When I purchased a bottle of Chinese 5-spice powder from my Watkins lady, this is the recipe that came with it. Chinese 5-spice is a blend of aromatic seasonings and includes the licoricy taste of star anise. You can find Chinese 5-spice prebottled in many grocery stores or at an Asian market (or from your local Watkins rep).
This wonderful recipe was in circulation when I was a kid in the 70s. Years later, a woman brought a tray of these to the office, which I instantly recognized as THOSE COOKIES FROM MY CHILDHOOD, and she refused to give me the recipe (said it was her babysitter's secret recipe)! I searched online (tried several recipes) and asked my friends and family off and on if they'd heard of it, for 10 years. I finally JUST found this online! They are SO GOOD! Bake them for your friends and family and share the recipe with the WORLD! Note, the number of cookies you get will vary - depending on how big you roll the balls.
With all the variations on RecipeZaar I was surprised when I didn't find this one that a friend gave me a few years ago. Its got more peanut butter and more cocoa powder than most other variations so its extra rich in taste. I have used either old-fashioned or quick oatmeal successfully. "Cooking" time is the time required for the cookies to set completely.