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19 Anise-Flavored Cookies to Make This Christmas

Anise-flavored cookies add sophistication to your holiday cookie plate. The delicate licorice flavor is distinct, but not overwhelming; it's the perfect taste for the Christmas season!

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This recipe was adapted from one that my Italian-born mother and grandmother followed. They used old irons on a gas stove, but now we have the convenience of electric pizzelle irons. These delectable cookies are still a traditional treat in our family. —Elizabeth Schwartz, Trevorton, Pennsylvania
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Frosted Anise Sugar Cookies

These soft, cake-like cookies have a pleasant anise flavor that's distinct but not overpowering. I add red and green sprinkles for Christmas, but you could decorate them to suit any occasion.—Janice Eanni, Willowick, Ohio
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German Christmas Cookies

This little spice cookie tastes very European and is similar to Pfeffernüsse or “peppernut.” We make ours with cozy spices, anise flavoring, almonds and candied citron. —Carole Mueller, Florissant, Missouri
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Cherry Biscochitos

I discovered the wonderful anise flavor of biscochitos, which are traditional cookies of New Mexico. I created my own version with maraschino cherries and fresh cranberries. —Mary Shivers, Ada, Oklahoma
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Double-Drizzled Biscotti

Semisweet and white chocolate drizzles give this biscotti a pretty look. You don’t bake it as long as some biscotti, so they’re a little softer. —Cheryl Ludemann, Boonville, New York
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Grossmutter's Peppernuts

Before Christmas, my grandmother would bake peppernuts and store them until the big day. When we came home from school, the whole house would smell like anise and we knew the holiday season was about to begin. —Marilyn Kutzli, Clinton, Iowa
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Star Anise-Honey Cookies

When I was growing up, my mother made many desserts and pastries with anise. Today, I continue the tradition with these cookies, which are flavorful and great for decorating in a variety of ways. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Anise Icebox Cookies

These crisp, old-fashioned spice cookies are one of my favorite anise recipes to cook up—especially around the holidays. —Sharon Nichols, Brookings, South Dakota
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Anise Cutout Cookies

Mother prepared these soft cookies for holidays and special-occasion meals. My seven siblings and I gobbled them up as fast as she made them. I still can't resist the cinnamon-sugar coating. —Jerri Moror, Rio Rancho, New Mexico
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Pfeffernusse are a traditional German cookie, and as with any folk tradition, there are lots of variations! These mild spice cookies, perfect for dunking, come from an old family recipe, and are made with crushed aniseed instead of extract. —Betty Hawkshaw, Alexandria, Virginia
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Italian Honey Clusters

My mother made these treats flavored with cinnamon and anise for neighbors, teachers and anyone who stopped by. Make sure the honey doesn’t boil longer than a minute or it could burn. —Sarah Knoblock, Hyde Park, Indiana
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Holiday Peppernuts

We have many pecan trees in this part of the country, so I like to make recipes with the nuts. I usually make these cookies during the holidays. —Chandra Koehn, Rich Hill, Missouri
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Easy Bizcochitos

Bizcochitos, with their wonderful citrus and spice flavors, are special cookies we look forward to each year. It just isn’t Christmas Eve at our house if we don’t have these cookies with mugs of Mexican hot chocolate. —Edwina Gadsby, Hayden, ID
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Peppery Snaps

I love to bake, and spend most of my time at it. I have a job as a baker and keep my family supplied with baked goods. May father-in-law said he’d love a cookie that was “real snappy,” so I combined recipes to get this one. —Joanie Elbourn, Gardner, MA
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Chocolate-Dipped Anise Biscotti

Classic biscotti cookies take on a whole new level of deliciousness with help from licorice-laced aniseed. Wrap up these sweet treats for your friends and family to enjoy with a steaming cup of coffee. —Leslie Kelley, Klamath Falls, Oregon
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Glazed Pfeffernuesse

Our version of the classic German cookie is made with liquid anise extract, and coated in a glaze before being rolled in powdered sugar. These cookies stay fresh—and become more intense in flavor—when stored in an airtight container for weeks. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Anise & Wine Cookies

My grandmother did not speak English very well, but she knew the language of great food. These wine cookies are crisp and best eaten after being dunked in even more wine. —Julia Meyers, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Frosted Anise Cookies

I love anise flavoring, and my nana loved sugar cookies, so I put them together. These have a soft, from-scratch texture. It’s hard to stop at just one! —Rachele Angeloni, North Providence, Rhode Island
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Anise Biscotti

My aunt would make anise recipes all the time for dessert and these biscotti were my favorite. I can remember walking into the house and I'd almost swoon when I smelled them baking—the aroma seemed to fill every room. —Esther Perea, Van Nuys, California

Hazel Wheaton
Hazel is a writer and editor who has worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years in the fields of travel, jewelry arts and food. As the editor of the Taste of Home Christmas Annual (among other titles), she's in the holiday spirit all year round. An enthusiastic baker, she's known for her cookies, cakes and other baked goods. And she still wishes she could cook like her mother.