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Gosh, it’s Tuesday again, already! That must mean Taste of Home Tuesday and this week I’m sharing Italian almond cookies. Each year our school thanks faculty and staff with an appreciation luncheon. This year the theme was Italian, which as you know, is right up my alley. Donations of baked goods were needed so I put on my thinking cap.
Initially I thought I’d remake my triple chocolate biscotti but I’ve been in a soft cast with a boot on my right foot for a few weeks and that recipe just wasn’t conducive to me standing for a long period of time. So I went looking for another option and settled upon this cookie. The reviews on the Taste of Home site were all good but many mentioned they lacked taste and weren’t really a sugar cookie, as the original title, Tender Italian Sugar Cookies mentioned. I decided to make a few changes based on those reviews. A few said they lacked flavor and they had used butter shortening. I decided to use a buttery sweet dough emulsion I have on hand along with a traditional flavor, almond. The easiest way I found to ice them was to dip them into the icing then place on a cooling rack with some parchment or waxed paper underneath to catch the drips. Tint the icing any color you’d like. I used blue because it’s one of our school colors.
So, let me just say a little something about the emulsion because I’ve never used an emulsion before. It’s used the same way as an extract but it’s different. There is no alcohol in it. It is water based, gluten free and is used at a 1:1 ratio for an extract. You can learn more about it and purchase it here. You can omit it from the recipe and these cookies will be perfectly delicious, just use butter flavor shortening instead of regular to replace the butter flavor.
As I hoped this Italian almond cookie was well received by the faculty and staff. It’s always nice to hear when what you’ve made is enjoyed by others.
Be sure to check out my fellow Taste of Home Volunteer Field Editor, Jolene’s, recipe for fruited mixed greens salad.
- ¾ cup shortening
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon butter dough emulsion
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-½ cups confectioners' sugar
- Food coloring and coarse sugar, optional
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in eggs, butter dough emulsion, almond extract and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
- Shape dough into 1-½-in. balls. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
- For icing, in a small bowl, combine milk, butter, vanilla and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Tint with food coloring if desired. Dip tops of cookies in icing; allow excess to drip off. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set.
Recipe from Taste of Home, originally called Tender Italian Sugar Cookies