I feel like I’ve said every cookie is my favorite Christmas cookie. I must just really love cookies (well, duh) because these are one of my very favorites as well!
Anise is definitely a love it or hate it flavor and I love it. If you’ve ever had any kind of Italian cookies, you’ve probably tasted anise before. It’s kind of like a black liquorice or fennel flavor, and it goes perfectly in these light, slightly crisp cookies.
I Googled anise out of curiosity, and found some fun facts! According to Wikipedia,
- Builders of steam locomotives in Britain incorporated capsules of aniseed oil into white metal plain bearings, so the distinctive smell would give warning in case of overheating.
- Anise has been used to treat menstrual cramps.
- According to Pliny the Elder, anise was used as a cure for sleeplessness, chewed with alexanders and a little honey in the morning to freshen the breath, and, when mixed with wine, as a remedy for asp bites.
So now you know.
Enough learning, let’s bake now! I made an almond version of these cookies for Mardi Gras a couple years ago. If you want to see step-by-step photos, check out that post here.
Day 8: Anise Cookies
- 3/4 cup margarine, melted
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 1/2 cups flour, sifted
- 5 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp anise extract
- 4 eggs
for the icing
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp flour
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- Nonpareils (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use a mixer to mix all ingredients thoroughly. Roll 1/2 teaspoons of dough into balls and place on a greased or lined baking sheet.
Bake 10 minutes and cool on wire racks. When cool, prepare icing. Combine powdered sugar and flour in a bowl. Add milk a few drops at a time until icing is is just thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle icing over cookies and sprinkle with nonpareils.
These are my faves. Will they be traveling?
Not sure how good they will still be, but I will bring some!
How many will this recipie make?
I love anise cookies, I know Greek ones from my friend’s grandma. I’m just surprised about the flour in the icing without cooking it, butI guess it’s fine.
Thanks for the recipe. I will make these soon.
Hi Fabby! The flour is just to hold the icing together a bit (think paper mache!) But I promise you don’t taste it at all!