Easter Cookies

I had in my mind to make a certain kind of Italian Easter cookie. Buttery, flavored with orange zest, dipped in multicolored sprinkles… Only as far as Google can tell me, this cookie has never existed. I made it anyway, but I guess I can’t call them Italian.

And then I made them again, because they were really, really good. You can leave off the nonpareils if you don’t want them – my mom didn’t like them – but I love the color and texture they add to the cookie.

Easter Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • zest of one large orange (~1 Tbsp)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp orange extract*
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 oz. nonpareils in a small pinch bowl

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Cream together the butter, sugar, and orange zest. Watch it carefully, due to the orange zest, it only lightens in color subtly when it is properly creamed.

Mix in the orange extract and eggs. Sift together the dry ingredients and mix into the wet. Roll 1″ balls of cookie dough, and dip the top into the waiting nonpareils. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake trays of cookies at 375 F for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are just turning golden brown. Don’t over bake.

Cool on wire racks.

* a note on orange extract. Mine is from Penzey’s and is 61% alcohol. If you substitute a baking emulsion, I would start out using less and add more if the flavor is insufficient.


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