So many memories come to mind, near and far, when I think about the Holiday Season and baking Christmas Cookies with my grandmother, mother, brother, and son. The process always consists of days of prepping, baking, and decorating, topped off with eating all of the delicious goodies of course! While hundreds of recipes come to mind, one of my very favorite is the Italian Anisette Cookie! Not only are these my favorite during Christmas and the Holiday Season, but they can be made year-round for so many other occasions or for the very best reason…just because!
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3 teaspoons pure anise extract (almond extract or lemon extract can be substituted)
2 tablespoons milk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or use a non-stick cookie sheet.
3. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until well mixed/blended. (I prefer to use a wooden spoon.)
4. Add eggs and anise extract and blend well. (Almond extract or lemon extract can be substituted in place of anise extract if you prefer.) After blended, add milk and mix well.
5. In separate dish, combine flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix well.
6. Add dry ingredients to your mixing bowl and mix well, but don’t over mix. Your dough will be sticky.
7. Roll dough with hands into 1 inch balls (yes dough is sticky) and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. (Cookies will rise to about double their size.)
8. Bake 10 – 12 minutes depending on the size of your ball. (Extra time will be needed if you have made larger cookies.) Bottoms of cookies will be lightly brown and cookie will be soft to touch.
9. Remove from oven and let stand on cookie sheet for 5 minutes.
10. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack and let cool 15 – 20 min, until completely cooled and ready for icing.
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons half & half or milk
1 teaspoon anise extract (almond extract or lemon extract can be substituted)
1. In bowl whisk together confectioners sugar, half & half, and anise extract. (If you have substituted the anise extract in your cookie recipe do the same for your glaze.) Glaze should be thick, as it will set easier.
2. Dip completely cooled top/face of cookie in glaze and place back on wire rack. Allow to set.
3. Decorate with candy sprinkles, nonpareils, or sugar sprinkles before glaze completely hardens.
4. Store in airtight container. Makes about 24 cookies.
Please share this recipe with family and friends so they can enjoy this delicious Italian treat too!
Wishing you a Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Merry Christmas to all…and to all a good night! Enjoy!