December 21, 2013
You can’t have a true Italian Christmas without Italian Anisette Cookies, so of course I had to make like 5 dozen of them. I believe that we have discussed my dislike for anise in the past. It’s sad. I wish I loved the stuff, but I just can’t bring myself to love that licorice taste. I really think that it is an acquired taste, so hopefully (someday), I will learn to love it. For the time being though, I will adjust this recipe by adding other great flavors like vanilla and lemon. By subtracting the anise in Italian Anisette Cookies, these are probably my favorite cookies of the holiday season. Does this count? I’m not quite sure if this is allowed, but I’m going to go with it anyway. These cookies are so puffy, light and airy. This may be because there are like a gazillion teaspoons of baking powder in them, but this is ok. They are just so delicious. Go ahead, make them with anise (or without). Either way, I am 100% sure you will fall in love with them. Oh and the sprinkles (or sugar) are 100% mandatory. There will be no substituting the cuteness these little guys bring to every cookie.
Recipe Fun Facts:
This recipe will make approximately 3-4 dozen cookies. My recipe app makes it difficult to put the exact serving size, so know that you will have a ton of cookies when all is said and done =).
These babies puff up like nobody’s business. I suggest making the cookies on the smaller size.
The consistency of the glaze is important. You want it runny, but you don’t want it to disappear off the cookie when you dip them. You should be able to coat the back of a spoon with the glaze and it should stay.
Beer: Uinta’s Anniversary Ale: American Barley Wine Ale
Brewed By: Uinta Brewing
Style: Barley Wine Ale
Description: Barley Wines are great around the holidays. They are perfect before dinner with your favorite cheeses or antipasti; or they are the perfect after dinner sipping beer. This makes them a great pairing with desserts and sweets. You get hints of chocolate and fruit while enjoying this brew. It is on the stronger end of the spectrum though, so be careful!
Enjoy your weekends everyone!
Italian Anisette Cookies
Without these Italian Anisette Cookies your holiday cookie tray won’t be complete.
- FOR THE COOKIES
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (more as needed)
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons anise extract (or vanilla, lemon, etc)
holiday sprinkles or decorative sugars
- FOR THE GLAZE
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon anise extract (or vanilla, lemon, etc)
2 tablespoons half and half
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter and shortening over low heat. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Add the melted butter and shortening to the bowl of your stand mixer and add the sugar. Mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Add each egg, one at a time, until they are incorporated. Add the anise extract (or vanilla; or lemon) and mix again until combined.
- In half cup increments, add the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix to combine until a soft dough forms. The dough will be soft, but still manageable. If it isn’t manageable (where you can work it into a teaspoon-sized ball without making a mess), add tablespoons (one at a time) of flour until you reach this consistency.
- Once your dough is ready, pinch of pieces of dough and roll into 3/4 – 1 inch balls. Place the balls on your baking sheet, spacing them at least 1 inch apart.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 7-8 minutes until they just begin to brown on the bottoms and just begin to crack slightly on top. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat this step for the rest of your dough.
- While your cookies are cooling, prepare the glaze. In a bowl, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, anise extract (or vanilla; or lemon) and half and half. You want the glaze to be on the heavier side.
- When your cookies have cooled completely, dip the top of each cookie in the glaze and place back on the wire rack to set. Decorate with sprinkles or sugar immediately before the glaze hardens.
- Store in an airtight container for a week or two. Enjoy!
- Hardware: * Measuring Cups * Measuring Spoons * Baking Sheets * Parchment Paper * Small Saucepan * Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer * Large Bowl * Whisk * Wire Racks for Cooling *
- **Note** This recipe will make approximately 3-4 dozen cookies.