Traditional Italian anise cookies are quick and easy to make with just a few ingredients, including anise extract.

Day 1 of the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Italian Anise Cookies

‘Tis the season for the cookie baking! This past weekend, my family and I had our annual Cookie Day! It’s one of my favorite Christmas traditions. We aren’t baking your plain ‘ole boring chocolate chip cookies. Don’t go thinking that I am hating on chocolate chip cookies because we do love us some chocolate chip cookies. But those can be baked any day.

lehigh valley dairy dunkable cookie italian anise cookies

My family has been making these cookies for as far back as I can remember. Every year, we pick a date for cookie day, gather at my parent’s house, and roll and decorate cookies all day long. These are by far my favorite Christmas cookie. And they go great along with a tall glass of ice cold milk.

The kids have been enjoying these cookies since they were itty bitty. Just look at that face. Would it steer you wrong?

lehigh valley dairy dunkable cookie italian anise cookies

Our cookies involve some rolling…

Someone’s excited for cookie day!

A photo posted by Stephanie (@thestephglover) on

…some dipping…

Cookie decorating time! A photo posted by Stephanie (@thestephglover) on

and lots of taste testing!

Italian Anise Cookies

Italian Anise Cookies

Yield: 30 -40 cookies
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • For the Cookies
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons anise extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk

  • For the Icing
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 - 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon anise extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, extract and baking powder.
  3. Add the vegetable oil and milk, then the flour, one cup at a time {this is important!}, until well combined.
  4. Roll dough into small sized balls or half moons. Arrange cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until bottoms of the cookies are a light golden brown. The tops will still be pale. Be careful not to burn the bottoms!
  6. Remove from the oven, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  7. Combine the icing ingredients in a bowl until just smooth. Your icing should be a little thick but still runny.
  8. Dip the tops of the cooled cookies into the icing. Dip into sprinkles.
  9. Place on wax paper to dry.


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