What do plain sugar cookies taste like?
And while I agree with her still manage to munch at least four cookies. Oh, to possess that kind of self control to refrain from eating a cookie!
Most sugar cookies are bland. Yes, they are flavored with vanilla and vanilla is delicious, but there’s never enough vanilla. Not in any recipe I’ve sampled or made. Or, they use almond oil which my husband dislikes!
Flavorless, lackluster cookies don’t work for our family. Not worth the calories. But anise cut-out cookies? They lure me in every time.
Anise has a bold taste. You love it or hate it ~ there’s no middle ground.
We are convinced Santa agrees with us. All the anise cookies left for him are gone each year! He’s clearly a fan!
So what does anise taste like?
So yes….you could grow anise!
Here’s just a few tips to get the wheels turning:
Growing: Anise grows best in fertile, light and well-drained soil. The seeds should be planted as soon as the ground warms up in the spring.
Planting: Plant your anise in spring a few weeks after the last frost.
Spacing your crops: Plant your anise 2.5 to 3 feet apart after the last frost. In fact, they are grow up to 3-feet tall!
Sun exposure: Anise plants like full-sun.
Fertilizer: Only add fertilizer if you plant in bad soil.
Transplanting: Anise plants do not transplant well. Don’t do it!
Harvesting: Harvest your anise when the flower umbels become heavy and have brownish seeds.
Recipe for anise cut-out cookies (Kris Kringle cut-out anise cookies)
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in 2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon anise oil
4 1/2 cups flour
Method & instructions for making anise cut-out cookies
Cream butter and sugar together. Add anise, milk and baking soda combo with eggs.
Add salt and cream of tarter sifted with 3 cups flour. Slowly add the remaining flour to make a dough that can be rolled.
Chill in fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. Roll on lightly floured board to desired thickness.
Cut and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet in a 350-degree oven 5-8 minutes depending on thickness.
To frost or not to frost? That is the question.
1.) Leave them unfrosted but put sprinkles on the top prior to baking.
2.) Frost them and add sprinkles after the fact.
Either way….sprinkles are essential. Christmas cookies must twinkle at you.
But our family has always had the tradition of using Pillsbury White Frosting. The sprinkles really pop against the white backdrop.
What I like about the frosting route is that if (and that’s a great big if) you still have cookies a week later, the frosting seeps into the cookie keeping them moist and soft.
No stale cookies in my cookie jar!
Secret Code: anise
Why we love cut-out cookies….
And yes, I’m sure these aren’t the glamor shots you’ve seen on Pinterest. But they are real and raw (quite literally in some cases!) so pardon our imperfections.
But with young kids helping me out….I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Kim Jacobson says
Love the little girls smiles and cookies. I love anise but most do not like that flavor. I think I like it because my Dad used to buy these cookies that were flavored with anise and my Dad kept them to himself lol which made us kids more curious.
Brenda Williamson says
Cinnamon sugar slice and bake shortbreads, nut crescents, choclate chip.
These anise cookies look delicious. My aunt made anise and vanilla Pizzelles for years, so good.
Love the taste of anise. The taste and looks of these cookies remind me of my sweet Grandmother.
Kathleen Landers says
Anise flavor is such a strong one and not a favorite in my home-to each his/her own! What is asked for in my family every year is a spritz or butter cookie. I enjoy trying a new recipe or two every year and have found some keepers like the cinnamon roll cookie.
Beautiful cookies! Yummy
Janet Kellar says
I always make the vanilla cookies because I don’t care for anise flavoring.
Cindy Vincent says
Cut outs are such fun!
I’ve made sugar cookies before but have never thought about anise.
Liz Kilcher says
i love sugar cookies
I’ve had Italian anise cookies before, but have not made any at home.
Diane Warstler says
Reminds me of my childhood. YUM!!
Kathy Lane says
I love the flavor of Anise but never tried making cookies with it. Looks like a must try recipe for me in the next couple of days.
Cynthia C says
We make anise flavored pizzelles from my Italian grandmother’s recipe. I’d like to try these too!
Betsy Pauzauskie says
I love to make & eat oatmeal raisin cookies any time of the year, Christmas included. 🙂 Icing and decorating cookies with “littles” is a joy to bond over, whether baking and decorating with my children when they were little or with my grandchildren. However, I don’t remember eating anise flavored cookies. I’ll have to learn if I like anise, & if I do then I might give baking them a try. Your adorable daughters’ smiles seem proof positive that the cookies taste great. And, I bet your son likes to lend a hand with decorating as well. Thanks for the introduction to anise.
Janet Burke says
Suzanne B says
I have always used the same sugar cookie recipe my mom did for cut out cookies. It has a touch of nutmeg in it. I have never tried anise.