This is my grandmother's recipe, but since I didn't have a chance to know her I think of them as my mom's cookies. She uses 5 pounds of flour in her batch because she makes them once a year for the family reunion, so I whittled her recipe down into a 4 dozen batch. The amount of anise is up to you. If you think you didn't add enough anise to the cookies, you can add some to the icing. I like to leave some of them unfrosted since they're pretty darn good plain.
- Combine the flour, sugar and heaping tablespoon of baking powder.
- In another bowl whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil and anise extract.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients. Dough will be sticky, add up to an extra 1/4 cup of flour if needed.
- Shape cookies as desired (lightly oiled hands will help). One way to do it: roll about 2 tablespoons of dough between hands until you have a rope, fold rope in half and twist. You can also just make little dough patties.
- Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (this is good for dark nonstick sheets, you might need to bake a little longer if using airbake sheets).
- Remove from cookie sheets and let cool completely.
- To make icing, melt butter then add milk. Gradually mix in powdered sugar. Add more sugar or milk until at desired spreading consistency.
- Frost cookies. Icing will harden quickly so add non-pareils or other sprinkles immediately after frosting each cookie.