at any event or make a batch just for yourself!
This recipe is nut-free aside from the almond extract. If allergies are a concern, simply use an imitation extract instead.
Or, take a look through the dozens of other cookie recipes on the site – there’s sure to be something to suit any occasion!
Italian Wedding Cookies – Tips and Tricks
- Use room temperature ingredients. Rest the eggs on the counter while you soften the butter. They will incorporate more evenly into the dough and give the treats a better texture.
- Measure carefully. Stir the flour in the bag or container before spooning it into a measuring cup. Then, swipe a knife across the top to level it out. Over-measuring the flour will cause the Italian cookies to come out tough and dry.
- Cold dough is best. If you find that it’s too soft to form into balls, chill it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes first. You will still need to chill it in the freezer after rolling it into balls or it won’t hold its shape in the oven.
- Prevent sticking. I highly recommend using a cookie scoop to portion out the dough. If you don’t have one, spray your hands with a little cooking spray before forming the balls.
- Don’t like sprinkles? Roll the treats in powdered sugar instead. It’s just as delicious and is perfect for more elegant events.
Kitchen Tools You Will Need
- Stand mixer or large mixing bowl with hand mixer
- Cookie Scoops – Great for meatballs, cookies, ice cream, and portioning out leftovers. I’ve had this set for years and use them all the time.
- Baking Sheet – You can add a piece of parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- Shallow Bowl for dipping the Italian butter cookies in glaze
- Cooling Racks – I like these because you can cool a lot of treats without taking up a lot of counter space.
FAQ – Common Recipe Questions
What kinds of sprinkles go on Italian wedding cookies?
Rainbow nonpareils are the traditional choice. They look like tiny little balls and can be found wherever baking supplies are carried.
If you prefer something a little more elegant, try a solid color sanding sugar or use a few different colors to match your decorations.
How can you tell when they are done baking?
The bottoms will be lightly browned while the tops will be white with a matte sheen. You will also notice them start to crack just a tiny bit towards the end.
What’s the best way to store Italian cookies?
Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Or, freeze them for up to 3 months and thaw on the counter before serving.
If you will be freezing a large batch, add a piece of parchment or wax paper between each layer to prevent them from sticking to each other.
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Italian Wedding Cookies
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- Rainbow non-pareils
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, oil, and granulated sugar until fluffy and combined.
- Add in eggs and almond extract and beat for 2-3 minutes. Mixture will be runny.
- Stir salt and baking powder into the flour and then add mixture to the dough at once.
- Beat until combined.
- Use a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop even balls of dough. Place the balls about 1 ½ “ apart on parchment lined cookie sheets.
- Roll each scoop between the palms of your hands to form smooth balls from the dough and place balls back onto cookie sheet.
- Place cookie sheet in the freezer to chill the cookie balls for 10-15 minutes.
- Bake for 9-10 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned on the bottom and puffed and set on the tops.
- Allow cookies to cool for 3-4 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
- While cookies are cooling, whisk together the powdered sugar, almond extract, and corn syrup in a shallow bowl. Add heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking mixture smooth, until desired consistency is reached. You want a fairly thick glaze, but thin enough that you can dip the cookies in to coat the top.
- Dip the top of each cookie halfway into the glaze, then lift and set onto a cookie sheet or cooling rack. Sprinkle with rainbow non-pareils. Glaze will set up in a few minutes.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published October 2021
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