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25 Spiced Christmas Recipes That Star Anise

Check out these anise recipes, including cakes, cookies and more, that are must-haves at your next holiday celebration.

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Double-Drizzled Biscotti

Semisweet and white chocolate drizzles give these biscotti a pretty look. The baking time is shorter than for some biscotti, so they're a little softer. —Cheryl Ludemann, Boonville, New York
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Gingerbread with Fig-Walnut Sauce

I experimented with aniseed this past holiday season and fell in love with the licorice flavor. It really enhances the gingerbread spices and fig sauce in this extraordinary cake. —Shelly Bevington-Fisher, Hermiston, Oregon
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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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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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Lebkuchen

It's tradition for my family to make these German treats together. The recipe came from my great-grandmother's cookbook, and judging from the amount of requests I get, it has certainly stood the test of time. —Esther Kempker, Jefferson City, Missouri
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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 Gumdrops

With their bright color and frosty sugared look, these homemade gumdrops are irresistible. They're softer than the store-bought kind and have tongue-tingling anise flavor. —Richard Bunt, Painted Post, New York
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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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Licorice Caramels

Licorice Caramels

Fans of black licorice won't be able to stop eating these gooey caramels. I appreciate their ease of preparation. —Donna Higbee, Riverton, Utah
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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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Wild Rice & Cranberry Loaves

This is an incredibly fragrant bread with lots of texture from wild rice and dried cranberries. It's hearty enough for sandwiches, but with a touch of honey, I could even eat this for dessert! —Barbara Miller, Oakdale, Minnesota
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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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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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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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Mole Poblano

You'll love this rich, thick mole sauce with it's authentic flavor. The result is well worth the prep. mdash; Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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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.
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Plum Anise Jam

Growing up, my father loved black licorice and all my siblings and I loved it as well. I still love the flavor of black licorice but can't eat the candy anymore for health reasons. This recipe reminds me of the flavor I loved as a child. The delicious jam tastes great with Brie or goat cheese and crackers. —Jill Grueninger, Mequon, Wisconsin
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Glazed Pfeffernuesse

Our version of the classic German cookie is nice to have on hand throughout the holiday season. They 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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Sweet and Golden Easter Bread

It is an Italian tradition to make this sweet, golden braid at Easter. This family heirloom recipe came from my mother-in-law and was passed down to her from her mother. If you're not a fan of raisins, the bread is just as wonderful without them. —Kathi West, Canton, Michigan
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Any-Season Fruit Bowl

A refreshing fruit salad like this one is a welcome addition to a any meal. A hint of anise gives it festive flavor, and it looks gorgeous on a buffet table. —Frances Stevenson, McRae, Georgia
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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
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Spiced Coffee

I’ve found that those who aren’t necessarily coffee fans often change their tune when they get a whiff of this chocolaty coffee drink. I like to serve up a big batch at parties. —Joanne Holt, Bowling Green, Ohio
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Pfeffernuesse Cookies

A German holiday tradition, these fragrant cookies pack a warm rush of spices in every bite. Also called peppernuts, they go wonderfully with coffee or tea.—Joanne Nelson, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
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Herbed Turkey with Citrus Dressing

Herbed Turkey with Citrus Dressing

This tasty turkey recipe is a spin on traditional herb flavors. The citrus hints refresh your taste buds!—Susan Voigt, Plymouth, Minnesota

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.
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