Monday, December 14, 2015

Italian Anise Cookies

A classic Christmas cookie for many families, this soft and puffy butter cookie uses anise for flavoring and is finished with a lemony, powdered sugar glaze and colorful nonpareils.

Italian Anise Cookies

These are a classic Christmas cookie all around the country, and yes, even in the Deep South for many! I love them, for one, because they are as easy to make as spritz cookies, but also because they are a slightly different take on the classic butter cookie.

One bite and you wonder, hmmm.... what is that?

Most folks can't quite put their finger on what though, because the flavoring is anise.


Anise is a bit of a unique flavor, kind of like a distant cousin to the licorice family, though it is more closely related to fennel and tarragon, and not licorice. It's used in other cultures in everything from savory to sweet dishes and even adult beverages.

The flavor is strong, but subtle because I'll tell you flat out, I'm not a fan of black licorice myself, but I enjoy anise. If you're not familiar with it and unsure how you'll feel about it as a flavor, feel free to substitute almond, vanilla or lemon flavor for this cookie, or even use a combination of anise with any one of them.

{Hissy fit warning} Folks, for all that is holy, please use pure extracts in your baking, especially for the holiday season. I see folks complaining about the taste of extracts being off, especially for almond, but it's often because they are using imitation extracts! We're talking pure ingredients versus chemical lab created ingredients, so when I am taking the time to make home-baked goodies to share with family and friends, I want to use the best, freshest and well... most pure ingredients. {tucking away soapbox}

Another reason I love these cookies is that I am not big on sweets and this isn't an overly sweet dough, though you could certainly increase the sugar just a tad more if you prefer a sweeter cookie.

These cookies will puff when they bake so be sure to roll the balls small. You could also make a drop cookie if you prefer. You should get about four dozen cookies from the batch, though how many you end up with will depend on how big you roll the balls. Recipe may also be successfully doubled if you want more.

Here's how to make them.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.


Beat together the butter and sugar until well blended. Add the eggs, milk and extracts; blend on low. Blend in the flour mixture.


Use a damp paper towel to wipe your hands - this will help to roll the dough without making it too wet - and roll dough into smooth, small balls, placing onto an ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. I use a Wilton air bake cookie sheet.


Bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottoms. Transfer to a rack to cool.


Whisk together powdered sugar, butter and lemon juice until blended. Add milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time until glaze is thick but a still pourable consistency. Correct as needed with additional powdered sugar or milk.


I use a squeeze bottle to make an easy job of drizzling the icing on, but you can also just dip the cookie tops into the glaze as well. Sprinkle the nonpareils on top of the wet glaze and set aside until fully dry. These can be flash frozen on a tray, then packed in freezer bags or stored in an air tight container at room temperature for a few days. Refrigerate for longer storage. Recipe doubles nicely.


Recipe: Italian Anise Cookies

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 15 min | Yield: About 4 dozen

Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 7 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons anise extract*
For the Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons whole milk, or as needed
  • Multi-colored nonpareils
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

Beat together the butter and sugar until well blended. Add the eggs, milk and extract; blend on low. Blend in the flour mixture. Use a damp paper towel to wipe your hands and roll dough into smooth balls, placing onto an ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottoms. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Whisk together powdered sugar, butter and lemon juice until blended. Add milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time until glaze is thick but a still pourable consistency. Correct as needed with additional powdered sugar or milk. Use a squeeze bottle to drizzle over the cooled cookies or dip tops of cookies into glaze, add sprinkles and set aside to dry.

*Cook's Notes:
 Recipe doubles nicely. If you are unsure about the anise, you may also make these cookies with other flavorings, such as vanilla, almond or lemon or with a combination of anise with one other. I use an ungreased, Wilton air bake cookie sheet.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

Requires Adobe Reader - download it free!
©Deep South Dish
Are you on Facebook? If you haven't already, come and join the party! We have a lot of fun & there's always room for one more at the table.

Check These Recipes Out Too Y’all!

Decorator Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Jam Thumbprints
Chocolate Snowcaps

Posted by on December 14, 2015
Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Recipes are offered for your own personal use only and while pinning and sharing links is welcomed and encouraged, do not copy and paste post or recipe text to repost or republish to any social media (such as other Facebook pages, etc.), blogs, websites, forums, or any print medium, without explicit prior permission. Unauthorized use of content from ©Deep South Dish is a violation of both the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and copyright law. All rights reserved.

Material Disclosure: Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.
151212-13
.

As an Amazon Associate, Deep South Dish earns from qualifying purchases. See full disclosure for details.




Hey Y’all! Welcome to some good ole, down home southern cooking. Pull up a chair, grab some iced tea, and 'sit a bit' as we say down south. If this is your first time visiting Deep South Dish, you can sign up for FREE updates via EMAIL or RSS feed, or you can catch up with us on Facebook and Twitter too!

Articles on this website are protected by copyright. You are free to print and sharing via Facebook share links and pinning with Pinterest are appreciated, welcomed and encouraged, but do not upload and repost photographs, or copy and paste post text or recipe text for republishing on Facebook, other websites, blogs, forums or other internet sites without explicit prior written approval.
Click for additional information.


© Copyright 2008-2021 – Mary Foreman – Deep South Dish LLC - All Rights Reserved

Material Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from the provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.

DISCLAIMER: This is a recipe site intended for entertainment. By using this site and these recipes you agree that you do so at your own risk, that you are completely responsible for any liability associated with the use of any recipes obtained from this site, and that you fully and completely release Mary Foreman and Deep South Dish LLC and all parties associated with either entity, from any liability whatsoever from your use of this site and these recipes.

ALL CONTENT PROTECTED UNDER THE DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT. CONTENT THEFT, EITHER PRINT OR ELECTRONIC, IS A FEDERAL OFFENSE. Recipes may be printed ONLY for personal use and may not be transmitted, distributed, reposted, or published elsewhere, in print or by any electronic means. Seek explicit permission before using any content on this site, including partial excerpts, all of which require attribution linking back to specific posts on this site. I have, and will continue to act, on all violations.





Email Subscription DSD Feed