Anise is a popular ingredient in Italy, in food and particularly in drinks. Licorice can be hit or miss with most people, and I tend to fall on the miss side. Still, these cookies are wonderful. They have a strong, but not overbearing licorice flavor to them that makes them stand out from the normal butter or sugar cookies. If you don't think you or your family or friends would like anise flavored cookies, feel free to substitute the anise extract with almond extract or vanilla extract. Any of these choices will make for a delicious holiday cookie that is sure to please!
Italian Anise Cookies
Adapted from Woman's Day
Makes about 4 dozen cookies
3/4 cups sugar
8 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup milk plus 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon anise extract
2 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Combine the sugar, butter, eggs, 1/4 cup milk, and 1/2 teaspoon anise extract in a bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Place 1 inch round balls of dough on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10 minutes until the bottom of the cookies are golden brown. The tops of the cookies won't have browned.
- Place on a rack to cool. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Combine the powdered sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons milk, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon anise extract in a bowl. Whisk to incorporate all of the sugar.
- When cooled, dip the top of each cookie in the glaze. Sprinkle with the nonpareils before the glaze sets. Place on wax paper to dry.
Ryan's rating of Italian Anise Cookies - 5.
1 - Awful. If you make this again I'll shove a fork in my eye.
2 - Meh. It's not my favorite, but I won't threaten self-harm if it shows up again.
3 - Good. I wouldn't feel forced to order a pizza behind your back.
4 - Great! I will fight you for the leftovers.
5 - Love it! Make it again tomorrow. Or immediately and I will bathe in it.