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Christmas is coming up fast and it’s time to start thinking about what Christmas cookies we can start making. The good news is I’ve put together a few of our own Italian cookies that can be made ahead of time.
After all, why wait until the last minute?
By making Italian cookies ahead of time, you can store them in the freezer until you are ready to use them or give them away. Simplify your life and plan ahead!
Italian Christmas Cookies to Make Ahead of Time
Here is a list of Italian cookies you can start making ahead of time and even freeze until ready.
These are the best for dunking in espresso or coffee. Make sure your guests are aware of this if they are unfamiliar with authentic biscotti cookies. You don’t have to dip them in chocolate either if you prefer them plain.
This recipe makes approximately a little over two dozen biscotti depending on how thin you slice them. When you remove these from the freezer, you will want them to thaw normally as they are very dry.
Easy Pecan Butterball Cookies
You will probably need to make a few batches of these because the first batch will be eaten by those in your household before you get a chance to freeze them! You can freeze these powdered. Just leave enough time for them to thaw.
Italian Lemon Cookies
These lemon-infused cookies are also associated with Easter and Weddings. But they are most certainly appropriate for Christmas. Keep in mind these expand when baked so don’t make them too big! These can be iced before or after freezing.
I recommend icing before freezing since it takes a good 24 to 48 hours for the icing to get fully hardened.
Italian Pizzelle Cookies
This is my mother’s recipe that I made a few very minor tweaks to. These are thin and crispy – I don’t use baking powder in these. However these can be fragile so I would not store them in bags. Store them in air tight plastic containers.
You can sprinkle them with the confectioners sugar before or after freezing.
Chocolate ToTo Cookies
These delightful chocolate cookie balls are made with lots of cocoa and chopped walnuts. They are coated in icing that uses confectioners sugar and a small splash of whiskey, although the whiskey can technically be omitted.
Italian Lemon Cake
Okay, this isn’t a cookie, but it’s a common Italian dessert used for the holidays. The nice thing is that you can actually freeze the case. I’d avoid adding any of the sugar until the end, sprinkle the sugar before you serve.
Simply make sure the cake has fully cooled, remove the parchment paper if you used any and then wrap it in plastic wrap and/or plastic wrap.
Store in the freezer for 1 – 3 months. Also make sure to place it on a hard surface like a baking sheet so it doesn’t break. You can remove the baking sheet once the cake itself is very hard.
How Long Can You Store Italian Cookies?
You can store either the cookie dough or you can store the baked cookie itself. I recommend storing the baked cookie in the freezer.
I recommend this because it is easier to and quicker to use them when they are needed. It’s one less step you have to worry about when we get closer to Christmas.
Let’s face it, no matter how much we try, Christmas gets hectic.
You can freeze the baked cookies up to 12 months which is awesome! But most of us won’t do that and personally I’d recommend no more than 6 months.
If you decide to store the raw cookie dough, you should only freeze it for 2-3 months.
Issues With Storing Cookie Dough
Not all cookie dough is smooth and pliable like a chocolate chip cookie dough. Depending on the type of cookie you’re making, the dough may actually be pretty sticky.
For example my Italian toto cookies are a perfect example. I’d need to save the dough in an actual container, not a freezer bag. Besides it would be too messy for my preference.
If storing the cookies are meant to save time down the road, then it’s best to just make the whole batch of baked cookies now while you have the time.
Take the baked cookies out of the freezer a day or two before use.
If you’re layering the cookies such as sugar cookies, make sure to use parchment paper between the layers to prevent them from freezing together.
As I continue to devote time to providing you with more and more dessert recipes, I’ll be sure to add to this list.
I hope it helps! Feel free to add your own tips in the comment section below!