Italian Anisette Cookies

Italian Anisette Cookies are delicate Italian cake-like cookies flavored with anise and decorated with a simple glaze and sprinkles.

Italian Anisette Cookies

Italian Anisette Cookies

by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

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I don’t know why I seem surprised when the year seems to speed up at the end, as if it were under some strange attraction to an invisible cookie baking galaxy, with forces at work unseen to the naked eye. But it does, and here we are again with #BloggerClue (has it really been a month?) and this month’s theme is “Celebrate!” And that, we certainly will.

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Italian Anisette Cookies

Each month bloggers who participate are assigned another blog to do a post on and discover new recipes, and this month my assignment comes from Kathy at A Spoonful of Thyme.

I have to admit it wasn’t hard to choose something to make. I opened the blog page and she had me at sprinkles. Italian cookies with sprinkles.

Those looked good. I mean really good. And the anise? I know some people don’t care for that flavor but we love it. The great thing is that if you don’t like it, you can just switch out the extract for something else, such as vanilla, lemon, almond, or even cherry. But we kept to the anise because that’s what we love.

Of course, if you dive into Karen’s Recipe Index, you can prepare to be stunned. I just don’t know where to start with recommends as there are so many. You really should go peek to get the full realization of it. There are tons more I want to make. I know after the holiday cookies are done, I’ll probably be in there next month doing my annual slim-down with Grilled Chicken Niçoise and Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote, among other things.

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Italian Anisette Cookies

Italian Anisette Cookies

Sue Lau
No ratings yet
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 48 cookies
Calories 74 kcal


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup butter flavored shortening melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large organic pastured eggs
  • 2.5 to 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons anise extract or any flavor you prefer
  • 1-1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar - for glaze
  • 3 tablespoons half and half or milk - for glaze
  • 3/4 teaspoon anise extract - for glaze or other extract if you subbed
  • colored sprinkles or nonpareils optional


  • Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  • Place melted butter and shortening into an electric mixer bowl with sugar and extract and mix until smooth.
  • With the mixer running on low, add eggs one at a time, allowing each to mix in before adding another.
  • Add the first two cups of flour one at a time, scraping down after each addition, the slat and baking powder and then adding 1/4 cup flour at a time, adding just enough that dough can be rolled into a ball (it will still be sticky).
  • Roll dough into balls the size of a grape tomato (I don't recommend trying to measure the dough with spoons when it is this sticky- just pinch off a bit with your fingers) and place balls on a silpat lined cookie sheet or ungreased baking sheet (if you prefer) and bake about 10 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly colored but tops are still pale.
  • Cool cookies completely on silpat or remove to a wire rack if using ungreased sheets.
  • Mix glaze together and spoon lightly over the tops of the cookies and decorate with nonpareils or sprinkles as desired.


Made in the kitchen of


Serving: 1gCalories: 74kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 75mgPotassium: 14mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 82IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 0.4mg
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Italian Anisette Cookies

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20 responses

  1. Good morning, Sue! Thank you for the kind words! I am so happy that you enjoyed the cookies. They are delicate….for us the best part was the wonderful anise flavor and the fact that they are not overly sweet. They didn’t last long…

  2. I’m one of those that isn’t a huge fan of anise, but there’s something about it at Christmas time that makes it a must. So yeah, pass the plate this way, please.

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