All the Spokane food-related stuff that I can't figure out how to wedge into my other blog.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Anisette holiday cookies

Maria makes these cookies every holiday season. They are wonderful dipped into coffee. We have fun making these together every year.

The picture in the top banner of this blog is a picture of the anisette cookies from a few years ago.

For the last couple years our friend Beth has joined us. Beth can charm Maria into teaching us all the good Sicilian bad words and phrases.
All Sicilian cooking starts
with a "spirited" discussion.
And is resolved with a smile.

This recipe makes a huge pile of cookies, about 5 dozen. We do two batches at a time. But it's against Marian law to double the recipe. It must be done in two batches.


  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1.5 cups shortening
  • 7 tsp baking powder
  • 1 bottle (1 oz) anise extract
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 bottle (.5 oz) anise extract
  • Sprinkles!

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Separate eggs.
  3. Beat the whites to soft peaks. Beat the yolks in a separate bowl until frothy and pale.
  4. Pour the beat yolks into the whites and beat slowly while adding sugar to mix.
  5. Add anise extract to eggs and mix.
  6. Put the flour and baking powder into a big mixing bowl and stir to mix.
  7. Add shortening to bowl and work into the flour with your hands until the shortening is incorporated into the flour uniformly.
  8. Beat the yolks well.
    Until it hurts.
  9. Pour egg mixture into flour and continue to work with your hands until a soft dough forms. Add flour or a bit of milk to get a nice baby's butt soft thing going.
  10. (Optional): If I were the king of the world, I would let the dough rest in the refrigerator for  20 minutes or so before the next step. But that's also against Marian law.
  11. Roll clumps of dough into strips about 8-12 inches long to the diameter of about a standard Sicilian index finger.
  12. Make nice shapes and put the cookies on a thick baking sheet.
  13. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  14. Make the icing: mix powdered sugar and anise. Add a bit of water to make a thickish paste icing that will flow slowly.
  15. Let cookies cool. Pour icing over the cooled cookies. Add bling. Give away or you'll be in trouble.

Maria dips top of cookies into icing while
Beth sprinkles with bling.

Rolling out the dough.
The cylinders are twisted into pretty shapes.

Maria, Liza, Beth. Rolling and twisting.

Maria working the egg mixture into the dough.

Maria explains the double meaning of the word, Bacala.

1 comment:

  1. my great grandmother made these... thank you for sharing the recipe... she would never write anything down. :)