Bake Like an Italian

I like baking cookies and I cannot lie. They are, frankly, the only thing I like baking. I’m borderline afraid of using yeast and cake repulses me. So, cookies!

I loved Italian cookies growing up but never snagged a family recipe, so I was super thrilled when a coworker of mine from Italy brought these into work recently! I made sure to grab her perfect recipe and finally got around to testing it out this morning. Great success, even from this anise skeptic. The best thing about these is that they are preposterously easy to make. They make chocolate chip cookies look like one of the Barefoot Contessa’s fancy soufflés. Let’s get going!

Mama Talia’s Italian Cookies

  • 1 1/2 c butter, melted
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 3 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp anise extract*
  • 4 tsp baking powder

For the glaze:

  • 2 c confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 tsp anise extract
  • boiling water

*She also mentioned that Sambuca would do the trick in lieu of anisette…

Preheat the oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (the recipe makes 2 dozen). Beat the eggs, and then add the melted butter, anise, and sugar. Beat until smooth. Stir in the flour and baking powder until just combined. Roll the dough into balls. Don’t flatten them! Bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on your oven), rotating at the halfway mark. Let cool completely on the cookie sheets.

When the cookies are cool, make the glaze by drizzling boiling water over confectioner’s sugar and anise and whisking until it reaches an Elmer’s glue-esque consistency. Dip each of the cookies into the glaze until the top is well coated and add sprinkles if desired. Let the glaze harden before storing!


See? Literally the easiest cookies ever. Now, to avoid eating a dozen of them instead of tonight’s dinner…


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