Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Italian Cookies

Okay I can't find the exact link now, but I got this recipe from Cathy of the Noble Pig. They looked so cute and festive I couldn't resist. I was a little afraid of the anise flavoring when I opened it and realized it smelled like licorice. (yes, I am afraid of licorice, but I'm seeking help for it) But it's really a nice addition. Adds something a little different.
Here's the recipe:
For the cookies:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons anise extract (okay to use vanilla or lemon) For the glaze
3-4 Tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon anise extract
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Set aside. In the microwave melt butter and shortening (make sure the shortening is fresh or it will taste bad) together in a bowl. Beat the melted butter and shortening together until it is completely incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add granulated sugar and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, about 1 minute each. Mix in anise extract. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture slowly, until fully incorporated. Don't overmix. If the cookie dough is too sticky to roll in the palm of your hand, add a bit of flour. However, the dough should remain very soft, so don't add too much. Roll the cookie dough in small balls (they puff up quite nicely) and place them on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes (mine took 8 minutes). The bottoms of the cookies should be lightly browned but the tops of should remain light in color. Remove cookies from the cookie sheet immediately and move to a wire rack. Cool completely before glazing. For the glaze, slowly mix milk with powdered sugar and anise extract. The glaze needs to be thick to adhere to the cookie. Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze. I dipped about 10 cookies at a time. Sprinkle each cookie with nonpareils and leave them to completely dry. This recipe made approximately 100 cookies when dough was rolled into 3/4" balls.
Phewf! That was lengthy.
And here they are as decorated by my girl child.
We made these for a cookie exchange get together and got to visit with some furry friends on the way out there. I was tempted to share the cookies with them, but I wasn't sure if nonpareils agreed with the equine crowd.


The Acting Mom said...

Visiting from SITS.
Yummy! Can I have one?

Julie said...

You bet, help yourself!

Tiffany said...

Those look great. Your little girl is an expert decorator!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I love anise, so I'd love these cookies!

Julie said...

Tiffany: My dtr will be happy you think so.
Shari: I think I like anise now too. Glad I tried it.