Cookies, Desserts

Italian Anise Cookies


Delight your taste buds with the enchanting aroma and soft, cake-like texture of Italian Anise Cookies. Perfect for any occasion, these traditional treats are not only easy to make but also freeze beautifully, allowing you to savor their deliciousness whenever the mood strikes.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Italian Anise Cookies bring a touch of festivity to your table, making them ideal for holiday celebrations. The soft and tender texture of these cookies, almost like a delicate cake, sets them apart. What’s more, you have the flexibility to freeze them at various stages – unbaked, baked, or even glazed.

Ingredients Needed:

All-Purpose Flour

Baking Powder



Superfine Granulated Sugar

Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Anise Extract

Vanilla Extract

Powdered Sugar

Note: Feel the magic of anise, an essential element that infuses these cookies with a distinctive flavor. Ensure you have the correct balance, as anise oil can be potent.

How To Make This Recipe:

Whisking the Dry Symphony:

In a bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. This sets the stage for the perfect cookie base.

Beating the Sweet Harmony:

Using a stand mixer, beat eggs until frothy. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until the mixture achieves a thick and pale consistency. Introduce the olive oil gradually to maintain the rhythm.

Infusing Elegance:

On low speed, add milk, anise extract, and vanilla extract. Allow these ingredients to dance together, creating a symphony of flavors.

The Flour Ballet:

Gradually add the flour mixture in two parts, combining with a wooden spoon. If the dough feels sticky, a touch more flour may be the encore it needs.

Shaping the Ephemeral Beauties:

Roll teaspoonfuls of the cookie dough into balls and place them gracefully on prepared baking sheets. Let them dance in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the tops crack and turn lightly golden.

Glazing the Crescendo:

Once cooled, immerse the cookies’ tops in a glaze made of powdered sugar, milk, and anise extract. Sprinkle with rainbow joy and let them set on a wire rack.

Substitutions and Variations:

Substitute anise oil for extract, adjusting quantities for the perfect harmony.

Explore various milk options or switch olive oils to create your signature note.

Experiment with vanilla, almond, or citrus extracts for a unique flavor composition.

Storage and Serving Notes:

Italian Anise Cookies can be your companion for up to a week when stored in an airtight container. Freeze them unbaked, baked, or glazed for prolonged enjoyment. Just be cautious of potential sprinkle color bleed upon thawing.

Recipe Tips:

Begin with room temperature butter for a harmonious start.

Achieve a light texture by thoroughly beating butter and sugar.

Anise extract’s magic lies in its subtlety; two teaspoons suffice for a delightful hint.

Avoid overworking the dough to keep the cookies tender and moist.

Frequently Asked Notes:

What do Anise Cookies taste like?

The flavor mirrors a warm fragrance reminiscent of licorice. These cookies embody sweet licorice in a delightful, polarizing flavor – a love-it-or-hate-it experience.

Substitutes for anise extract?

Liquorice extract or anise-flavored liqueurs like Anisette, Pastis, Ouzo, or Sambuca can play the supporting role.

Can I freeze Italian Anise Cookies?

Absolutely! Freeze them unglazed for optimal results, and don’t forget the magic of sprinkles.

Italian Anise Cookies

Recipe by admin
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: Cookies, Desserts


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time



Unleash the Italian Charm with Anise Cookies.


  • Cookie Dough:
  • 2½ cups (325 grams) all-purpose (plain) flour

  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • ⅔ cup (130 grams) granulated sugar

  • ½ cup (120 ml) extra virgin olive oil

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) whole milk

  • 1½ teaspoons anise extract

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup (120 grams) powdered sugar

  • ⅛ teaspoon anise extract (adjust to taste)

  • 5 to 6 teaspoons whole milk or water


  • Cookie Dough Overture:
    Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC and line baking sheets with non-stick parchment paper.
    Whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
    Beat eggs until frothy, gradually adding sugar until thick and pale.
    Add oil, milk, anise extract, and vanilla extract on low speed.
    Combine flour in two additions with a wooden spoon. Adjust with a sprinkle of flour if sticky.
    Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden.
  • Glaze Crescendo:
    Sieve powdered sugar to ensure a smooth glaze.
    Mix sugar, anise extract, and milk until smooth. Adjust consistency with more milk or sugar.
    Dip cooled cookies into the glaze and set them on a wire rack. Sprinkle joyfully.


  • Fine white sugar and regular olive oil can be used as alternatives. Experiment with milk choices for a personalized touch.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 90kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 4g
  • Sodium: 25mg
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Calcium: 18mg
  • Iron: 1mg

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