The idea of a lemon cookie–a soft, cakey dough that’s not overly sweet enrobed in a tart confectioner’s sugar-glaze–has always been as ubiquitous as a chocolate chip cookie to me though I never thought twice about why that was the case. Turns out the dessert is a Southern Italian creation, which explains their presence in my life (my mother’s Sicilian) and in the tri-state New York area (flooded as it was with Southern Italian immigrants). Known as anginetti, there are many, many variations on the recipe–butter, shortening, oil, milk, wine, anise, and orange all make or don’t make appearances–and they’re often formed into different shapes. I’ve tried a few different versions, but this one with its braided twist is perfect for Easter and spring.
3 cups powdered sugar (for glaze), plus more as needed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour and baking powder and set aside.
With a mixer, cream together eggs and granulated sugar. Add oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla and combine. Add in flour mixture and mix together until smooth.
Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop out a ball of dough. Roll into a smooth rope and bend into a “U” shape. Twist the loose ends together two or three times and press ends together.
Bake for about 15 minutes, turning the cookie sheet half way through. Remove from oven and tray and cool.
For the glaze: Mix together 3 cups of powdered sugar and ⅓ cup lemon juice, thinning or thickening by adjusting the amount of juice or sugar. Dip or submerge the cookies in the glaze and place on a wire rack to dry.