Italian Tea Cookies

Sometimes family recipes are the best ones we have in our homes. Nothing beats recipes cards/books that are passed down for generations.
My grandma, who grew up in an Italian family and was one of sixteen children, has some recipes I grew up making. One of them is this Italian Tea Cookie recipe.

One day when we made these together, she pulled out a small piece of paper, and attempted to write the recipe out for me. She wrote the ingredients and on the back, I scribbled the process. 
Being one of 16 with limited means, she was not able to attend school often and didn’t attend past elementary school. This becomes evident when you read her writing.

Italian Tea Cookies

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 stick of butter softened
  • 4 tsps baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups flour


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 cup of warmed milk
  • 1/2 tsp anisette liquor/anise flavoring or vanilla

-Allow all ingredients to get to room temperature

-Add all (except flour) in a bowl and mix

-Slowly add flour, reserving a few tbs for your hands


Once mixed, take the dough and a melon ball scoop. Flour your hands and the scoop forming small balls.

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper).
They expand very little, so it is ok to put them close together.

Bake for 10 minutes at 325 degrees.

Once cool, mix frosting ingredients. To frost, dip the cookies top down and then sprinkle with sprinkles.

These cookies are best eaten within 24 hrs, so only bake however many you plan to eat in that time.



stephanie-bioStephanie loves to blog about all things creative-especially things food and photography related. With three daughters Stephanie spends a great amount of time crafting, playing and making messes all around the house. Collecting vintage kitchen items, learning photography and her addiction to fabric are a few things that eat up her spare time and spending money, but overall, she is all about enjoying life on a budget and being as crafty as we can be in our home. Stephanie loves dessert, the color yellow and Italian food the best!

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Erin Kennedy and I’m the Founder and Creative Director. I love food, cooking and learning tips in the kitchen and of course, eating. Sharing all this food love is a passion of mine.


  1. Those are the best recipes. And these cookies look amazing! I’m definitely going to try these.

    Thanks for linking up with It’s a Mom’s Life. I hope you’ll join us this week too (it starts tonight!)

  2. Your cookies are so adorable and I just love this post and your photos! So glad to have found your blog…it’s really beautiful! I’m bookmarking this to make later. I LOVE these cookies! An old friend of our family used to make something similar all the time and they were my favorites!

  3. Hi. We’ve been making Italian Sprinkle cookies for years and our recipe looks quite a bit like yours, and our cookies look just like yours 🙂 We have to make ours gluten free but they turn out similar to the regular flour ones we used to make. Just thought I’d throw out there that we freeze ours the same day we make them so we can add them to our Christmas plates as we need them and they turn out great every time. Thanks for sharing your Grandma’s special recipe!

  4. How many cookies does one recipe make?

  5. Do they freeze well?

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