Italian Anise Cookies

When I was a young my best friends mother would make these cookies. She would always let us into the kitchen to watch. She would show us what to do and let us watch the cookies bake. I have always had many fond memories of these cookies. Years later I found a recipe that was close to hers. Now it is a staple in my Christmas cookie baking list. I hope you enjoy them. I know I do.

Italian Anise Cookies
*recipe taken from a Women’s Day magazine years ago

3/4 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon anise extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

For glaze:
Multicolored nonpareils
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon anise extract
5 teaspoons milk

For dough:
Heat oven to 325°. Beat first 5 ingredients in a large bowl with mixer until blended. On low speed, beat in next 3 ingredients until blended. Drop rounded measuring teaspoons of dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheet(s). Bake 8 to 10 minutes until bottoms are light golden. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool.

For glaze:
Mix all of the ingredients together to make a smooth consistency. Dip tops of cooled cookies in glaze and, while wet, sprinkle with nonpareils. Let set.


21 thoughts on “Italian Anise Cookies

  1. Hi! I’m sure you’ve been asked this before, but what camera do you use for the photographs you post on here? Also, do you use any type of light box? Your pics always look fantastic! 🙂

    • Thank you sooo much!
      I use a Canon Power Shot S3 IS. My fiance got it for me for my birthday!
      I actually do not use a lightbox. I only use natural light. I find that it makes for a better picture. =)

  2. Sorry about those last 2 posts, entirely accidental. Delete’em if you want.

    What I was going to say was that My wife and I make these every year, but we replace the Anise extract with Vanilla extract and the stick of butter with butter flavored shortening. Delicious!

    Excellent stuff. Thanks for posting!

    • Ooo! Thank you! I am going to have to try them with just vanilla. Anise is an acquired taste…sometimes it comes on too strong!

  3. This recipe for cookies is over 100 years old. My mother made them every year for Christmas. She has long since passed on but I make them every year. I don’t know where the name came from but I think it is German or Hungarian as that is where our family came from. They look very similar to the ones pictured above and the anise is what drew my attention to them. My sister copied all our mom’s hen scratched recopies from the old world. Her apple strudel was the best ever but very time consuming to make. She stretched the dough out over a four by six foot table on a flour covered white sheet then spread the apple filling on the whole thing and rolled it into a six foot roll. She then cut it in half and curled it on baking sheets and baked it. I have that recipe as well if anyone wants it.

    Pfeffernous Cookies

    Recipe By: Margaret

    1 cup white sugar
    3/4 cup honey — heat till thin
    1/2 cup butter
    2 whole eggs
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3 ounces strong coffee – or instant — cold
    3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon allspice
    3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon anise oil
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamin
    4 cups flour – or more

    This makes a soft dough. Chill overnight and in between, baking each pan of cookies. Must be baked as cold as possible to maintain domed shape.

    Roll dough into walnut size balls. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.

  4. I cannot wait to try these cookies – they look delicious! My brother-in-law intentionally mispronounces “anise” so I think I’ll make some of these cookies for him and we’ll have a good laugh.

  5. Pingback: Christmas Cookies 2009 « Delightfully Sweet

  6. My boyfriend is SOOOOO going to love these. Anise is one of his favorite flavors. I tried to incorporate it into the pizzelles I make each year, but the flavor seemed to burn away.

    I am so very glad we discovered each other this year.

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