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Italian Love Knot Cookies

(Makes about 24 cookies)
Italian Knot Cookies
This soft, slightly crumbly citrus-flavored cookie is known by a variety of names;  Knot Cookies, Lemon
Knots, and Anginetti are just a few.  They are traditional Italian cookies that are usually made for special
occasions, especially weddings.  Their shape is symbolic of two people tying the knot or of two people's
lives that are becoming entwined.  This romantic symbolism also makes them appropriate to serve at
bridal showers or on Valentine's Day.  Traditionally they are flavored with lemon juice and zest but you
may substitute orange juice and zest or another flavoring such as anise.  You may also wish to use
lemon or orange juice in the icing in place of the almond extract in this recipe.  Change the color of the
sprinkles to reflect the season or add a little food coloring to the icing. Shades of pink, yellow, and
lavender icing make beautiful Easter cookies or do red and white for Christmas cookies.

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest

1-1/2 cups confectioners'  sugar
4 to 5 tablespoons milk or half-and-half
1 teaspoon almond extract
Colored sprinkles


To make the cookies:
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lemon juice and zest.
Gradually add the flour mixture, beating well to combine. The dough will be soft.
Wrap the dough in wax paper and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 baking sheets.

Place the dough on a lightly-floured surface. Break off golf-ball size pieces of dough. Roll each piece into a rope about 7 inches long and 1/2 inch in diameter. Tie into a knot with one end poking up in the center. Place 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly.
You want the cookies to be slightly warm when you add the icing.

To make the icing:
In a bowl, stir together the confectioners'  sugar and milk until smooth.
Stir in the almond extract. Add more milk if necessary to make a slightly thin icing. Dip the top of each cookie into the icing. Place the cookies on wire racks and top with the colored sprinkles. Allow the icing to dry before storing.
These cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for about 1 week.
Italian Knot Cookies
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To beat room temperature butter with sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. The process creates tiny air bubbles in a batter which gives baked goods a lighter texture.
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