When most Italians see Anisette cookies they think of their Nonnas in the kitchen baking these delicious cookies during the holidays. It is virtually impossible to have an Italian Christmas without these delicious Italian Anisette cookies ! The sweet anise extract in them gives them the taste of black licorice, which is common is various Italian Christmas cookies. They are known for their soft and airy texture. Their icing and sprinkles add to the Christmas spirit!
Recipe adapted from the Italian-American page
- 1½ sticks of unsalted butter
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs, room temp
- ½ cup milk, room temp
- 5 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 6 generous teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons anise extract (can use lemon or almond extract)
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
- ½ pound of confectioners’ sugar
- 6 tablespoons milk
- Preheat the over to 400 degrees F. Place flour, baking poder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar
- Add the eggs one at a time and mix well. Next, mix in the anise. Add in milk and flour, alternating portions of each until they are all combined.
- Turn dough onto a floured board and knead until dough is firm and not sticky (add more flour if needed.
- Break off a handful of dough at a time and roll into long pencil, cut into 5 or 6 inch pieces. Shape into ‘S’ shape on ungreased cookie sheet. These cookies will puff up. Bake approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove to cool on rack, then frost. Makes about 5 dozen depending on size of cookie.
- In a large bowl, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add in ½ pound of confectioners’ sugar. Stir in milk, stirring to incorporate well, to a desired consistency for frosting the cookies. Brush on cookies or use a spoon, apply sprinkles right away and return to rack to set.
- Let cool completely and store in airtight containers.