Glazed Italian Cookies

Butter. Sugar. Flour. Baking Soda. Baking Powder. Eggs. Extracts. Those are the basic ingredients that I have been dealing with for nearly three weeks, among a few others such as Cocoa powder, salt, and more butter. My cookie game is on point, at least I thought it was until I decided to come up with this glazed Italian cookie that I thought was going to fail, but I was completely wrong.

Most every time we frequent our favorite Italian grocery and deli, Glorioso’s we tend to visit their baked goods area and pick up a good dozen of their cookies. Everyone in the family loves them. They are great alone, and a perfect snack with an afternoon coffee, so I decided to come up with a batch that I was hoping would come close, and I did a pretty darn good job.

Glazed Italian Cookies Recipe
Glazed Italian Cookies Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 tsp baking powder
  • 5 cups all purpose flour, possibly more
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • parchment paper, optional but recommended
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2-4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 5-7 tbsp milk
  • colored sprinkles, optional

This is a great cookie dough recipe and you can adjust your extract accordingly whether you want vanilla, almond, lemon (preferred), or other to your taste.

Keep in mind that you need to be care when adding the lemon extract as it can be a bit ‘chemical’ tasting if you go too far. You can always zest a lemon and add that in for an extra kick as well.

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet, or two with parchment paper.

Get a mixing bowl ready as your main mixer, then another bowl for sifting some dry ingredients. There is something about sifting that I really love. I’m not sure what it is. Maybe it is the fine powder coming out of it, or maybe it was a memory of being a kid and seeing my elders use them in baking, not sure.

Glazed Italian Cookies
Glazed Italian Cookies

To the mixing bowl, add in the butter and sugar. Put the mixer on medium-low and begin creaming the butter. During this time sift your flour, baking powder, and salt. Crack your eggs into a separate bowl to prevent any shells from getting in the batter.

Add the lemon extract to to the butter and sugar, then start slowly adding in the eggs, one at a time. Once all of your eggs are nicely mixed into the butter, slowly begin adding the flour. Mix on medium until you have a nice batter. Stop and scrape down the sides, and mix some more. Add more flour if needed to form a nice, thick and somewhat sticky dough.

I placed all of my dough into a piping bag, but you can use your hands and form these into 2 inch log shapes if you want. I placed mine in a gallon sized ziplock, clipped off the corner to the size I was going form, and piped strips onto the parchment paper.

Once all of your dough is used, place into the oven for about 9-11 minutes until golden brown.

While the cookies are baking, make the glaze. Take the melted butter, powdered sugar, and milk and whisk in a mixing bowl. Mix, feeling free to add a bit more sugar or milk until you have your desired consistency.

Once the cookies are baked, remove them from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack. Let these cool for about 30 minutes before adding the glaze. I simply add the same parchment paper under the cooling rack to catch excess glaze.

Take a cookie strip and cut them into bite sized pieces. Dip each piece into the glaze, the put on the rack. Repeat. Sprinkle your decorations if you desire, and let the glaze set. I let these sit out overnight, then bagged them for later use.

When my wife and daughter came home, they said something along the lines of ‘Oh boy, what are these!?’, then upon biting into them they knew right away where I was headed, and that was the Italian cookie. Addicting, but well worth it, these Italian glazed cookies will be a real hit, especially this time of year. Enjoy!

Toffee Saltine Bars with Chocolate and Nuts

We have been waking up for a few weeks now with part of our kitchen counter top covered in holiday baking ingredients. It is now starting to dwindle down which is great because to be honest, I’m a bit tired of looking at all of it taking up space, but what I still love about it is that every time I walk by them I begin thinking of things I can make out of them. Sure it is pretty much the same ingredients (butter, flour, sugars, variety of chocolate chips, extracts, nuts, and snacks) but something always comes to mind, well at least after a few thought attempts!

I made these toffee saltine bars for a couple of reasons. I recall someone in my family stating they did not like coffee, or nuts on their desserts, and for my advantage I wanted to use up some leftover saltine crackers that were just on the brink of getting stale, so this was an easy challenge to make haters of toffee and nuts into lovers and get rid of the crackers. I will mention that I won on both accounts!

Toffee Saltine Crackers with Chocolate and Nuts
Toffee Saltine Crackers with Chocolate and Nuts

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 sleeves of saltine crackers
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped, optional
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • parchment paper, recommended

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Start by heating a small pot on medium heat. Add in your sugar and butter, and let that begin to come to a light simmer.

During this time, line a baking sheet(s) with parchment paper. Lay the saltine crackers onto the parchment paper, covering edge to edge if possible, salt side up.

Once the butter and sugar is completely melted and bubbling, let it bubble for about 1 minute, the pour the mixture over all of the saltines, covering all of them.

Place these into the preheated oven and bake for about 8 minutes.

 

Remove from the oven, and pour on the chocolate chips, covering all of the crackers.

Toffee Saltine Crackers with Chocolate and Nuts
Toffee Saltine Crackers with Chocolate and Nuts

Let the chocolate chips set for about 2-3 minutes, then use an offset spatula or spatula and gently spread the chips as they should easily be melted.

Once covered, top with the chopped nuts. As you can see I did a half sheet of nuts, and one with just chocolate. A win/win for everyone. Doing so prevents kids or adults from taking a bar covered in nuts and stopping them from brushing off any nuts!

Let these cool and harden, about 1 hour or 10 minutes in my garage, and then begin breaking them into bite sized pieces. Place them onto a serving platter, or freeze in a ziplock bag until ready to gift.

The result is a real crowd pleaser. These a chocolaty, buttery, and crunchy deliciousness. There was no doubt on the toffee part would be a overall treat, and something that won over the family. Hope you enjoy!