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. My favorite cookies were my grandmothers vanilla anisette which I would help her make every year. 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!

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Italians cook with love and that's evident in these delicious Christmas cookies. The cookie itself has a stiff dough that's not overly sweet, but buttery and soft. The sweetness comes from the sugary glaze. Drizzled over the cookie, it's super sweet and has classic anisette flavor. The entire cookie is a beautiful balance of vanilla and anisette. These would be a delicious addition to your holiday cookie tray. Test Kitchen Avatar The Test Kitchen


★★★★★ 2 votes

yields appoximately 4 dozen cookies
25 Min
15 Min


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

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

How to Make Grandma Lu's Vanilla Anisette Christmas Cookies


  1. 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)
  2. Next, add in eggs, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla and 1 teaspoon anisette. Mix together.
  3. Reduce speed to low. Slowly add in flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix until incorporated.
  4. Spoon out approximately 1 tablespoon each of dough.
  5. Roll into a ball.
  6. Then into a rope.
  7. Shape into pretzel form.
  8. Bake on ungreased large cookie sheets in preheated oven for approximately 12-15 minutes, until golden in color. Cool.
  9. To make the frosting: Combine 3 cups powdered sugar, milk, 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla and 1/2-3/4 anisette together in a medium bowl with a handheld mixer on low or wooden spoon. (May add extra milk depending on consistency preference.)
  10. Spoon over cooled cookies.
  11. Top with sprinkles.
  12. Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies depending on size preference.

Printable Recipe Card

About Grandma Lu's Vanilla Anisette Christmas Cookies

Course/Dish: Cookies
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: Italian

Show 13 Comments & Reviews

24 Italian Restaurant-Quality Recipes to Make at Home

24 Italian Restaurant-Quality Recipes to Make at Home

What’s for dinner? Italian, but you’re not heading to your favorite restaurant. Tonight’s restaurant-quality Italian meal is going to be made at home. We’re sharing classic Italian recipes like chicken marsala and eggplant rollatini. There are classics with a twist, such as stuffed chicken Parmesan. And for dessert? Tiramisu, cannolis, and New York Cheesecake are on […]

Pancakes Your Family Will Flip For

Pancakes Your Family Will Flip For

Simple to make, a batch of pancakes is an easy homemade breakfast. A tall stack of fluffy pancakes with butter and drizzled with maple syrup, we can’t think of a better way to start the weekend. It’s a meal everyone will wake up for. So, get out your skillet or heat up a pan. Whether […]

18 Brussels Sprout Recipes

18 Brussels Sprout Recipes

Brussels sprouts get such a bad rap. They are one of our favorite veggies! Their smoky flavor pairs deliciously with cheese, bacon, onions, nuts, and more. A healthy vegetable that is in season right now, now’s the time to start trying new and tasty Brussels sprout recipes. Scroll down for delicious ideas that are sure […]