By Cookin'Diva on March 01, 2007
Photo by Cookin'Diva
Photo by Cookin'Diva
"These delicate cake-like cookies are glazed with icing and topped with colorful candy sprinkles. They have a mild anise flavoring, which is very typical of Italian baked goods. My family always served these cookies at holidays, weddings or special celebrations, but now that I know the recipe, I can enjoy them all year long!"
Serving Size: 1 (25 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 40
"I have been trying to get this cookie right for three years now. I had almost given up. As an Irish girl, I have ZERO experience with this cookie. I had never had it before and didn't know how it was supposed to taste. The first time I made them (from another recipe) they were ROCK HARD and so dry. Awful. My husband tried them on my first attempt and said "Yep, this is the taste...but they are a little bit...erm...drier than I recall..." I was slightly defeated and ready to give up. However, my step daughter (VERY Italian on her mother's side) dearly loves these cookies. She asks for them every year. This recipe was my saving grace! My ten year old step daughter declared them "EXACTLY LIKE GRANDMA'S!!!" Which is high praise indeed as her grandma is well known for her "sprinkle cookies". I ended up using almond extract instead of Anise. That's how it's done here in New Jersey so I've been told. The cookies came out fluffy and cake like and so delicious. I'm thrilled to have been able to grant my darling step daughter's Christmas wish for these cookies."
"These are pretty close to my grandma's. If you want the authentic secret, forget about the extract and use real Anisette liqueur. I'm sure you could use Amaretto liqueur if that's your thing, but Anisette is the right call for these cookies and biscotti. The Amaretto is for the Cannolis."
"This recipe tastes EXACTLY the way my Sicilian neighbor used to make them. Tender, flavorful, and oh-so-pretty. I have Celiac, so I made these gluten-free - I used a combo of brown rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch (all common in gluten-free baking) in place of the all-purpose flour. I also added 1/2 a teaspoon of xanthan gum to the batter recipe. The cookies are divine! No one knows they are gluten-free - they just taste simply PERFECT. Thanks so much!"
"These cookies weren't difficult to bake (and I am NO baker by ANY means)and everyone loved them, except one person who thought they were too cakey.
I did double the amount of anise to 1/4 tsp in the icing and it was fabulous.
As she recommended, I used her exact measurements of milk and sugar for the icing and after each batch came out of the oven I microwaved the whole bowl for ten seconds and then it was nice and thin. I found I had to hold the tray of cookies with my left hand, remove a cookie with my right, dip it into the icing, put the cookie on the rack, and then sprinkle it with the little dots. I think if you dunk them all into the icing, by the time you get around to putting the dots on, the icing would be too hard for the dots to stick.
Also, the recipe did NOT take nearly the 3 "possible" cups of flour. It couldn't even take 2.5. I ended up throwing out about 1/4 of flour because the dough was quite dry and I used all three TBS of milk.
Next time I'll use 2 1/4 cups of flour and probably only 2 tsp of baking powder. Maybe they'll be a little less cakey. Not that cakey is a bad thing. :)"
"I usually don't like cookies that are this "cakey" but I really enjoy this recipe. I substituted with almond milk and used powdered anise with almond extract."
"WOW! This recipe is a big keeper!
Thanks a lot for posting it!
I prepared the green ones with almond aroma (in the glaze I used powdered sugar, Amaretto and color) and the red ones with anise seeds ground (in the glaze powdered sugar, ouzo and red color)."
"This is like being a kid at my Nunny's (grandmother's) all over again!!! She made these every christmas, and the smell of Anise reminds me of her. We made these today, one batch Anise, one, Almond, and we did one lemon. All were great!"
"These are truly exceptional cookies and well worth the effort to follow the directions as presented. The cookie itself is light and pillowy with a soft cake inside and delicate exterior (neither crispy nor chewy). The anise is present enough to please those of us who are devotees but gentle enough not to discourage others from enjoying. Based on the results, I am thinking of adding these to my Christmas trays using white icing and an assortment of themed sprinkles. I made my dough today and bake three cookies as testers. The rest of the dough is frozen for baking closer to Easter. Will report back on that experiment. Thanks Cookin'Diva."
"These cookies are soft and delicious. I warmed up the icing and dipped the cookies. Make sure you apply the sprinkles quickly because the icing dries very fast."
"These are fabulous! The directions were very specific and my cookies turned out perfectly. My Italian mom remembers these from her childhood -- thank for you allowing me to bring back a precious memory for her!"
"I made these cookies this year for my neighborhood Xmas cookie swap & the compliments are still rolling in. They are soft, delicious & easy to put together. I will add a little more anise extract at least to the icing next time because we like the flavor. I used a small ice-cream scoop to drop the cookies on the parchment & got 32 cookies. I also used the suggestion to microwave the icing if it got too thick. Will definitely be making these again - thanks tremendously!"
"This is the 2nd year trying to make these cookies (my hubby's favorite growing up). I tried a different recipe last year which the hubby said was great! But I tried this recipe this year and I think they turned out Great with this recipe!! This recipe is Perfection!! Last year's recipe that I tried said to drizzle the icing on with a spoon. Then I read this one, dip them into the icing, A Lot easier to dip than drizzle!! I would definitely recommend trying this recipe to anyone!"
"Family Favorite!! I use the anise oil instead extract--better flavor."
"Great recipe! I used vanilla extract instead of anise extract because I don't like the taste of anise."
"The Anise cookies are great, my Calabrese Grandma made them, but she twisted them into a kind of knot. I don't do that. Too much work."
"I make these cookies at Christmas and Easter to take to work (just change the colors of the sprinkles!) where they are a big hit. I do add more milk to the icing to thin it out, otherwise I run out before all the cookies are glazed. My kitchen is usually a mess when I'm done with sprinkles and icing everywhere, but the dog enjoys hunting down and destroying stray sprinkles. All is good..."
"Yum...been looking for a recipe like this for years! So good - add a bit more anise to the icing if you want a bit more of a licorice flavor!"
"1st time trying to make these cookies & what a HUGE success! My daughter has been asking for these for years as my Aunt & Grandmother always made them. Ours came out better then I remember ever having. Doubled the batch but followed it exactly , perfect amount of Anis flavor, cant wait to make these again as a lemon cookie."
"Awesome! I love anise cookies and these are wonderful. Soft and cakey with just the right amount of anise flavor. Am laughing now as I see the directions to leave these out overnight to allow the icing to harden. They didn't make it that long at my house! Even the neighbor kids and my son who swears he hates licorice were picking them off the cooling racks. I got 44 cookies and had exactly the right amount of icing, so next time I may make a little extra just to be safe. Thanks for sharing the recipe!"