Italian Cookies With Anise Recipe – A Flavorful Delight

Italian cuisine is renowned for its delicious flavors and mouthwatering desserts. Among the many sweet treats in Italian cuisine, one that stands out is Italian Cookies with Anise. These delightful cookies are a perfect combination of sweetness and the unique taste of anise. In this article, we will explore the history of Italian cookies with anise, their ingredients, the step-by-step preparation process, and some helpful tips to make these delectable treats at home.

The Origins of Italian Cookies with Anise

Italian cookies with anise have a rich history dating back centuries. Anise, with its distinctive licorice-like flavor, was introduced to Italy by the Romans. It quickly became a popular ingredient in Italian desserts, and the tradition of making anise-flavored cookies was born. Over the years, different regions of Italy have developed their own variations of these cookies, adding to the diversity of this beloved treat.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Before you embark on making these scrumptious Italian cookies, gather the following ingredients:

For the Cookie Dough:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of anise extract

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of anise extract

The Step-by-Step Preparation

Now that you have all your ingredients ready, let’s dive into the preparation process of these delightful Italian cookies with anise:

Step 1: Mixing the Dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the softened butter and granulated sugar. Beat them together until the mixture becomes creamy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, ensuring each egg is well incorporated before adding the next.
  3. Stir in the anise extract to infuse the dough with that distinctive flavor.

Step 2: Preparing the Dough

  1. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add this dry mixture to the wet mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms.
  2. Once the dough is ready, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This chilling step helps the dough firm up, making it easier to work with.

Step 3: Shaping the Cookies

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it into small balls or shape it into your preferred cookie forms.
  3. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space between each one.

Step 4: Baking

  1. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until they turn golden brown.

Step 5: Glazing

  1. While the cookies are cooling, prepare the glaze by mixing powdered sugar, milk, and anise extract until you achieve a smooth consistency.
  2. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies, allowing it to set for a few minutes.

Tips for Perfect Italian Cookies with Anise


Italian Cookies with Anise are a delightful treat that brings the unique flavors of anise and the rich history of Italian desserts to your table. Making these cookies at home allows you to savor the authentic taste of Italy while creating cherished moments with loved ones. So, why wait? Gather the ingredients and start baking your batch of Italian Cookies with Anise today!


  1. Can I use anise oil instead of anise extract? Yes, you can substitute anise oil for anise extract, but use it sparingly as it is more potent.
  2. What is the best way to store these cookies to maintain their freshness? Store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
  3. Can I freeze the cookie dough for later use? Absolutely! Just wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer. Thaw it in the refrigerator before using.
  4. Are there any gluten-free alternatives for the flour? Yes, you can use gluten-free flour as a substitute for regular all-purpose flour.
  5. What beverages pair well with Italian Cookies with Anise? These cookies are perfect with a cup of espresso, cappuccino, or a glass of sweet dessert wine.

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