A traditional Italian Easter cookie, this pretty, shaped cookie is all about flavoring and coloring the frosting. In our family, the frosting is made in four flavors: almond (colored green), lemon (yellow), orange (orange), and anise (blue).
1Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Measure flour into a large bowl. Mix in salt and baking powder.
2In another large bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer), blend margarine, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix in eggs one at a time. Slowly, or on low speed, add powdered sugar and flour mixture. Blend until a soft dough forms.
3Place the dough on a floured board and knead well, at least five minutes. Cut off a small piece or dough and roll to the thickness of a pencil. Cut into approximately 3 inch pieces and twist into braids and knots.
4Place shaped dough on a greased cookie sheet, about an inch and a half apart. Bake 12-15 minutes. Do NOT over-bake! Take them out before they brown or they'll be dry. Cool on a cookie rack completely before frosting.
5In a medium bowl, blend powdered sugar, butter, milk and coffee, adjusting powdered sugar and milk as needed to create a smooth frosting. Divide frosting into four smaller bowls. First flavor each bowl, adjusting amount of flavored extract to taste. After desired flavor is achieved, color each bowl with a few drops of food coloring. Traditionally, the colors are kept muted, but they can be made as bright as desired. Once the frosting is colored, frost cooled cookies.