Sunday, December 19, 2010

Created by Diane's Iced Italian Cookies!

Christmas Cookies,cookie,iced cookie

Are you on holiday vacation time yet??!  Well, if you aren't free from the ball and chain of work yet, I hope I won't make you too jealous when I tell you I will be off of work for a full two and a half weeks!  YAY!  I just arrived in Ohio this morning, and after a week and change here, I will head to Norway for another week.  I am fully ready for last minute Christmas festivities, catching up with family, and quality time with my honey.  Even in vacation mode I will still be updating with new posts over the next two weeks so be sure to keep up!  

To kick off the holiday vacation season, I am excited to share a guest post from Diane of Created by Diane.  I met her earlier this year, and I immediately liked her friendly personality and infectious smile.  I was also extremely impressed by the simple perfection of her Italian Iced Cookies: they are delicious and they look beautiful.  (I was lucky enough to get one of her signature red hearts that is the trademark of her blog!)  Come Christmastime, I knew I wanted to feature her fantastic recipe, but I also wanted to learn the techniques she uses to decorate her cookies.  What better way than to share a guest post so you can learn her techniques as well!  I hope you enjoy, and be sure to swing by her blog and check out the rest of her great recipes and other Christmas treats like snowflake cookies and Christmas tree Santas.      


I want to thank Amanda for letting me share my love of cookies with you today!
I'm Diane and I blog at Created by Diane.

Cookies are especially nice at Christmas time, but these cookies can be adapted to meet any occasion. This is my favorite cookie recipe. I bake an Italian Cookie, the type you'd find in an Italian bakery. They aren't as sweet as sugar cookies and rise up nicely, hold their shape and have a cake like quality to them that is irresistible. They have a lovely vanilla taste with a sweet icing on top.


Follow the recipe to bake the cookies, and then these directions for icing:

To start decorating, begin with a cooled cookie and prepare icing according to the recipe. Place icing in a piping bag with a #2 tip for outlining your design.


Outline your cookie. Leave just a little cookie showing so the icing won't fall off the edge when you fill it.  When you do this, hold the tip slightly off the surface of the cookie and just let the icing fall down onto the cookie for a smooth line. Don't stretch the icing.

I outline 6 cookies then fill them in, and the outline is not very noticeable; allowing it a couple of minutes to set up helps the other icing from falling off the edge.


Then to fill in the icing, you can use the same piping bag or you can switch to a #3 tip to make it easier. If it's not filling in completely within 10 seconds use a tooth pick or the tip of the icing and swirl the icing to fill in the empty spaces.


If you are using two or more colors, finish one color first and allow it to set up, then work with the other colors; that way the colors are less likely to run into each other which happens often with darker colors.



This is a great trick to get sprinkles to stick on a portion of the cookies especially if you don't want more icing added. If you are working on a large batch, this works well, once the area has dried I take a small paintbrush and lightly apply a stroke of vodka to the area you want sprinkles. If you are covering the entire cookie in sprinkles then just apply the sprinkles when the icing is still wet.

Christmas Cookies,cookie,iced cookie

Once the icing has dried (about an hour) you can apply some details without it bleeding. I piped on a simple snowflake with the white icing and #2 tip.

Allow your cookie to set overnight. They will not get stale, the icing is covering the majority of the cookie and they will still taste fresh and delicious. 

This project can be broken up into stages and you can make the cookies ahead of time. Just place them in a covered container, and ice them another day. When I work on a large project (8-10 dozen with multiple colors) I break it up and work on them for three days, especially if I'm wrapping them individually, that takes time.

Hope you enjoy the cookies, and Merry Christmas!


  1. Have fun on your vacation! Norway sounds like so much fun. I'm hoping you capture the sights for your blogger friends back on US soil =) Cheers.

  2. Beautiful cookies! Thank you so much for the post. My neighbor uses the vodka like you do, but I've yet to venture there. Just lovely!

    Yep... we are on vacation!! No school, no dance driving, nothing but catching up for a few days. Have a safe trip, we are eager to hear about your adventure when you return.
    It's "storming" here in San Diego! Windy and rainy... kind of fun for a change!

  3. Happy holidays Amanda! I'm on holiday for two weeks too yuhuuu and although I'm not travelling anywhere I'm very happy of having some time to relax and bake without being in a rush. One of my project is to practice cookies decoration so this post comes at the right time. Thanks Amanda and Diane! These are great

  4. what a pretty blue icing! Merry Christmas to you both. Theresa

  5. So cute! A great idea.

    Merry Christmas!



  6. Vodka! What a neat trick! Does the alcohol evaporate by the time the cookie is eaten?

  7. Yay for vacation! Enjoy your time in Ohio :)

    And Diane, your cookies look beautiful! The detail in your decorating is just lovely--perfect for a holiday cookie platter. Thank you for sharing :)

  8. What a cool idea about the vodka! Very pretty cookies.

    Have a great time on vacation!

  9. Beautiful! Great guest post. I love cilantro too. I am sad that our oldest daughter seems to be allergic to it:-( It makes her nose & lips turn bright red and itch. I make a smaller cilantro-free version of my favorite recipes so she can eat them too.

  10. This supports my opinion that vodka is MAGIC! It fixes everything! esp. akward christmas parties... and now cookies? fab!

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  11. Great cookies, greater tips! Nice to see you over here.

  12. Fantastic post! I'd always wondered how you get those so pretty.... Now I must try it!

  13. You are INFINITELY better than I am with decorating cookies! I need to take a masterclass from you!

    Have a wonderful holiday with the family, my lovely =)

    Jax x

  14. Hope you had a small sip of the Vodka while you are at it... thanks for the tip

  15. These are almost too pretty to eat - just beautiful! I love the blue!


  16. VODKA!! HA! I LOVE IT!

    Great tutorial, Amanda!

  17. I don't start my vacation until AFTER Christmas when we head to Colorado for a ski trip! Have fun on your vacation though.. sounds like a great time! Enjoy the holidays with your family in Ohio and in the meantime I'll be gawking at these beautifully decorated cookies!

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