Welcome to Day 4 of the Cookie Exchange Bonanza!
On day 3, we made Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
On day 2, we made Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies
On day 1, we made Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
We have 3 days of recipes for the Cookie Exchange Bonanza left!
I grew up in an Italian household, with Sunday dinner at my grandparents’ at 2pm, where they had a pot of sauce simmering on the stove overnight. It should be no surprise, that given, that Anise cookies make my holiday cookie platter each year. They’re sort of a staple in every Italian house I’ve been to during the holidays: sweet sugar icing, a delicate licorice flavor, and thick, rich dough that stays soft and tastes great dipped in coffee.
Now… I am not a big fan of the Anise cookies. However, my dad always loves them, so I make a batch each year to give him. It’s hard to say no, since the dough is so easy to make! This recipe makes about 40 two-bite cookies.
Here’s how you do it:
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons anise extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup milk (my milk went bad, so I substituted water for similar results)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp lemon or almond extract (if desired)
- 3 tsp water (add more if necessary)
Whisk all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl, adding enough water to reach desired consistency. Pour or spoon mixture into a sandwich size resealable bag, cut a small tip from one corner and drizzle over cookies.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, extract and baking powder.
- Add the oil and milk, and mix until combined.
- Slowly incorporate the flour, one cup at a time, until well combined.
- Chill the dough for 20 minutes in the fridge, or 10 in the freezer, to help with stickiness (or freeze the dough and thaw it partially when you’re ready to use it!)
- Pinch off 1T pieces of dough, and roll smooth between your palms. Arrange the balls of dough 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until bottoms of the cookies are a light golden brown. The tops will still be pale!
- Remove from the oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Dip the tops of the cooled cookies into the glaze (just enough to coat the tops), then return to the wire rack, allowing the glaze to drip down the sides of the cookie.
- When you make the dough, you can divide it in half and tint the dough red and green with food dye. I did this two years ago, and my hands were green for a few days, but the cookies were so cute!
- If you want your cookies to look more fancy, you can roll each ball of dough into a log, and then make knots or twists.
- While the glaze is still wet, you can sprinkle nonpareils on the cookies. I have a whole case of Christmas sprinkles that only see the light of day once a year, just for these cookies.
Baked, covered and at room temperature with no glaze: up to 1 week
Baked, covered and frozen with no glaze: up to 3 months
Dough, covered and frozen: up to 3 months
Once you put glaze on the cookies, the storage gets tricky. It’s best to glaze them just before you gift them, because if the glaze is too cold it will crack, and if it’s too warm, it will bleed off.
In a last-ditch effort to make sure this post was up before midnight EST, I put the glaze on prematurely while the cookies were still too warm. Ideally, you should wait until the cookies cool, so that the glaze is a nice, thick coating of icing.
But look — another quick cookie recipe! Baking cookies seems way more manageable when you’re doing one a day, instead of one terrifying day full of measuring, messes, and a 350 degree kitchen.
Have you seen Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? It features Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski, and Tituss Burgess, some hilarious names (Xanthippe will be the name of my next child, obviously), and an incredibly well-written script. You can make it through two 20-minute episodes while you make these cookies, and you’ll also be dying on the floor laughing. Win/Win!