Italian Easter Cookies (Biscotti)


This is my Italian grandmother's recipe from long ago. She use to make these cookies for every Easter celebration. I have since picked up where she left off and now make these cookies as part of our Easter tradition. I love the anise flavoring but if you don't like anise you can substitute with almond extract and they are just as good! This is my favorite cookie to dip in my coffee! Enjoy!

Italian Easter Cookies freshly glazed and decorated with colorful sprinkles for Easter.
Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins
6 dozen cookies


  • 6 cups all-purpose flour

  • 6 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup shortening (such as butter-flavored Crisco®)

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 4 whole eggs

  • 2 teaspoons anise extract

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup milk


  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 2 teaspoons anise extract

  • 2 tablespoons milk, or as needed

  • ¼ cup sprinkles, or as needed


  1. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

  2. Cream together shortening and white sugar in a bowl until creamy. Add 1 egg at a time, mixing well after each. Add 2 teaspoons anise extract and vanilla extract. Slowly add milk and mix until all ingredients are blended. Slowly add flour mixture, and mix until thick but creamy. Place dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to overnight.

  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  4. Coat a work surface and hands with flour. Take a quarter-sized piece of dough and roll into a long narrow sausage shape. Form into desired shapes, such as "s" shapes, twists, candy canes, letters, etc. Cookies will puff up when baked, so be sure each cookie is only about the width of a pinky finger. Place cookies on a baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven until light golden in color and golden brown on the bottom, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely, about 1 hour.

  6. Place confectioners' sugar in a bowl and add 2 teaspoons anise extract. Mix in milk 1 tablespoon at a time until icing is smooth and creamy and not too drippy. Coat cooled cookies with icing and top with sprinkles.

Cook's Notes:

You can use both whole or 2% milk.

For the icing, I use 2 teaspoons of anise extract but you can substitute with almond extract. Start with 1 teaspoon anise and taste; add more if needed, depending on your personal taste.

These cookies freeze well and they are great for dunking in coffee!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

91 Calories
3g Fat
13g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 72
Calories 91
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 79mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 2g
Calcium 30mg 2%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 23mg 0%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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