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4.24 from 26 votes

Italian Cookies for St. Patrick’s Day

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Additional Time15 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Cookies
Servings: 60 cookies
Author: Barbara Schieving


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder*
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter or margarine
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons anise extract can use vanilla or lemon extract instead
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar sifted
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk
  • Colorful spinkles optional


  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter and shortening. Add the sugar and melted butter mixture to a mixing bowl; mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the anise extract. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until blended. If the dough is too sticky to roll in the palm of your hand, add flour until firmer, but it should be very soft.
  • Roll dough in small balls (these tend to really puff up with all the baking powder in them!) and place on ungreased cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes (the bottom should be lightly browned but the tops should remain light). Remove cookies to wire rack and cool completely before glazing.
  • Glaze
  • Gradually mix milk into confectioners' sugar to make a thick glaze...make sure to keep it on the thick side. Dip top of each cookie into glaze. Sprinkle with colored jimmies or nonpareils while glaze is still wet. (I usually dip 10-12 cookies, return them to the wire rack (with wax paper under the racks to aid in clean up!) and then sprinkle those cookies before starting to dip more.) Makes a lot of cookies, depending on how large you roll them.


*I reduced the baking power to 4 teaspoons for high altitude
Carol rolls the dough into ½-3/4-inch balls, or even a little bit smaller and gets about 100 cookies from one batch. I used a small cookie scoop, so mine were a little bigger, and made 60 cookies.