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Zuccherini – Italian Lemon Cookies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.3 from 7 reviews
  • Author: Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Additional Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 32 cookies 1x


Units Scale

Cookie Dough

  • 34 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (sea salt is best)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 12 teaspoons anise seeds (place seeds in a cloth and crush with a mallet)
  • 11/2 teaspoon anise extract
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

For the Frosting/Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 23 Tbsp. lemon juice (depending on how lemony you want your glaze)
  • Double this if you like more glaze (like I do)


  1. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt onto a large cutting board.
  2. Shape it into the form of a large well.
  3. Into the middle of the ‘well’, add the eggs, olive oil, anise seeds and extract, and lemon zest.
  4. Incorporate all ingredients together to form a dough; do not overwork.
  5. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Cut dough into egg-size balls and roll out each one into a long rope of medium thickness.
  8. Optional: For a more layered cookie, flatten the rope and fold it in half along the entire length of the rope.
  9. Shape each rope into a ring.
  10. Pinch the ends together.
  11. Place cookies onto a well greased and floured, or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  12. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden.
  13. Prepare glaze by mixing together sugar and lemon juice.
  14. Brush each cookie with the lemon glaze while the cookies are still warm.
  15. OR

as my Nonna used to do

  1. Place the glaze ingredients in a plastic bag, insert the cookies, and SHAKE to cover the cookies with the lemon glaze!
  2. It’s OK if these cookies harden; they become perfect for dunking into coffee or wine as Italians love to do.

TIP: Another great way to ice the cookies is to:

  • Put the sugar and water in a large pot.
  • Cook on medium until frothy.
  • Add the lemon juice. Continue to cook and whisk for 5 minutes until frothy again.
  • After the icing is frothy, carefully place half of the cookies into the hot icing.
  • When completely cooled, remove the cookies from the pot with a slotted spoon and place on a cotton dish towel on top of a baking rack or wooden board.
  • Allow cookies to dry completely (for a minimum of 2 hours).
  • Once the cookies are completely dry, they can be kept fresh in a sealed container.

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