Italian Lemon Knot Cookies; Italian Wedding Cookies; Italian Lemon Cookies; Italian Lemon Drop Cookies; anginetti or more appropriately, tarallucci.
As Shakespeare once said, “What’s in a name?” That famous quote from Romeo and Juliet still rings true today.
It really does not matter what you call them.
They are instantly recognizable.
You can find them throughout the year, mostly at family gatherings and special occasions, especially Christmas. Just like Amaretti and Mostaccioli, these anginetti are, without a doubt, one of the most distinguishable Italian Christmas cookies.
They are drop cookie that has been formed into a “knot”.
These lemon knot cookies are lightly sweetened and glazed. A quick glance at these cookies and your taste buds can already anticipate that burst of citrus!
It’s simply one of the best Italian Cookies!
Ingredients to make Italian Lemon Cookies
As usual, the printable recipe card found at the bottom of the page has the specific amounts for each ingredient.
- Flour. All-purpose.
- Baking powder. This will help create a light cake-light texture.
- Salt. Just a pinch.
- Eggs. Ensure they are properly whisked.
- Sugar. Provides the right amount of sweetness.
- Vegetable oil. Can also use canola or corn.
- Milk. Just a splash.
- Vanilla extract. If possible, pure.
- Lemon zest. Definitely organic.
- Lemon juice. Naturally organic.
As far as accessories are concerned, a stand mixer (or handheld mixer) ensures the proper combination of the ingredients. A large bowl and whisk are required to combine the dry ingredients.
A medium-sized ice cream scoop comes in handy in order to ensure equal-sized cookies. A cookie sheet covered with parchment paper (or equivalent) is also required.
How to make Italian Lemon Cookies
The first thing we’re going to do is whisk (or sift) the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set them aside while we start mixing the liquid ingredients together.
Using the whisk attachment of your stand mixture, beat the eggs for a couple of minutes until they are light and frothy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat for a couple of minutes until the batter is slightly thickened.
Add the oil, milk, extract, zest and juice of the lemons and whisk together for a minute or so. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until properly combined.
With the help of a medium-sized scoop portion and drop on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a four to five-inch long strand, about half an inch in diameter.
Gently place one end towards the middle, followed by the other end, in a way to slightly overlap each other.
The secret to keeping this dough light and cake light is not over manipulating the dough. That is why these cookies give the illusion of being tied in a knot when in fact they are not.
Once these Italian knots are placed on the parchment-lined baking sheet, bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 12-15 minutes. They will puff up so leave at least an inch in between…
Notice the paleness of these cookies before they get glazed.
These lemon cookies have a really soft texture, almost cake-like.
What do you think?
I have always associated these Italian cookies with the holiday season, probably because that is when my mom would make them. I can still remember how quickly she would shape those “knots” with her fingers barely touching the dough.
That’s probably why everyone loved her cookies, they were so light and airy and so so good.
If you like lemon cookies, I have another simple Italian lemon cookie recipe that I think you are going to love. This one is shaped into a twist!
I hope you like both recipes!
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
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Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made these Italian Lemon Cookies, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Italian Lemon Knot Cookies
- 4 cups all-purpose flour 568 grams
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar 200 grams
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest of 2 lemons organic
- juice of 1 lemon organic
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs until nice and frothy (about 3-4 minutes).
- Add sugar. Continue to whisk until well combined and slightly thickened..
- Add the oil, milk, extract, zest and juice of a lemon. Combine well.
- Slowly add the flour mixture until well combined, dough will be soft.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Position rack to middle.
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop dough with medium-sized cookie scoop and drop on a floured surface.
- Roll into a 4 inch strand about ½ inch in diameter.
- Shape into a concentric circle, with the ends overlapping.
- Place on parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.
- Transfer cookies to the wire rack to cool.
- Glaze cookies before serving.
I never comment on recipes but this is the real way to make lemon Italian cookies. I have made them 3 times already. They are delicious!!! Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for taking the time to comment Lydia! I truly appreciate it!
Love this recipe, have been searching for one that is just like my mom’s. Most Italian moms don’t measure ingredients, even when baking. Thank you for clear instructions! They turned out absolutely delicious!
I am so thrilled to read this! Thank you so much, Sandra!
Anna De Lillis
I must have made these cookies at least 10 times….now my family asks me to do them.
I have amended recipe to one half and this morning I had some glazing left over…So I
amended the recipe to one quarter ..Cookies still turned out delicious.
How wonderful Anna! Thanks so much for sharing!
I must say this recipe is delicious! We made these last year with our traditional fig filling for christmas and omg they turned out amazing! Making them tomorrow.
How wonderful Josephine! Thanks so much for sharing!
Maria, thank you so much for sharing this recipe. This was a favorite of mine as a child and I used to make them with my Nonna. She is now 92 years old and in a long term care facility. I made them for our visit and her eyes just lit up! Making them every year will now be a tradition in my own family! Merry Christmas from Windsor, Ontario Canada.
God bless your nonna ♥
You made my day Lisa! I am so thrilled to read this. Thank you for sharing! Buon Natale to you and your loved ones!
Hi Maria, I am planning to try these this weekend. I know the knot shape is traditional but I am thinking about using a cookie press – do you think the dough would be the right consistency?
That is a great question Sarah. I think the dough might be a little too soft. You would probably have to increase the amount of flour. I would also suggest refrigerating the dough. Would love to hear about your results if you do decide to try it out. Thanks for stopping by.
Hello Maria, I haven’t made this recipe before but I’ve tried a few of your other recipes and I’ve loved them! I have a question. I don’t bake very often. I tend to enjoy preparing meals far better. My question is: should I change the attachment from whisk to the paddle once I start incorporating the flour mixture. Doesn’t seem like the whisk could handle all that flour. Again I don’t bake too often so it may seem like a silly question.
Thanks so much for your interest Maria. There are never any silly questions ♥
I have always used the whisk, but if you are concerned, you could start with the whisk, add about half the flour and then switch to the flat blade. They will still come out great. Enjoy!
Hi Maria, I finally got around to making this recipe yesterday. I too found the dough to be too soft to roll. I chilled it for a bit and rolled into balls. The turned out great the flavour is amazing. I will try again to make them into knots.
I love all your cookie recipes👍
Thanks so much Anna. I’m sorry to hear you are having difficulty with the dough. It is a soft dough but not so soft that it is difficult to handle. As you can see in the video, you should be able to roll it. Perhaps you can try adding 1 extra tablespoon of flour… sometimes that’s all it takes and it can make a difference. Thanks again for your support, appreciate it!
I just love these lemon cookies❤️!!! I’ve been looking for a recipe like this for some time and I’m really glad I found yours. I will definitely bake these again and again! Thank you! 😊
How wonderful Maria! Thank you.
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I worked at a bakery when I was a teen and I fell in love with these cookies. I’ve been told the recipe is secret and I’ve been trying different recipes ever since. My search for the recipe is now over your recipe for the lemon drops is by far the best tasting recipe I’ve tasted since working at that bakery. I look forward to trying your other recipes. Only one thing I struggled with with this recipe is the dough stuck to the ice cream scoop. I tried dipping it in water before before scooping more dough but it made me take more flour to roll them out. Any tips on how I prevent the dough from sticking to the scoop?
Thank you again🙂
Thanks so much for sharing, appreciate it! I have tried to lightly grease the inside with olive oil but somehow I felt that they did not come out as fluffy. Perhaps there is a reader that can offer other suggestions. Thanks again for stopping by Cristina.
I use a spoon instead. And a teaspoon to drop the dough onto the floured surface. Then I make sure my hands and the surface are floured enough so there’s no sticking.
Great suggestion Vicki! Thanks for sharing!