I recently brought my husband with me on a shopping trip when he spied Christmas-colored nonpareils. He “suggested” they would look great on anise cookies…hint, hint. Because I’m such a good wife, and because I like to get nice presents (heh heh), I decided to make some for the holidays.
First I searched every recipe book I own (a lot!) and came up with nothing. Maybe they go by another name? Then I thought I could get the recipe from my mother-in-law, since we were supposed to get together over the weekend. Well, the nor’easter kept us snowed in and I never got it. Finally I searched around online. CD Kitchen had what, at first glance, looked like a decent recipe.
I started working on the cookies and got to the part about the 7 teaspoons of baking powder. What?? Seven? As in 1-2-3-4-5-6-7??? That can’t be right. I gave up sticking to the recipe at that point and did my own thing. So here it is. I’m quite pleased with the way it turned out.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon anise extract
- 2/3 cup light cream or half-and-half
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- colored nonpareils (party decoratifs), for sprinkling
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, anise extract and cream and beat well.
- In another bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt with a whisk. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix well.
- Refrigerate dough for at least one hour.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Form dough into small balls and place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with the tips of your fingers. Bake approximately 12 minutes, or until bottom just begins to brown. Remove to racks to cool.
- For icing, combine melted butter, milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk in the sugar until smooth.
- Working with a few cookies at a time, dunk tops of cooled cookies into the icing, then sprinkle with nonpareils. Allow icing to set completely (about 1 hour) before storing in an air tight container.