Italian Christmas Cookies

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3½ cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 cups sifted confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 tsp. water (which is 2 tablespoons, as there are 3 teaspoons per tablespoon)
In a bowl, sift together the 3½ cups of all-purpose flour and 4 tsp. baking powder. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the ½ cup butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the 2 tsp. vanilla extract.
Gradually add in the sifted flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
Knead the dough until it is firm and not sticky, adding a little more flour if necessary.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper.
Take small portions of dough and roll them on a floured surface into 6-inch strips. Twirl into shape and place on the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned but the tops remain light.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Combine the 2 cups of sifted confectioners’ sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla extract, and 6 tsp. (2 tablespoons) of water in a bowl until just smooth. The icing should be more thick than thin, but still runny.
Dip the tops of the cooled cookies into the icing, then return them to the wire rack. Allow the icing to drip down the sides of the cookie.
If desired, apply sprinkles while the icing is still wet for decoration.
Let the cookies sit until the icing sets before serving or storing. Enjoy your Italian Christmas cookies

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