If you are Italian chances are you have eaten Anginetti. Even though my name does not have a hint of Italian to it, I actually grew up with a huge Italian influence in my life. My mother was born in Italy and came here on a boat with my grandmother. Literally, she's "off the boat" Italian. We lived above my grandmother until I was in the 4th grade so we ate. And we ate well. My grandmother cooked in a way that people just don't cook anymore. I have tried to recreate her food so many times but no matter how hard I try, it's just not going to happen.
On holidays, back then, there were two constants. A meal was going to start with homemade pasta, made with a hand crank, attached to the table, not these fancy pasta machines we have these days and it was going to end with Italian Drop Cookies. Usually of the anisette variety.
Today we were hosting my husband's family Christmas party. My husband and his siblings did not grow up with the types of food I was fortunate enough to have, so I love to share these recipes of my past with them.
I thought about making the traditional anisette drop cookie, but an unfortunate night with shots of Sambuca, in my early twenties still haunts me and the thought of anisette still has me gagging. Sorry for the visual. For this reason, I decided to go the lemon route. I also thought since we were eating a large heavy meal, the lemon would lighten things up a bit.
As amazing as these cookies are, I also have to mention this plate they were served on. We have a "family & friends" plate. I love this thing. I bought this plate for my sister in law years ago. If you don't know what a family & friends plate is, you are not supposed to keep it. You are to bring it to a family/friend with a homemade treat on it. In turn, the person who you give it to will now keep possession of the plate until they go to a family or friend with a treat, and so on and so on. The thing is my sister in law and I love this plate so much that we cheat and we only pass it back and forth to each other for fear it won't make it's way back to us. I know, we're brats, but it's a cool concept don't you think?
Do you have a family & friends plate or something similar? If so, do you share or do you selfishly keep it, or pass only to one person who you know will give it back?
What recipes you do create that bring you back to childhood?
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Anginetti (Italian Lemon Drop Cookies)
- ½ C sugar
- ¼ C shortening
- 3 eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- 2 C flour all purpose
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 C powdered sugar
- ¼ C water
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- colored sprinkles or decorative sugar
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a large bowl, beat the shortening and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs and lemon extract and beat well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add flour mixture to sugar mixture. Stir together well with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a sticky dough forms.
- Drop dough by spoonful (I use a small ice cream scoop) onto an ungreased non stick cooking sheet. Bake 12 minutes or until firm and just starting to brown on bottom.
- Remove from oven and cool cookies on a wire rack until completely cool.
Make the icing: whisk together sugar, water and lemon extract.
- Dip cooled cookies into icing and sprinkle with decorative sugar/sprinkles.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!