Italian Cookies with Anise


  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon anise extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon anise extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Directions

  • Step 1

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


  • Step 2

    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.

  • Step 3

    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.

  • Step 4

    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.

  • Step 5

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

  • Step 6

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

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