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Iced Anise Cookies

“It was a tradition to have these cookies on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. My grandmother always kept some on hand for her grandchildren.”—Elsie Laurenzo Palmer, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    6 dozen


  • 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 2 teaspoons anise extract
  • ICING:
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • Coarse and colored sugars, optional


  • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar and baking powder. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, butter, milk and extract. Stir into dry ingredients until blended. Stir in remaining flour until dough forms a ball. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth.
  • Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into thin 6-in. ropes; twist each rope into a "Q" shape. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For icing, in a small bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar, milk and extract; beat until smooth. Spread over tops of cookies; decorate with sugars if desired.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 56 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 14mg cholesterol, 34mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 starch.
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  • carmelized
    Dec 9, 2013

    I am an 81 year old Italian Grandmother and I have made these cookies for years. My recipe calls for 1/2 cup of butter soft (not melted) and a 1/2 cup sugar beaten together until creamy. Beat in two large eggs, one at a time. Then add 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp anise oil (the kind used to make hard candy) and 1/4 cup milk. Beat until smooth Stir in 1/2 tsp curshed anise seed (optional) add 3 cups of flour, 1 TBSP baking powder . Mix until the dough can be rolled into balls. and then into thin 6" strips. Twist the strips into the wreath shape with tails at the bottom or fold strip in half and twist together. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.Make icing using 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 TBSP of lemon juice and 1 TBSP of milk a little lemon zest and 2 TBSP of melted butter. Drizzle over cooled cookies and sprinkle with colored sugar if desired. Makes about 7 dozen. These cookies will puff up so be sure the strips are pencil thin.Notes: If you can't find the Anise oil, I'm sure the anise extract will do. This icing is very lemony and constrast nicely with the anise flavor.

  • ameve2
    Jul 12, 2011

    No comment left

  • AUNTYJ1976
    Mar 25, 2010

    No comment left

  • shirleymoleno
    Jan 7, 2010

    No comment left

  • jenevan
    Dec 18, 2009

    This was the tenth batch of cookies that some friends and I made yesturday. They were awful. The directions tell you to add the flour until a ball forms, then to knead the dough. After we had added all of our ingredients, the dough was not even close to forming a ball, and could not possibly be kneaded. I added additional flour, almost a cup, to get dough the right consistency. Then I rolled the dough into ropes, forms into a circular twist shape and baked. The end product tastes like a licorice flavored biscuit. I did not ice these, but I can't imagine the icing could improve them that much. I would be embarrassed to serve these. Maybe this recipe would work if the wet ingredients were decreased or butter was softened instead of melted. Yuck.

  • butterflybirds
    Dec 4, 2009

    How do you make the 'Q' shape? Mine came out looking like 'O's with a tail. How would you store these?