Iced Anise Cookies

Iced Anise Cookies

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.

Iced Anise Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: About 58 cookies

Iced Anise Cookies


  • 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
  • For the Icing
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • colored nonpareils (party decoratifs), for sprinkling


  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, anise extract and cream and beat well.
  2. In another bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt with a whisk. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix well.
  3. Refrigerate dough for at least one hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  5. 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.
  6. For icing, combine melted butter, milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk in the sugar until smooth.
  7. 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.


Iced Anise Cookies — 4 Comments

  1. Were these cruchy? Or bready? I made some (not your recipe) before Xmas and they were more like biscuits than cookies…not what I expected.

    • They’re definitely not chewy or crisp like the cookies I’m used to. They are soft though. They’re almost like a dense cake texture.

  2. I had these yesterday at a friends house, her landlord, a very nice older lady baked them fresh for New Year’s. They reminded me of the Italian struffoli (honeyballs) with the sprinkles but even tastier. I asked my relatives if these similar treats are Italian in origin and if they had a certain name but they were not sure…