Italian Anise Cookies

Italian Anise Cookies

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These anisette cookies will have all your guests swooning. These classic Italian goodies are a holiday favorite, make a batch for your next gathering!


Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 72 cookies
Calories: 63cal



  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. anise extract can use vanilla or lemon extract instead


  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar sifted
  • 3 Tbsp. milk


For cookies:

  • Melt butter and shortening together. Add the sugar; mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the anise extract. Sift or whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture gradually. If the dough is too sticky to roll in the palm of your hand, add flour until firmer, but it should be very soft. Roll dough in small balls (these tend to really puff up with all the baking powder in them!) and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake @ 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes (the bottom should be lightly browned but the tops should remain light). Remove cookies to wire rack and cool completely before glazing.


  • Mix milk GRADUALLY into confectioners’ sugar to make a thick glaze… make sure to keep it on the thick side. Dip top of each cookie into glaze. Sprinkle with colored jimmies or nonpareils while glaze is still wet. I usually dip 10-12 cookies, return them to the wire rack (with wax paper under the racks to aid in clean up!) and then sprinkle those cookies before starting to dip more.

Amanda’s notes:

  • I dipped and sprinkled 5 at a time, that seemed to be the magic number before the glaze would start to harden.


  • You can substitute 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. almond extract for the anisette if you really don’t like licorice flavor.
  • Makes a lot of cookies, depending on how large you roll them.
  • Dip and sprinkle 5 cookies at a time, that seemed to be the magic number before the glaze would start to harden.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 63cal | Carbohydrates10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 57IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

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