Week 42: Tender Italian Sugar Cookies

Alright, so we’ve been doing quite a few cookies with pumpkin in them, so let’s change things up a bit and do something completely not related to fall: a sugar cookie!

So I was trying to find something different and unusual, and this seemed pretty simple that you can easily do it on the fly. There’s no butter required, so you can actually make this recipe on a whim. Even if you have butter still in the refrigerator, you can just cut what you need and melt it in the microwave. The only bizarre ingredient is probably the shortening that most people might not keep on hand.

The recipe starts off fairly simple by combining white sugar and shortening.

Shortening almost looks like vanilla ice cream, and I don’t recommend eating it with a spoon.

Once you combine the shortening and sugar, you throw in the eggs and vanilla. Then you throw in the dry ingredients, and you get your spiffy looking dough.

Yep, it’s cookie dough.

This recipe calls for the use of our trusty Oxo 1.5Tbsp scoop to make some perfectly rounded balls for baking. These were baked in the oven for 12 minutes, and they kinda looked like biscuits.

Cookies or biscuits?

Then you make some frosting and top the cookies by dipping the cookies into the bowl of frosting. The results look pretty good actually:

Red food dye plus blue food dye somehow turns into periwinkle…

Once they dry, they look amazing.

The utter magnificence!

This is a great recipe to make on impulse, and doesn’t really require planning ahead (like bringing anything to room temperature).


  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Food coloring and coarse sugar, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  4. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  5. Shape dough into 1-1/2-in. balls. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  6. For icing, in a small bowl, combine milk, butter, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Tint with food coloring if desired. Dip tops of cookies in icing; allow excess to drip off. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set.


Author: Michael Maravick

I hold a Bachelor's of Science in Manufacturing Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I'm a process engineer by day with a passion for baking and trying new recipes.

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