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


★★★★★ 1 vote

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

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