Italian Christmas Cookies are greedy, delicious pasta frolla treats! They are made with a base of Italian sweet shortcrust pastry and the classic Christmas molds. Once cooked in the oven, you can leave them simple, with a sprinkling of icing sugar or decorate as you like!
What makes this pasta frolla recipe for cookies special, is the addition of a pinch of yeast that makes it crumbly and soft.
You will be able to flavor your cookies in many ways; for example with vanilla, lemon or orange zest or cinnamon.Make pasta frolla and then cut out your crunchy, buttery Italian Christmas cookies. Finally decorate them following our tips and you are ready to serve!
These Italian cookies are extremely popular at any time of the year, especially at Christmas time. In fact, in many families there is the custom of making them as gifts to friends and relatives.
Pasta Frolla is considered one of the basic recipe of Italian pastry and is simply made with butter, sugar, eggs and flour.
Cookies made with pasta frolla are very easy to make, perfect for any occasion depending on the shape you choose!
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How to Make Italian Christmas Cookies with Pasta Frolla
- Prep Time: 15 Min + at least 1 hour in the fridge
- Cook Time: 10 Min
- Yields : About 50 Cookies
Doses for about 50 Cookies
For Pasta Frolla
- 250 g (8,8 oz = about 2 cups) of “00” flour
- 100 g (3,5 oz = 1/2 cup) of granulated sugar
- 120 g ( 4,2 0z = 1/2 cup) of unsalted cold butter
- 1 whole medium egg at room temperature
- 1 medium egg yolk at room temperature
- 1/6 teaspoon of fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
Kitchen Tools and Equipment
First of all, you need a rolling pin and a pastry board, preferably made of marble. In fact, marble keeps pasta frolla cold for longer.
To make Italian Christmas cookies, you need special cookie cutter shapes. You can choose those with a Christmas theme or a heart shape, the ones used for Valentine’s Day.
Otherwise, you can simply use an upside down coffee cup to cut out the cookies.
In Italy, people often give these Christmas cookies made of pasta frolla as a wish for a Merry Christmas. If you decide to make a “sweet” Christmas gift too, take a look at these Christmas Cookie boxes; they are nice and really useful for storing and packaging your cookies.
Before Starting: Some Tips for Pasta Frolla Recipe
Like many Italian traditional recipes, there are different ways to make pasta frolla.
It seems that each family have a favorite type: who prefer cold butter vs softened butter; who wants granulated sugar vs icing sugar; who uses only the egg yolk vs whole eggs…Depending on your preferences, there will be different results in the pasta frolla texture.
However, there are some things you should pay attention to when making pasta frolla recipe:
- Put the pasta frolla dough always in the fridge for at least 1 hour before rolling it out. This will help the sugars and fats to stabilize and the dough will become more manageable and flexible.
- Flour the surface on which you will work the dough to prevent it from sticking.
- Work the dough quickly, while it is still cold. If you heat the dough too much it becomes too soft and breaks easily. When you have finished kneading, put it back in the fridge for a while before to continue your preparations.
For more details, tips, methods and informations about pasta frolla, read our more detailed Pasta Frolla Recipe.
How to Make Pasta Frolla For Italian Christmas Cookies
Step 1) – Place the flour on a work surface and make a hole in the center. Pour the sugar, baking powder, salt and eggs at room temperature.
Step 2) – Finally add the cold butter. Knead quickly until the dough is homogeneous and non-sticky.
Step 3) – Form a loaf, cover it with cling film and let it cool in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
How to Cut Out Italian Christmas Cookies
Step 4) – After about one hour, remove the dough of Pasta Frolla from the refrigerator and place it on a floured work surface, preferably made of marble (marble keep pasta frolla cold for longer). Roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin until you have a thickness of about 6 mm (1/4 inch).
Step 5) – With the special molds, cut out the cookies, pressing hard on the pasta frolla dough.
Step 6) – Remove gently the cookies and place them on a baking sheet, covered with non-stick baking paper.
This step must be done quickly enough. If the pasta frolla becomes too warm and soft, it’s impossible to work it and you can’t form the cookies properly.
IMPORTANT TIP: knead the remaining scraps of dough again, form a new loaf and place it in the refrigerator for about 10/15 minutes. Then roll it out and make more cookies.
Step 7) – Finally, put the raw cookies in the refrigerator. After about 5 minutes, take the pan from the refrigerator and bake them at 180°C (350 F) for about 10 minutes. Pasta frolla cookies will be ready when they are just a little golden.
Your Italian Christmas cookies are ready to be decorated. But they are excellent even so simple, buttery and fragrant.
Italian Christmas Cookies Easy Decorating Ideas
Now we are going to show you some decorating ideas for your Christmas cookies. Mind that these are simple decorations, that don’t require special pastry skills or complicated equipment. These are decorations that anyone can make. They are fast and easy, so you can enjoy your time making cookies and decorations even with your children.
First of all, you can simply sprinkle your Italian Christmas cookies with icing sugar. The snow effect is always beautiful especially with the Christmas atmosphere! Use cinnamon powder for a particular Christmas scent.
Chocolate Dipped Cookies
Melt the dark chocolate in a bain-marie. When it’s completely melted, dip the biscuits halfway in. Drain the excess chocolate and let it cool on a sheet of non-stick paper. Cooling, the chocolate will harden again.
Or you can decorate them drawing lines of melted chocolate onto the cookies with a teaspoon.
Christmas Cookies Decorated with Rainbow Sprinkles
For a more cheerful and child-friendly decoration, you can sprinkle the biscuits with rainbow sprinkles on the chocolate before it cools and hardens. So the little sugars will stick to the cookies.
You can achieve the same effect using a little honey instead of chocolate.
The pomegranate is symbol of luck and prosperity and is auspicious for the future. It’s also very beautiful and decorative. Serve your Italian Christmas cookies in a Christmas serving plate with a few pomegranate grains scattered here and there.
You can make pasta frolla even 2 or 3 days before making cookies. Store it in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic wrap.
Or you can freeze the pasta frolla for about one month.
Pasta frolla Christmas cookies keep for about 8 days, if stored closed in an airtight box.
How to Flavor Cookie Dough
If you wish, in addition to decorating your cookies externally, you can directly flavor their dough.
The easiest way is adding lemon or orange zest to the flour.
You can even choose vanilla powder o vanilla seeds, if you like it most.
Flavoring Christmas cookies with cinnamon is a very common tradition, especially in the mountainous regions of northern Italy. Add a tablespoon of cinnamon powder to the flour.