Basic Italian Cookie
5 cups (500 g) flour
1 1/2 cups (150 g) sifted confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 cup shortening (butter or whatever)
1 tablespoon vanilla, or you can add any flavoring you would like.
Sift flour and measure. Resift with sugar and baking powder into bowl. Cut in shortening until it looks like coarse cornmeal. I do this by hand because the dough is heavy for a mixer.
Make a center in the flour, and add the eggs, and vanilla, mix and knead the dough well for about 5 minutes until smooth, adding a little more flour if it seems to soft and sticky. Pinch off bits of the dough about the size of a small apricot, and form into desired shape.
Place on greased cookie sheet 1 inch apart, and bake in hot 450 oven for 10 minutes until light golden brown. Watch carefully because they will burn easily. Makes 4 dozen cookies.
The frosting is made with egg whites. At least 4 eggs whites just beaten until foamy, then add confectioners sugar, until you get a runny type of frosting, I would say like pancake batter, then add whatever flavors you want. I usually add anise oil, just a drop or two, You can also color this frosting.
At Easter I color mine blue, green, pink, and white. Once the cookies are cold, toss them in the frosting, and set aside, it will form a hard surface on the cookie once dried.
One word of caution, never make this frosting if it is the lease bit damp outdoors, or in too hot of a kitchen. It just won’t harden on the cookie. While the frosting is still damp you can add the colored sprinkle candy on them. This basic dough also can be used to make sesame cookies: shape into fingers, and before baking dip in milk and then the sesame seeds. Bake as above.