Dec 3, 2010

Iced Anise Cookies

These are an Italian Anise cookie and are customary around Christmas. I thought they were really good and in the future I will try them with other extracts like lemon and vanilla. They have a cake like texture and are actually quite small, like bite-sized cookies. They look beautiful with the colored sprinkles on them. I thought of little twinkling Christmas lights and among the other cookies on the exchange table these cookies looked really bright and colorful. 

Anise, is a tricky flavoring. People either love it or  hate "strongly dislike" it. I love it, for those of you that don't know...anise tastes similar to black licorice. Even if you don't like licorice you should really give these little gems a try. Don't worry it isn't like eating a piece of black licorice, more like eating a cookie that has been hanging around black licorice all day. 

Of all the cookies I brought these were the only ones that I took a few home. I made between 4-5 dozen so the fact that I went home with about 6 cookies isn't that big of deal. I knew that this cookie wasn't for everyone, but I'm glad I brought something a little different and unusual. I love to surprise all the ladies in my recipe group with a burst of flavor for their taste buds.

Let me know if you try these cookies and what you think about them. Oh, if you use salted butter in any of the cookie recipes just decrease the amount of salt in the cookies by about 1/4 teaspoon, otherwise, they might be too salty.

Iced Anise Cookies
adapted slightly from Cookie Madness
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon anise extract
2 3/4 cups flour (12.5 oz)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 scant teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons milk plus extra if needed
1  teaspoon anise extract
Multi-Colored Sprinkles
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick foil.
Beat the sugar, melted butter, eggs, milk and anise extract together using low speed of a hand-held mixer.
Thoroughly stir together the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the batter and stir just until blended.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoons, shaping a little to form nice rounds, 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets and bake on center rack for 10 to 14 minutes or until bottoms of cookies are light golden. Cool on wire racks.
Make icing. Mix the sugar and melted butter together until the sugar is moist. Add the milk and beat well until smooth. Beat in the anise extract. It should be thick but pourable. Place a piece of paper towel under your cooling rack so that the glaze can drip through, then spoon it gently over the cookies.
Sprinkle with candy sprinkles.
Makes 4-5 dozen cookies.

1 comment:

Loving Touch Wet Bags said...

I'm curious to try these!
You're the first person besides my grandma and mom that I've seen use anise with baking!
My grandma has an amazing recipe handed down from generations using both the anise liquor and the extract! I'm curious to try these sometime!