Nonna's Italian Wedding Cookies

Every Italian family has their own recipe for Italian Wedding Cookies. My family happens to have two recipes - one that belongs to my mother's family and one that belongs to my father's family. The recipe below belongs to my nonna on my father's side. It is similar to my mother's recipe but uses oil instead of butter. This recipe, like my mother's, makes a ton of cookies. The cookies freeze really well so I often make a whole recipe- you can store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Makes at least 10 dozen cookies




For the cookie dough:

  •     2-1/2 cups sugar
  •     2 cups vegetable oil
  •     12 large eggs
  •     1 tablespoon vanilla
  •     2 tablespoons anise flavoring
  •     11 cups all-purpose flour
  •     7 teaspoons baking powder
  •     1 teaspoon salt
  •     1/2 cup orange juice
  •     2 tablespoon orange zest

For the icing:

  •     Powdered sugar
  •     Milk
  •     Vanilla or other flavorings



Step 1: Beat eggs until thick and lemon colored. Add sugar gradually and blend well. Gradually add oil while beating. Add flavorings.

Step 2: Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour and orange juice alternately to egg mixture. Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Dough will be sticky. Refrigerate overnight.

Step 3: Roll out and shaped into braids or knots.

Step 4: Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet 350 degree until lightly brown, about 10 minutes. Do not over bake.

Step 5: Ice cookies with powdered sugar icing.