Sunday, March 27, 2011

Anginetti: The Italian Iced Lemon Cookie; It's Easy to Find Time to Try Out Cookie Recipes For the Upcoming Easter Holiday

Besides the probability of being a warmish day ( Easter falls on Sunday, April 24th), I think what I love most about Easter, obviously besides the religious significance, is the unhurried aura that the springtime holy day projects. With the exception of shopping for an Easter outfit (and even that practice has diminished in recent years) the fevered, frenetic-ness that surrounds Christmas gives way four months later to a more tranquil, peaceful holiday.

At Christmas, I struggle to find the time to bake cookies. Easter? Not a problem!

Last week I tried out Almond Macaroons. They're like a pignoli cookie without the pignolis and delicious! Earlier in March I made a ricotta cake that was similar to 'crosses', a pastry found in bakeries in our area especially around this time of the year. Today I tried a lemon glazed cookie called Anginetti or a cookie that's 'light as an angel.' These are traditionally served for dessert at an Italian Easter meal and are small and pillow-like confections with a lemon glaze topped by white or colored sprinkles. There are many recipes out there. I used the first one printed here with great results but I'm going to try another with simpler ingredients and I've listed it below. Give one or the other a try. These are easy to make and store well in covered containers.

Italian Lemon Cookies With Icing
Pictured above and left, makes about 3 dozen

6 eggs
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder plus1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup shortening -- melted
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

For Glaze
1/2 cup warm milk
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 box confectioners' sugar
Colored or white sprinkles

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Using a heavy-duty electric mixer on high speed, beat eggs until light and foamy, about 5 minutes. Set aside. 
  • In another bowl, mix flour, sugar and baking powder; gradually add shortening and extracts until crumbly. Gradually add beaten eggs to form a stiff dough.
  • Roll dough into 1-inch, balls. Place on greased baking sheets and bake for 12 minutes. The tops of the cookies will not brown, the bottoms should brown slightly.
  • For glaze, combine milk and extracts in a large bowl. Add sugar and whisk until lumps are dissolved and glaze is smooth. 
  • When cookies are done, carefully drop them two or three at a time into the glaze. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Cool and drain cookies on wire racks and quickly shake sprinkles on top. 
  • Let dry 24 hours before storing in airtight containers.

Italian Lemon Glazed Cookies
This recipe calls for fewer ingredients but is untested by me

1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
6 tbsp butter
½-cup skim milk
½-cup regular sugar 
3 whole eggs 
3 -1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1-cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp water

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees while lining large cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and non-stick coating.
  • In large mixing bowl, beat vanilla, zest, margarine, milk, and sugar with electric mixer on medium setting until texture is well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating each addition, and then continue to beat mixture for 1 minute.
  • On low speed, blend flour (1 cup at a time), powder, and baking soda until consistency becomes firm, sticky dough. If needed, have wooden spoon available for mixing. Dust hands lightly with additional flour, rolling dough into bite-sized balls. Place approximately 20 onto prepared cookie sheet, spacing 2 “apart.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes, or until light golden brown.
Icing: Combine vanilla, lemon juice, sugar, and water into a small mixing bowl, whisking ingredients until mixture is completely blended. Remove cookies from oven, placing a sheet of wax or parchment beneath wire rack. Using a small pastry brush, frost the tops of each cookie with icing, sprinkle with additional confectioners’ sugar, and transfer to rack for cooling. 

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