Day 8 – Italian Lemon Drops (i.e. Lemon Anginetti)

Leave a comment

We all know Zach’s hatred for lemon, but for some odd reason he loves lemonades and limoncello. I try to solve this mystery everyday, but get no where. I’m under the impression that he just PRETENDS not to like it. I’m not sure why he would do this, but this is the furthest I’ve gotten with my investigation. Anyway, this is totally not the point of this post and beautiful recipe. That’s right: beautiful. We all know that I LOVE lemon. Actually, words can not even describe my love for lemon, and since I am making a “bagillion” different kinds of cookies that Zach DOES like, I decided to treat myself and make a cookie with lemon in it. Specifically, I decided to go with an Italian Lemon Drop (Anginetti), and I think this is my best one yet.

I have a problem with many Italian Lemon Drop recipes. Very rarely do they use fresh lemon. I’m not saying that every recipe for Lemon Drops uses only extract, but when I was trying to find a recipe to adapt from, I couldn’t. They all require lemon extract. Don’t get me wrong, I did use a touch of extract in this recipe, but I tried to focus on the natural flavors of lemon that actually come from a lemon. Lemon zest is the key people. So much flavor and texture comes from using lemon zest, but be careful you don’t use TOO much. Lemon is one of those ingredients that can very immediately overpower any dish you use it in.

Add some lemon zest into the mix!

Italian Lemon Drops

I believe these drops are my best Christmas cookie creation yet this year. They are soft, moist and delectable. They are so light and airy that it almost seems like they could float away! Which would be so sad because then we would have no more. Devastating right? They have a slight crunch on the outside, but once you bite into one of them, it’s just like eating little drops of heaven. Not that I’ve ever had a drop of heaven, but you catch my drift.

Soft, moist and delectable.

Light and airy goodness =)

What’s also perfect about these cookies, is that they aren’t “knock you off your feet” sweet. Sure, they do have their fair share of sugar, but it is in no way overpowering. If you were to skip the frosting completely (why would you?), then it would taste like there’s no sugar in them at all! Speaking of frosting, although any cookie is good right out of the oven, let these little guys sit for a while. They are even better when the frosting hardens.

Sometimes when I’m baking I like to consider where certain kinds of cookies originate from. Not often do I think about this when I’m making your traditional chocolate chip cookies, but sometimes a cookie pops up and I just to think to myself, what is the history of this cookie? This was one of those cookies. We all can probably figure out that these cookies came somewhere out of Italy, and because of their light and fluffy nature, it would appear as if they would pair well with tea and coffee. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a wikipedia article on Anginetti. I know right!? You can find everything there! I did however learn that it has derived out of the southern parts of Italy (legend says Naples). It is said to be popular at many parties and holiday events in this section of Italy. There are of course many variations, and I’m sure my recipe is completely Americanized, but the general idea remains the same.

Not super sweet, but perfect.


I hope you all enjoy this trip back to Italy through cookie land. I sure did. I’m thinking 1 or 2 more batches is in order. These cookies might be gone before the end of the day.

Enjoy! Try not to eat them all at once!


Day 8 - Italian Lemon Drops
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
2 dozen


  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (freshly grated)
  • additional lemon zest for garnish
  • pearl sprinkles for garnish


  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl of your stand mixer (with paddle attachment fixed), cream together shortening and sugar until incorporated. Add the milk, egg, lemon extract and vanilla extract. Mix until completely combined.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder and salt. Now, begin adding the dry ingredients to the wet in 1/2 cup increments at low speed until it is completely mixed together and the dough is pulling away from the edge of the bowl. Fold in the lemon zest.
  • Now start forming you balls. Roll pieces of dough in 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls and sit on the cookie sheets (about 12 per sheet). Repeat this step until you have used up the dough.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and transfer immediately to wire racks to cool.
  • Meanwhile, start making your frosting. In a bowl of your stand mixer, with whisk attachment fixed, combine the confectioners sugar and shortening. Beat at low speed until it the sugar is completely incorporated in the shortening. Add the extracts, zest, and 1/4 of the milk. Beat until combined. Add the rest of the milk in small increments until you reach the consistency you desire (I like my frosting a little on the thick side, so I stopped at 1/4 cup).


Hardware: * Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer (with paddle and whisk attachments) * Bowls * Spatula * 2 Cookie Sheets * Parchment Paper * Wire Racks * Airtight Container (for storage) *


Web Analytics