Italian Butter Cookies

These are easier than they look and absolutely delicious. The combination of buttery cookies, tart raspberry jam, and chocolate is the perfect blend for the holidays.

close up view of finished cookies.

Italian Butter Cookies

Crisp buttery cookies layered with raspberry jam and dipped in chocolate. This is an impressive Christmas cookie that will be everyone's favorite on the tray.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Serving Size 16 sandwich cookiesss

Equipment

  • Baking Sheet
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer
  • Piping bag
  • Open star tip such as Ateco 869

Ingredients 

Cookie Dough

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Decorating

  • cup raspberry jam
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon shortening
  • sprinkles of your choice

Instructions 

  • Prep. Prepare 2 baking sheets. You do not need parchment or to grease the baking sheets, but parchment makes clean-up easier.
  • Beat wet ingredients and sugar. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This will take at least 3 minutes using a mixer on medium speed. Add the egg yolk and vanilla. Beat 1 minute more.
    beaten sugar and butter.
  • Add dry ingredients. Combine the salt and flour in a separate mixing bowl. Add to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing on low until just combined. The dough should be soft and smooth.
    wet dough.
  • Add milk. Add 1 tablespoon of milk and mix on low. The dough should be very soft and pipeable. If it still seems stiff, add another teaspoon of milk. Keep adding, up to an additional tablespoon if necessary.
  • Pipe and chill. Place the cookie dough into a piping bag fitted with the star tip. Pipe 2-inch strips on the baking sheet. You should be able to fit 12-15 cookies per baking sheet. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Towards the end of the chilling time, preheat the oven to 350.
    dough being piped.
  • Bake and cool. Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes, until the bottoms and edges and golden brown. Let them cool completely on a wire rack before filling and decorating.
    baked plain cookies on cooling rack.
  • Fill and dip. Spread half of the cookies with a thin layer of raspberry jam and place a cook on top to form a sandwich. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave with the shortening and stir until smooth. Dip the cookies into the chocolate and add sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet. Let them cool until the chocolate hardens.
    cookies being spread with jam and dipped in chocolate.

Notes

Use less jam than you think you need!
Make sure to let the cookies bake until the bottoms are golden brown. 
9 oval cookies with ridges dipped in chocolate and rainbow sprinkles

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Beautiful! A piping bag with a star tip makes them look professional even if you’re a beginner.
  • The perfect blend of flavors: raspberry and chocolate are a match made in heaven
  • The base cookies are crisp and buttery.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

ingredients on counter.

Here’s what you’ll need to make these classic butter cookies:

  • unsalted butter softened
  • granulated sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • egg yolks
  • all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • raspberry jam
  • chocolate chips
  • shortening
  • sprinkles of your choice
  • baking sheets
  • stand mixer or hand mixer

🍴Instructions

Step One: Beat wet ingredients and sugar

beaten sugar and butter.

Cream the butter and sugar together until they are light and fluffy. This will take at least 3 minutes using a mixer on medium speed. Add the egg yolk and vanilla. Beat 1 minute more.

Step Two: Add dry ingredients and milk

wet dough.

Add 1 tablespoon of milk to the dough and mix on low. The dough should be very soft and easy to pipe, like a very thick buttercream. If it still seems stiff, add another teaspoon of milk. Keep adding, up to an additional tablespoon if necessary.

Step three: Pipe and chill

dough being piped.

Put the cookie dough into a bag with a star-shaped piping tip. Pipe 2-inch strips of dough on a baking sheet. You should be able to fit 12-15 cookies per sheet. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Towards the end of the chilling time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step Four: Pipe and chill

baked plain cookies on cooling rack.

Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes, until they are a golden brown color. Let them cool on a wire rack before filling and decorating.

Step Five: fill and dip

cookies being spread with jam and dipped in chocolate.

Split half of the cookies and spread a thin layer of raspberry jam on top of each one. Place another cookie on top to create a sandwich. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave with the shortening, and stir until smooth. Dip the cookies into the chocolate, then add sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet. Let them cool until the chocolate hardens.

🥫 Storage instructions

  • Place the cookies in an airtight container and keep them in a cool, dry place. They are so buttery they’ll keep quite well at room temperature, up to a week.
  • If you live in a hot climate, you may want to freeze the cookies.
  • Make sure the cookies are completely cooled before freezing them.

🔍 FAQs

What if I don’t have a star tip?

You can still make these! Put the dough in a large ziplock bag and cut a hole in the corner. You can pipe it out to make smooth ovals, but obviously you won’t have ridges.

Can I do a different shape?

Yes! You can just pipe into a little circle and skip the jam.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Make sure to cream the butter and sugar together until they are light and fluffy. This will take a few minutes but it’s an important step.
  • If you want a really smooth cookie, use a sifter to add the flour to the wet ingredients.
  • Use less jam than you think you need!
  • Make sure to let the cookies bake until the bottoms are golden brown.

📘 Related Recipes

finished cookies showing thin layer of raspberry jam.
Italian Butter CookiesItalian Butter Cookies
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5 Comments

  1. Can you please tell me what kind of chocolate you used to dip the cookies in and also to stuff some with chocolate instead of jam, what would work best? I tried dark chocolate but it was too bitter.

  2. 5 stars
    These cookies are absolutely amazing! I made them for the first time last week. The flavoring of the cookie is better than any of the cookies I’ve bought in the Italian bakery. These have been my favorite cookies since I was a little girl, I never thought it would be this easy to make myself. My husband would never pick this cookie if we bought them from the bakery. He tried these, and couldn’t stop eating them. All my friends loved them! Can’t wait to make them again. The only thing I would do this time is use a bigger star tip. My tip was very narrow, so the cookies were. I bought the new one and am ready to bake again. Thank you so much for this amazing cookie recipe, I definitely will be adding it to my cookie favorites.