Every family reunion since I can remember my great Aunt Nin brings anise-flavored Italian cookies that everybody loves. I figured out her exact recipe by trial and error but don't tell her! Sprinkle with nonpareils or sprinkles when icing is still wet, but hurry, they dry fast!


Recipe Summary

30 mins
20 mins
5 mins
55 mins
36 cookies


Original recipe yields 36 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Beat butter and sugar for dough together in a bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla extract, and anise extract and blend. Combine flour and baking powder in a separate bowl; stir into butter mixture until blended.

  • Take a ping pong-sized ball of dough and roll between your hands to form a rope. Connect the ends and twist into a figure 8 shape. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.

  • Bake in batches in the preheated oven until edges are golden, about 10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Mix milk into confectioners' sugar for icing, stirring slowly. Add the anise extract and vanilla extract.

  • Dip cooled cookies into the icing face-down and lay on wax paper or a wire rack.

Nutrition Facts

106 calories; protein 1.7g; carbohydrates 17.8g; fat 3.1g; cholesterol 22.3mg; sodium 27.1mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (1)

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1 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
These are 10 star cookies right here! Buttery, tender, almost like a fluffy shortbread, with just the right amount of anise flavor. They are super super easy to make too! I had the cookie dough made and baked in about 30 minutes time--so a 'fast' recipe in terms of baking (which is great). I used a 1.5 tbsp sized cookie scoop to portion the dough, then rolled each one into a rope about 6-7 inches long and 1/2 inch thick before shaping. The dough was super easy to work with, without any extra flour or greasing or anything at all. My only 'ding' to the recipe would be to the milk/sugar amounts in the frosting. 2 tbsps of milk (I actually used heavy cream instead) was not nearly enough liquid to make the glaze a glaze. I needed about 10-12 tbsps of cream to get the right consistency. It made a ton of glaze too, so I would probably half the amount next time. And there will definitely be a next time for these cookies! Thank you for the recipe! (P.S. I got 24 cookies out of this recipe) Read More