What a mouthful!
When I met my husband, his Italian grandmother used to make these cookies every Christmas. I remember sitting at her kitchen table watching her roll out the dough and watching my husband delight in teasing her. They called them...and this is spelled how they said it....Sij-eel-ions.
Only recently have I found them online as Italian lemon drop cookies or Anginettes. They look at me oddly when I call them this. I'm not 100% Italian and it shows.
When our dear Nan got into her 90's, my husband asked her for the recipe and wrote it down in his own hand. Nan has passed on and we make the cookies now every Christmas and Easter, as they are now not only my husband's favorite but my oldest son's too. It was sweet this year to watch my husband work the dough and reminisce about his Nan.
Several requests for the recipe, so here it is...
Huge batch/mine made 200 drops Half batch
1/2 lb Lard (Nope. Couldn't do it. I use butter 1/4 lb
1/4 lb butter 1/2 stick butter
Dozen eggs 6 eggs
2 cups sugar 1 cup sugar
12 tsp. baking powder 6 teaspoons
pinch salt pinch
Flour for consistency Flour
(This is hard. For me it came from watching.
It's going to be lots and lots of cups. You want the dough to be dry, like a bread dough. Not like a cookie dough at all. A dry ball of dough.
My addition is that I also add a splash of lemon extract and vanilla extract to this.
Wet a paper towel to lay over the dough while you are cooking batches. You will bake cookies at 375 for 8 minutes maybe. Watch them! You don't want them to cook till hard. They will look like little bread biscuits.
Nan used to roll them out like thick spaghetti and twist them into shapes. Too tiring. I roll them like a ball,a little bigger than a quarter. Then I flatten them with the back of a fork so that the tines make a ridged impression. They will bake up puffy, but the slight ridges give texture for the icing to grab.
Icing - another look and feel situation. Use a new bag of Domino confectioner powder sugar. Experiment adding small amounts of water to it and of course lemon extract to give it strong, lemon flavor. But you want this to be thick and pasty, so that it globs and sticks to cookie. It's messy but you spoon this icing on 5 or 6 cookies at a time and then shake the sprinkles on before the icing sets so the sprinkles stick in.
Save cleaning your kitchen floor until after sprinkling!
These are unique! I don't know anyone else that makes them and they don't taste or look like any other cookie! So as Nan used to say, "Mangia e statti zitto!" (Shut up and eat)