Today, I’m sharing these Italian Cookies as part of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014, to benefit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. This is my first time participating in this annual event, which has raised more than $12,000 this year for such a good cause.
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer supports grants for pediatric cancer research to find safer, more effective treatments for kids. Since its launch in 2008 by Gretchen and Larry Witt — whose son Liam was diagnosed at age 2 — the organization’s funding has helped generate nine promising new treatments. These treatments are now in clinical trial and available to children fighting cancer today.
As someone whose own household has been affected by cancer, my heart goes out to all families facing this disease, especially those with children fighting this fight. I baked these cookies with love and prayers for these kids.
This recipe is so special to me. I’ve adapted Mom’s Italian Cookies as I remember them from my childhood. Mom now makes a slightly different version, and just about every Italian family has its own way of making these. But this way is my favorite, because it produces fluffy, tender cookies flavored with vanilla instead of anise. (I’ve never been a fan of anise, which tastes like black licorice.)
I think of these as Italian sugar cookies. They have a soft, almost cake-like texture, thanks to the addition of half and half to the dough. I’d say the flavor is similar to Cookies by Design, if you’ve ever tried those. Yum! And instead of using the typical glaze, Mom uses a cooked one made with light corn syrup, so the cookies have a glossy, smooth finish.
I was so excited the first time I made these. I hadn’t tasted them in so long. And it’s really fun to dip the cookies in the glaze and top them with sprinkles. It’s the perfect job for kids. The grown-up kind, too.
As part of the cookie swap, I sent my Italian cookies to Kathleen, Alison and Christy. And I received cookies in the mail (so fun!) from Ashley, Aimee and Caitlin. You can check out a recipe roundup from the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014 starting Friday. I’ll post the link when it becomes available.
If you’d like to support Cookies for Kids’ Cancer by donating funds, buying cookies or holding a cookie swap or bake sale, click here to learn more.
(Recipe Source: Adapted from my Mom)