Cookies Of Verona: Italian Love Knots

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Every month, Cathy Anderson puts a recipe into the e-mail newsletter she sends out for her husband’s business, Anderson Electric. Cooking and wiring might not seem to be a natural fit, but the Andersons both say that their customers love the idea. They also put in day trip tips, which we have shared with you this past summerand last Christmas.

This month’s newsletter from Anderson Electric arrived just as MyVeronaNJ.com was publishing its plans for a virtual cookie exchange. And what was in it but a recipe for an Italian holiday cookie! Italian cooking is something that Cathy Anderson knows quite well, by the way, since she was born in Italy.

The cookies are called Italian Love Knots. Americans sometimes call them Italian Lemon Drops or Italian Wedding Cookies, but Italians know them as anginetti. Just about every Italian bakery in these parts makes them; the photo above is of  cookies bought at Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken. But as you will see from Cathy’s recipe, they are very easy to make at home, and kids love to help with the rolling, twisting and icing.

Two things to note: Do not skimp on the lemon zest; it makes this cookie as good as it is. Second, your  dough will be a lot softer than other cookie doughs you might have mixed. Don’t panic; it will firm up just enough in the fridge to make it easy to form the cookies.

Buon Natale!

Italian Love Knot Cookies

Ingredients

* 3 cups flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 3 large eggs
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons lemon zest

Icing:

* 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
* 4-5 tablespoons milk or half and half
* 1 teaspoon almond extract
* colored sprinkles

To make the cookies

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light & fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lemon juice and zest.

Gradually add the flour mixture, beating well to combine. The dough will be soft.

Wrap the dough in wax paper and refrigerate one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease 2 baking sheets

Place the dough on a lightly-floured surface. Break off golf-ball size piece of dough. Roll each piece into a rope about 7 inches long and 1/2 inch in diameter. Tie knot with one end poking up in the center.

Place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool slightly.

You want cookies to be slightly warm when you add icing.

Icing

In a bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth.

Stir in the almond extract.

Add more milk if necessary to make a slightly thin icing.

Place cookies on wire racks and top with colored sprinkles.

Allow icing to dry before storing.

These cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for about 1 week. Makes 24 cookies.

Cookie photo by TheGirlsNY via Flickr. Lemon reamer by FotoosVanRobin via Flickr
Do you bake a cookie the rest of Verona should try? Tell us about it here.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].

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