12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Anise Cookies

I feel like I’ve said every cookie is my favorite Christmas cookie. I must just really love cookies (well, duh) because these are one of my very favorites as well!

Anise Cookies

Anise is definitely a love it or hate it flavor and I love it. If you’ve ever had any kind of Italian cookies, you’ve probably tasted anise before. It’s kind of like a black liquorice or fennel flavor, and it goes perfectly in these light, slightly crisp cookies.

I Googled anise out of curiosity, and found some fun facts! According to Wikipedia,

  • Builders of steam locomotives in Britain incorporated capsules of aniseed oil into white metal plain bearings, so the distinctive smell would give warning in case of overheating.
  • Anise has been used to treat menstrual cramps.
  • According to Pliny the Elder, anise was used as a cure for sleeplessness, chewed with alexanders and a little honey in the morning to freshen the breath, and, when mixed with wine, as a remedy for asp bites.

So now you know.

Anise Cookies

Enough learning, let’s bake now! I made an almond version of these cookies for Mardi Gras a couple years ago. If you want to see step-by-step photos, check out that post here.

Flying on Jess Fuel's 12 Days of Christmas Cookies!

Day 8: Anise Cookies

  • 3/4 cup margarine, melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour, sifted
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp anise extract
  • 4 eggs

for the icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • Nonpareils (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use a mixer to mix all ingredients thoroughly. Roll 1/2 teaspoons of dough into balls and place on a greased or lined baking sheet.


Bake 10 minutes and cool on wire racks. When cool, prepare icing. Combine powdered sugar and flour in a bowl. Add milk a few drops at a time until icing is is just thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle icing over cookies and sprinkle with nonpareils.

Anise Cookies

Time to share your cookie recipes! Thanks to those who have already linked up! Link up your blog posts with your favorite Christmas cookies below! Please only post cookie recipes, other entries will be deleted. You may enter up to 3 posts. A link back is appreciated but not necessary. Most importantly, please visit some of the links below and get in the kitchen and BAKE!

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  1. FABBY says

    I love anise cookies, I know Greek ones from my friend’s grandma. I’m just surprised about the flour in the icing without cooking it, butI guess it’s fine.
    Thanks for the recipe. I will make these soon.

    • jessfuel says

      Hi Fabby! The flour is just to hold the icing together a bit (think paper mache!) But I promise you don’t taste it at all!

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