These Anise Cookies are a traditional Christmas cookie flavored with anise extract. They’re soft, cake-like cookies with a melt in your mouth glaze.
For the cookies
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup of milk
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons anise extract (see notes)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus additional ½ cup as needed)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
For the glaze
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½– 1 teaspoon extract to taste (anise, vanilla or almond)
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 3–4 tablespoons milk
For the cookies
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients and beat until well mixed, then add the sugar and continue mixing until well combined.
- Next add 2 cups flour and the baking powder and mix until the dough comes together.
- At this point the dough may be very sticky. If so, add additional flour, a couple tablespoons at a time and work in with your hands until the dough is no longer sticky to the touch.
- Form balls of dough with about 2 teaspoons worth of dough and roll between your palms to form the balls. Place dough balls on the baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 5-6 minutes just until the bottom of the cookies are very light brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool completely.
For the glaze
- Combine the melted butter, extract and powdered sugar and whisk. As the glaze thickens, slowly add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- Dip the top of each cookie in the glaze, gently tap on the side of the bowl to remove excess glaze and add sprinkles. Allow the glaze to harden prior to serving.
Varying amounts of flour: The amount of flour will vary depending on how sticky your dough is. Once the dough starts to form in the mixer, add additional flour 1-2 tablespoons at a time, working it with a spatula or your hands until the dough is no longer sticky between your hands.
Anise extract: Anise extract resembles black licorice. If you prefer something different you can make these with vanilla, almond or even lemon extract. I made them with almond extract and used 1 ½ tablespoons of extract for the cookies. Anise extract is very powerful, so the measured amounts will be different than if you were to use other extracts.
Glaze: You may or may not want to flavor your glaze with extract. Vanilla pairs well with anise if you used anise extract for the cookies.
Freezing instructions: You can prepare the cookies and freeze them unfrosted in an airtight container. Thaw prior to frosting.
Storing frosted cookies: These should be stored in an airtight container. Once the glaze has been added, it will soften the cookie. They are best enjoyed within 2 days of frosting.
How many cookies does this make? If you make them smaller, about 1-2 teaspoon size, they’ll bake for 6 minutes and it makes 36 cookies. If you make them 1 tablespoons size, they will be fairly large, and it will yield 18-22 cookies. You can easily double this recipe for larger batches.
Baking times: I baked several batches for varying amount of time to determine what was best, as even a minute different could result in the bottom of the cookies being overdone. For me, that was 6 minutes for the smaller size cookies. You may want to test a small batch in your own oven prior to baking the full batch.
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Anise Cookie, Italian Cookies, Christmas Cookies