Traditional Italian Christmas Cookies – Twiins Style

It’s hard to believe we are at the end of the first week in December! Time to start baking our family’s traditional Christmas cookies to have ready to mail out to family members on the West Coast & beyond.

If you’ve never tried these recipes before, this is the time to start. Nothing says it’s the beginning of the holiday season like baking our Italian bakery-style cookies. They are delicious! My 8-year-old grandson is visiting from NY and he said the Rainbow Cookies are “Amazing”…music to our ears!

Make sure you have plenty of all-purpose flour, butter, almond paste, chopped pistachios, pignolias (pine nuts), chopped dates, and bittersweet chocolate chips on hand because these cookies fly off the plates.

Merry Christmas and enjoy!

Italian Rainbow Cookies


Pignoli Cookies

Replace pignoli with sliced almonds topped with a candied cherry or chopped pistachios

The Best Gluten-Free New York Style Black & White Cookies

Date Nut Bread

(not a cookie but a long-time Christmas Morning tradition)

Date Nut Bread

Date Nut Bread

  • Servings: 1 loaf (about 16 slices)
  • Difficulty: Easy

I have been making this date nut bread every Christmas morning for what seems like forever! Originally I got this recipe from my longtime friend, Linda O'Donnell. We were next door neighbors and best friends since 1970. A lot of baking went on between us during our children's youth. Every Christmas morning Gary & I would spread some cream cheese on a slice, grab a cup of coffee and watch the kids open presents. We absolutely love it.


  • 1 ½ cups chopped dates ( I use Sun Maid or Dole)
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts – nuts may be omitted)
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Grease a 9¼ x 5¼ x 2¾ loaf pan with butter or cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter & brown sugar with dates.
  • Pour the boiling water over the date mixture and cool.
  • When cool, add beaten egg & dry ingredients. Beat well.
  • Add nuts &  vanilla. Stir well.
  • Bake in loaf pan for 1 hour & 10 minutes or until knife comes out clean from center.
  • When slightly cool, remove from loaf pan and continue cooling on rack.
  • After completely cooled, cover in plastic wrap to keep moist.

Note: No need to wait for Christmas! Enjoy this anytime with cream cheese or butter spread on top.

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

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