Anisette Cookies

"One of those very traditional Italian cookie recipes."

anisette cookies

Anisette cookies are one of those very traditional Italian cookie recipes. This cookie gets it's flavoring from the anise extract. And if you aren't familiar with anise - the closest thing it taste like is black licorice. (Even though licorice isn't a part of the ingredient)

We use anise often in our Italian dessert recipes and I can remember the smell in our house at Christmas time when my mom would make her Anise Biscotti Recipe. She loved to make those to give to the aunties as a hostess gift.

This is NOT one of those bakery pretender wanna-be Italian cookies. These are hard core Italian. And I wouldn't skip the lemon at all - it really compliments the anise! And that's what will make this taste authentic.

The texture of these is almost like a biscuit, but not quite. You will notice that when you make the batter. The batter is crumbly, but will stay together when you pinch into balls. These go side by side with a cup of espresso or coffee. And for many of us, we will have a little shot of anisette too!

It's a one bowl easy to make cookie. That means ONE bowl from recipe to oven. Stretch your taste bud boundaries if you have never tried anise before. And if you want a slightly LESS flavored anise cookie - check out my sesame seed cookies. They are very traditional also - and have a hint of anise if you aren't ready to go all in on the anise.

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Anisette Cookies

YIELD:3 dozen cookies


* 1 cup butter, softened

* 3/4 cups sugar

* 1 teaspoon anise extract

* 1 teaspoon lemon extract (see substitutions below)

* 3 cups flour

* 3 teaspoons baking powder (Yes, really. These guys will puff up. And they are supposed to be airy, almost like a biscuit, but not quite.)

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 3 eggs

Glaze Ingredients:

* 1 cup powdered sugar

* milk (eyeball it, no specific measurement, you choose your consistency)

* colored sprinkles


* Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

* Beat together butter and sugar until creamy.

* Stir in anise and lemon

* Add eggs. Blend.

* Add dry ingredients - blend together.

* The dough should be almost crumbly, but when you roll it in your hand it stays together.

* Form dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. (Try not to get much bigger than 1 inch)

* Bake for

* Cool and glaze.

Can I use something else for the anise?

Uh - NOOOO! No Way. That's what these are - anisette cookies!

What is anise anyway?

It's a spice that comes from a feathery tall plant. The most common flavor people compare it to is licorice. But neither licorice nor anise are related.

Out of lemon extract?

I've actually used fresh squeezed lemon juice. (Not the gross bottle stuff! FRESH) I used 1 tablespoon. I've known others to use vanilla. I used 1 tablespoon. I've known others to use vanilla.

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