Grandma Lu's Vanilla Anisette Christmas Cookies

Nancy A.


Growing up in an Italian family, our kitchen was always filled with family, food and fun, but during the holidays, it was simply magical! The kitchen was filled with incredible aromas, and every inch of space was filled with spectacular desserts, but, my favorite cookies were my grandmothers vanilla anisette, which I would help her make every year, and to this day I make her cookies, carry on the traditional and transform my kitchen into that very special magical place I always loved as a child. "Merry Christmas" everyone!

pinch tips: Parchment Paper Vs Wax Paper



yields appoximately 4 dozen cookies


25 Min


15 Min



Blue Ribbon Recipe

Notes from the Test Kitchen:
I really enjoyed these cookies! They are not overly sweet. The anisette flavor is lovely and subtle. The Test Kitchen smelled amazing while these were baking. I had a hard time waiting for them to cool so I could ice them.


1 c
butter, softened at room temperature
1 c
large eggs
2 tsp
pure vanilla extract
1 tsp
6 c
all-purpose flour
1 tsp
2 Tbsp
baking powder


3 c
powdered sugar
1 Tbsp
2 1/2 tsp
pure vanilla extract
1/2-3/4 tsp

Directions Step-By-Step

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In large bowl of stand mixer on high speed, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. (about 3 minutes)
Next, add in eggs, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla and 1 teaspoon anisette, reduce speed to low, slowly add in flour, salt, and baking powder, mix until incorporated.
Spoon out approximately 1 tablespoon each of dough, roll into a ball, then into a rope and shape into pretzel form.
Bake on ungreased large cookie sheets in preheated oven for approximately 12-15 minutes, until golden in color. Cool.
To make frosting: Combine 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla and 1/2-3/4 anisette together in medium bowl with hand held mixer on low or wooden spoon. (may add extra milk depending on consistency preference)
Spoon over cooled cookies, and top with sprinkles.
Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies depending on size preference.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Cookies
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: Italian
Collection: Mom Made It Best