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Blog Anise Cookies

Blog Anise Cookies

While everyone has food likes and dislikes, there are certain flavors that seem to elicit especially strong feelings. Cilantro comes to mind, as do coconut and blue cheese. And near the top of the love-it-or-hate-it list is anise. I'm in the "love-it" camp; I find its licorice-like flavor both soothing and intriguing. (Though anise tastes similar to licorice and fennel, the three come from different plants.) Whenever I have the chance to visit an Italian bakery, one of my favorite treats are soft, cakey anise cookies. Anise cookies are good any time of year, but because of their coat of sweet icing and colorful sprinkles, they seem especially suited for holidays. Dressed in pastel colors, they're just right for Easter. This week's cookie recipe is inspired by Italian anise cookies. Although it's hard to re-create a soft puffy texture in a rolled cookie, this recipe uses two eggs, a little extra sugar, and some baking powder (which provides lift, rather than spread, to baked goods) to give the cookies some of the lightness of the original. And of course they have that lovely anise flavor. Decorated with a simple anise glaze and sprinkled with a rainbow of colorful sugars, a plate of these homemade cookies would be a perfect addition to your Easter dessert table.

My favorite shapes for Anise Cookies include the Cross cookie cutter, the Ladybug cookie cutter, and the Bunny cookie cutter.

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