Anisette Cookies

by Beth on April 13, 2010

My local grocery store’s bakery makes the most amazing Anisette Cookies – soft pillows of anisette goodness coated with a delicate sugar glaze.  They are especially tasty when consumed with a cup of piping hot Lady Grey tea.

On Sunday, I found myself planning a last-minute dinner with my parents and realized that I didn’t have anything to serve with tea after our meal.  With at 90 minutes to spare before our company arrived, I could have run to the store to pick up a pack of cookies, but I decided to bake my own.  A quick search on yielded this fantastic recipe for Italian Anisette Cookies.

Since I didn’t want to have too many extra cookies lying around after dinner (if I bake them, I will eat them!), I halved the recipe and ended up with about 30 smaller cookies.  They were so easy to make – only 60 minutes elapsed from the time I started measuring my ingredients to when I dipped the last cookie.  I even had time to work on other food preparation while the cookies baked.

I followed the recipe exactly as written.  I did find that the icing required more water than noted in the recipe, so I just  kept adding a little at a time until I was able to achieve the desired consistency.    Some of the reviewer comments provided helpful information concerning how to tell that the cookies are done – it’s important to not let the cookies brown or even turn golden on the top.  I baked them for 8 minutes as directed and the resulting cookies were soft and fluffy, yet stable.

As expected, these cookies were delicious – the perfect complement to a relaxing cup of tea.  Some reviewers altered the recipe to use either almond extract or lemon extract in place of the anise… now I can’t wait to make tasty little lemon drops!

Anisette Cookies

Yields about 60 cookies

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp anise extract

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp hot water (at least)
1 tsp anise extract

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and white sugar.
3. Make a well in the center and add oil, milk, 1 tablespoon anise extract, and eggs. Mix together until dough is sticky.
4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet, 1 inch apart. Flatten top slightly.
5. Bake for 8 minutes.
6. Dip cookies in icing while warm.

To Make Icing: Blend in 1 teaspoon anise extract and enough hot water to 1 cup confectioner’s sugar to form a smooth icing.

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