Italian Christmas Cookies

This year we thought we’d bake something beyond basic sugar cookies. We took inspiration from some of our favorite Italian treats and folded them into 7 new recipes. From tender pine-nut studded Pignoli to striped Neopolitan Butter Cookies, you’ll want to add one (or all) of these to your holiday baking repertoire.


Italian Thumbprint Cookies

Photo by Jennifer Causey

Simple shortbread dough transforms into a holiday showstopper with the addition of colorful jams and a white chocolate drizzle. Feel free to experiment by filling the cookies with your favorite flavor preserves.

Get the recipe: Italian Thumbprint Cookies


Fruit and Spice-Filled Cookies

Photo by Jennifer Causey

Think of these as updated Fig Newtons. If you’re a confident dough-roller, work on a lightly floured surface, but if you’re new or timid roll the dough on a piece of parchment paper so you can pop the whole thing in the refrigerator to firm back up if it gets too soft.

Get the recipe: Fruit and Spice Filled Cookies


Hazelnut and Chocolate Meringues

Photo by Jennifer Causey

These tiny cloud cookies are nutty and crunchy on the outside with creamy centers. Try them with almonds or pistachios in place of the hazelnuts, or dip them in a little melted chocolate for extra panache.

Get the recipe: Hazelnut and Chocolate Meringues


Mocha-Chocolate Chunk Biscotti

Photo by Jennifer Causey

These cookies have deep dark chocolate flavor with the richness of coffee baked right in. They’re crunchy without being hard making them perfect for dipping in your cappuccino.

Get the recipe: Mocha-Chocolate Chunk Biscotti


Neopolitan Butter Cookies

Photo by Jennifer Causey

Ever wonder how bakeries make those striped Italian cookies? It’s not as hard as you might think. One dough, colored three ways, gets divided and the layers are stacked on top of one another. Slice, bake, and impress.

Get the recipe: Neopolitan Butter Cookies



Photo by Jennifer Causey

If you’re a nervous baker, these pine nut butter cookies are a great way to build your confidence. The dough is as easy to make as the old standby chocolate chip cookie recipe: roll into balls, dress them with nuts, and bake until golden. Now that’s something to celebrate.

Get the recipe: Pine Nut Cookies


Pistachio Florentine Cannoli

Photo by Jennifer Causey

For this updated classic, we used delicate Florentine cookies as the cannoli shells instead of deep fried dough. The first few cookies might be tricky to mold but you’ll get the hang of it. If they harden before you have a chance to form them all, stick them back in the oven for a minute to soften.

Get the recipe: Pistachio Florentine Cannoli