A recipe for soft and chewy Italian Anise Cookies (a.k.a. Italian Christmas Cookies) that have the classic licorice flavor everyone loves. Plus, a printable recipe card perfect for your holiday cookie exchange!
From spending time together in the kitchen to all the yummy cookies I got to enjoy, baking Christmas cookies with my mother has always been one of my favorite Christmas traditions.
One of my favorite holiday cookies is her soft and chewy Italian anise cookies, which I want to share with you today.
For another incredible Italian cookie recipe try our Almond Amaretti Cookies.
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Also known as Italian Christmas cookies, Italian anise cookies have a unique licorice flavor and are topped with a sweet glaze and sprinkles.
These are one of my favorite cookies to bring to holiday cookie exchanges as well since everyone always loves them.
Speaking of cookie exchanges, lookout for the printable cookie exchange recipe card at the bottom of this post!
How to Make Italian Anise Cookies
Making these Italian Anise cookies is really simple — no kneading or chilling dough required.
However, you will need an electric mixer. I used my stand mixer, but you could use a hand mixer instead. Either will do the trick.
Start by creaming your Country Crock Baking Sticks or butter together with your sugar until light and fluffy.
Then, mix in the eggs, milk, and anise flavoring. Followed by the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing well until combined.
Once the dough is well mixed, scoop the dough out 1 heaping teaspoon at a time and roll lightly in your hands to form a ball. Place on prepared cookie sheets at least 1 inch apart.
Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes, until the bottoms are a light golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to allow to cool fully.
To make the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, anise extract, and 3 tbsp. milk in a medium bowl. If the glaze is too thick, add milk 1 tsp. at a time until desired consistency is achieved. Pour the glaze into a shallow bowl. Dip the top of each cookie in the glaze, return the cookie to the wire rack, and sprinkle with nonpareils.
TIP: I recommend sprinkling each cookie as soon as it is dipped because I have found that the sprinkles won’t stick if I try to dip a few cookies in a row then add sprinkles.
Now simply allow the glaze to set fully before serving or packaging up for your cookie exchange.
Printable Cookie Exchange Recipe Card
Aside from getting to enjoy a variety of different holiday cookies, another thing I love about holiday cookies exchanges is being able to learn new Christmas cookie recipes.
That is why I recommended including your recipe with your cookies.
Trust me, all the guests at the cookie exchange will appreciate you including those recipes.
To make it easier for you, I have designed a printable holiday-themed recipe card that you can give out at your cookie exchange.
I even filled in the recipe card with my Italian anise cookie recipe so all you have to do is print them out and add your name!
Recipe cards print out 4 per page.
I recommend printing these recipe cards out on cardstock so they hold up better, but regular printer paper will work just as well if you are in a pinch!
If you would like to use this holiday printable Christmas recipe card for your own cookie recipe, I have included a blank version of the card as well.
I hope that you and your loved ones enjoy these delicious Italian anise cookies!
For the cookies:
- ½ cup unsalted butter or 1 Country Crock Unsalted Baking Stick
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon anise extract
- 2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the Glaze:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoon anise extract
- 3-4 tbsp. milk
- Preheat oven to 325°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add eggs, milk, and anise extract, beating until combined. Beat in flour, baking powder, and salt until combined.
- Use hands to lightly roll rounded teaspoons of dough and place 1 in. apart on prepared baking sheets.
- Bake 8-12 minutes, or until the bottom of cookies are a light golden brown. Allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to fully cool.
- To make the glaze, whisk powdered sugar, anise extract, and 3 tbsp. milk together. If too thick, add milk 1 tsp. at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
- Pour glaze into a shallow bowl. Dip top of each cookie in the glaze, return to the wire rack, and sprinkle with nonpareils. Allow glaze to set before serving.
If you are finding your dough too sticky when you are trying to roll it in your hands, add additional flour as needed, 1 Tbsp at a time.