Italian Drop Cookies – Fresh Baked Friday!

7 Jan

I LOVE black licorice.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Love it.  It’s a family thing.  My mom loves it, my grandfather loves it, I love it.  Black jelly beans are a prized commodity.  During Easter, it gets ugly around our house.

And it’s not just black licorice candy.  Sambuca?  Delish.  Pizzelle?  Two please.  Italian Anise Cookie?  Hand them over.

Oh, you haven’t heard of the Italian Drop Cookie?  Well, let me introduce you.

They look delicious, don’t they?  Well, it should come as no surprise that these cookies are a holiday favorite around the Fierstein household.  Er, at least for my mom and I.  We might be able to eat the whole batch in about a week.  It makes a lot of cookies.

So, if you like the anise flavor, keep reading.  This cookie is for you.

And if not, well I think you are just crazy.  But, you should keep reading and give these babies a try.  And if you still don’t like them, well then send them our way.  We’ll be happy to, um, dispose of them, for you!

Did I mention how complicated these cookies are to make?  Oops!  Probably should have done that.

The first step (of about 34) is…

Combine all the ingredients.  Yup, you heard me. So that would be flour, sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, salt and (drum roll please) anise extract.

Now beat.  Just beat it.  Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Roll the dough into balls.  I make mine using an ice cream (or better known in the KC Kitchen as the large cookie) scoop, which is about 3 tablespoons.  You could make them smaller.  I wouldn’t, but you could.

After the cookie are baked, let them cool and make the glaze.  Sorry, I got a little lax on the picture taking.

But, I did remember to take pics of the glaze.  Which, incidentally, is also very complicated to make.  Oh, you picked up on the sarcasm there.  Darn.

Anyway.  The glaze.  Combine the confectioner sugar, water and anise extract (again!)…

And mix until glaze consistency.  What’s that?  Well, it’s thicker than water, but thinner than buttercream.  Still no good?  Well, like this.

Like a thick syrup.  That’s it!

Now dip the cooled cookies in your syrup-thick glaze.

Let the glaze harden a bit before eating.  If you can wait that long.

I was unable to contain myself and promptly ate one (or two), forgetting to take a “pretty picture.”  Hopefully you can use your imagination to think about what a plate of these beauties would look like.

Seriously one of my favorite cookies ever.  It may in fact edge out my beloved snickerdoodle.  Just maybe.

Italian Anise Cookies
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4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon anise extract (more or less if you like)


1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
3-5 teaspoons water
¼-1/2 teaspoon anise extract (again, depending on personal taste) 


Preheat the oven to 400℉.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. 

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, salt and anise extract.  Mix until well blended.

Using an ice cream scoop, shape dough into balls and place on the prepared cookie sheet, leaving a bit of space between each cookie (they don’t spread very much).  Bake for 10 minutes or until the bottom is lightly browned.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.

In the meantime, make the glaze.  Combine the confectioners sugar, the water and the anise extract.  Start with 3 teaspoons of water and add more, if necessary.  Once to the proper consistency, dip the cooled cookies in the glaze.  Allow to dry.  Store the cookies in a tightly covered container.

Note:  The cookies are also delicious without the glaze, if you want to cut out a step.

Source: Clifton Country Cookbook


One Response to “Italian Drop Cookies – Fresh Baked Friday!”

  1. Calogero Mira January 7, 2011 at 6:34 am #

    Italian anise cookies? Very very good.

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