Italian Easter Cookies (Taralli Dolci)
This holiday make Italian Easter cookies (taralli dolci)! These are a traditional cookie often flavored with citrus, anise, almond, or vanilla and are made from a simple, soft dough then glazed and topped with sprinkles.
Servings 30 cookies
- 2 1/2 cups (12 oz) all-purpose flour, scoop and sweep method
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 - 5 tbsp milk, plus more if needed
- gel coloring, optional
- sprinkles or nonpareils, optional
Make the Dough
Mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar until they are light colored and rather thick and bubbly, 3-4 minutes.
Whisk in the melted butter and vanilla until smooth.
Add the flour and whisk in without overmixing. Then use a silicone spatula to finish combining the flour.
Chill the dough for 15-20 minutes.
Heat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Shape the Rings
Take a walnut sized piece of dough and roll into a 4-5 inch rope.
Make a ring from the rope and pinch the ends together. Continue until you have used all the dough.
Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes, or until light golden brown and puffed up.
Transfer to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
Ice the Cookies
Once the cookies are cool, make the icing.
In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and 4 tablespoons of milk. The icing should be thick but flow off the end of the whisk. Add more milk until it reaches the right consistency.
If you are using multiple colors, divide the icing among the appropriate number of bowls. Add a TINY amount of gel coloring to each bowl and mix it in. Add more coloring if needed to produce the color you want.
Ice by scooping some of the icing onto the top of the cookie and spreading it around with the back of your spoon.
Top with sprinkles or nonpareils if desired.
Allow the icing to fully harden and dry (this may take an hour or more) and then transfer the cookies to a sealed container for storage.
- Gel coloring: These colors can be extremely concentrated and you will only need the smallest amount. Not even a drop. Remember it is much easier to add a little more color than it is to mix a bunch more icing. I used Wilton gel coloring.
- Chilling the dough: This isn't strictly necessary, but I do find the dough to be very soft and hard to work without a rest in the fridge.
- Icing: If you prefer a thin icing, add more milk so the icing can flow freely. In that case you will likely only need 2 cups worth of powdered sugar icing.
- Scooping the dough: I used a #40 disher (what I consider my large cookie scoop). With this size I made exactly 30 cookies.
- Variations: You can replace the vanilla with almond or anise. Or you can add some lemon zest to the dough for a lemony cookie.
- Scoop and Sweep Method: To measure the flour, scoop the flour up with your measuring cup and sweep off the excess. Or use a kitchen scale to measure by weight.