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Italian Love Knots

Italian Love Knots

Italian Love Knots

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Italian Love Knots
5.0 rating based on 12,345 ratings
5/5 (10)
Course: Hand-Shaped CookiesCuisine: ItalyDifficulty: Medium

These pretty lemon-flavored Italian Love Knots are traditional for special occasions, especially weddings since they symbolize “tying the knot”.


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract (or marsala wine)

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • milk (if needed)

  • Powdered Sugar Icing

  • sprinkles (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Beat the butter until creamy. Add eggs, sugar and lemon extract and mix well. In a separate bowl combine flour and baking powder. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture, adding a very small amount of milk if the batter is too thick or dry. Mix batter until dough forms. Shape pieces of dough into a thin cigar shape, about 4 or 5 inches long, and then loop the dough into a knot shape. Place knot-shaped dough onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until just barely golden (cookies should remain a very light color). Remove to wire racks to cool. Prepare Powdered Sugar Icing, but add a couple of tablespoons of milk (more or less, as needed), to get a thinner consistency, so you will have a thin coating. Coat cooled cookies with this glaze, and top with sprinkles while wet, if desired.


  • Photo thanks to Anna G cc.
  • Alternate names: Tarallucci al Limone, Italian Lemon Knots, Italian Easter Cookies, Unicetti, Taralli Dolci, Anginetti.
  • Reviewers, please help us out and note the yield! Thanks!



Name & Location
(example: Sue in LA)

Made these and my Aunt said she didn't remember giving me the recipe. They taste just like the ones shes made for 70 or more years. Will definately make them again.
- Norma in Cheektowaga, NY

My Mom made these cookies every Christmas that I can remember and I'm making them still. We would ice the cookies to coincide with the flavor added. Green was for almond, pink for peppermint and white for vanilla flavorings
- Michele in New Jersey

Just made these wonderful cookies. They take me back to Christmas at my Grandmothers. I made them with a lemon icing just as she used to, a definite addition! Powdered sugar mixed with lemon juice and a little water.
- Jo Ann in Florida

Making these cookies brought back memories of baking with my Grandmother so many years ago! She would make almond and anise at Christmas and lemon for Easter.
- Donna in Brick, NJ

These are delicious cookies and the lemon adds a delicious and different flavor to the cookies. They are a favorite among my family!
- Rachael in Goose Lake, Iowa

This recipe is great. Haven't had these since I was kid and missed them. Glad to have found it here. Should add Glaze instead of conf. sugar.
- Becky Dec. 21, 09 in Huntington, MA

Wow just made these cute looking cookies for husband!I dipped the top of mine in a thin icing and sprinkled colored sprinles on top! YUMMY
- Izzy  

i used anise flavoring for the cookies and got the same taste as when my grandma made them at christmas! thank you
- lena in elmsford ny

Made these last year and they were a hit. They even tasted great several days later..delicious as a breakfast treat also!
- Jessica in Florida

This has been a favorite brought by family friend from Italy. We used them at weddings. Added lemon juice to powdered sugar to make a thin icing. Colored the icing pink, green, & white. Or you can make the colors of wedding. Or pink / blue for baby shower!! Enjoy.
-  Barb in Inverness, fl 
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