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.
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.