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Italian Grandmother Anise Cookies

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“This is my grandmother's recipe, but since I didn't have a chance to know her I think of them as my mom's cookies. She uses 5 pounds of flour in her batch because she makes them once a year for the family reunion, so I whittled her recipe down into a 4 dozen batch. The amount of anise is up to you. If you think you didn't add enough anise to the cookies, you can add some to the icing. I like to leave some of them unfrosted since they're pretty darn good plain.”
48 cookies

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Combine the flour, sugar and heaping tablespoon of baking powder.
  2. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil and anise extract.
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Dough will be sticky, add up to an extra 1/4 cup of flour if needed.
  4. Shape cookies as desired (lightly oiled hands will help). One way to do it: roll about 2 tablespoons of dough between hands until you have a rope, fold rope in half and twist. You can also just make little dough patties.
  5. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (this is good for dark nonstick sheets, you might need to bake a little longer if using airbake sheets).
  6. Remove from cookie sheets and let cool completely.
  7. To make icing, melt butter then add milk. Gradually mix in powdered sugar. Add more sugar or milk until at desired spreading consistency.
  8. Frost cookies. Icing will harden quickly so add non-pareils or other sprinkles immediately after frosting each cookie.

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