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Italian Anisette Cookies - A Family Feast

Italian Anisette Cookies

Yield: 40 cookies 1x
Prep: 15 minsCook: 10 minsTotal: 25 minutes


1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

2 tablespoons room temperature vegetable shorting

2 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

3/4 cup granulated sugar

4 eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoon anise extract

4 cups flour

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/3 cup whole milk at room temperature


4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon anise extract

1/31/2 cup room temperature milk

Red, green and white jimmies or sprinkles


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixture with paddle attachment, cream butter, shortening and oil for two minutes until fluffy. Add sugar and blend for two more minutes.
  2. Add one egg at a time with mixer on low. Then add extract and combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift flour and baking powder.
  4. With mixture on low, alternate adding flour and milk to combine. Scrape bowl and mix again.
  5. Dough should be soft, a bit sticky but easy to manage.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees with rack in upper third of oven.
  7. On a floured surface, scrape out dough and knead by hand for two minutes.
  8. Using a #40 ice cream scoop (Equivalent to 2 tablespoons), scoop right from the counter onto parchment lined sheet pans or cookie sheets about two inches apart. Roll each into balls between your palms after scooping each pan. Tap counter with pan so they go flat on the bottom and dome shaped on top. Work in batches baking one pan at a time.
  9. Bake for ten minutes, and cool on wire racks once they come out. Bake remaining pans, cooling all before going to next step.
  10. To make the icing, in a medium bowl, place powdered sugar and anise extract, whipping to combine. Then slowly add enough milk to make a thick and creamy icing. Too thin and it will run off cookie, too thick and you will not be able to dip the cookies. Use more or less milk or powdered sugar to get proper consistency.
  11. Use the same parchment lined pans and place cooling rack over them. Prepare a work station by having cooled cookies, rack and parchment lined pans, glaze and sprinkles lined up. One at a time dip top of cookie in glaze then set on rack so glaze drips onto pan below. Do about four at a time, stop and sprinkle the tops with the candy sprinkles. Keep on doing four at a time until done then let sit at room temperature for an hour to let the glaze set up.
  12. After the glaze sets up, you can pick them up without getting sticky fingers. Cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
  13. We made these at night and by the next morning; they were perfect and even seemed to have better flavor and texture. That being said, you should eat or serve these within a day or two, as they will get stale fast. You should not refrigerate.

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One of the keys to this recipe is making sure that the ingredients are at room temperature before mixing. Also – we think the flavor of these cookies improves if you allow them to sit overnight. But be sure to store unrefrigerated in an air-tight container to prevent the cookies from getting stale.

© Author: A Family Feast
Cuisine: Italian Method: baking