Italian Anise Cookies are my all-time favorite holiday treat!
I stumbled upon a gluten free recipe a few years ago thanks to Gluten Free on A Shoe String and I think I’ve finally mastered its deliciousness!
Throughout the years of making these, I’ve used different gluten free extracts such as lemon and vanilla and they have tasted just as good as the classic anise!
Here’s all the deets:
Set your oven to 350 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Ingredients for the cookies:
2 cups of All Purpose GF Flour (I used King Arthurs)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 eggs at room temperature, beaten
2 teaspoons anise (vanilla or lemon) extract
2 to 3 tablespoons milk (any kind), at room temperature
Ingredients for the glaze:
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure anise (vanilla or lemon) extract
1 tablespoons milk (any kind)
*1-2 drops of gluten free food coloring
Choice of gluten free sprinkles
In a large mixing bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the butter, eggs, anise extract, and 2 tablespoons milk, mixing (I used my Kitchen Aid) to combine after each addition. The dough should be very thick but smooth and soft. You can add more milk by the half-teaspoon as necessary to reach the proper consistency.
Using damp hands or pat your hands in extra flour, roll each piece of dough (approx. 2 TBS) into a ball and place them about 1 inch apart from one another on the prepared baking sheets. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until just beginning to brown on the underside (about 11ish minutes). Do not overbake. If you begin to see any color developing on the top of the cookies, remove them from the oven right away. Allow to cool.
While cookies are cooling, prepare your glaze!
In a small bowl, place the confectioners’ sugar, extract, and 1 tablespoon of milk. Mix well, until a thick paste forms. Add more milk by the 1/4-teaspoon, mixing to combine well, until the glaze falls off the spoon slowly. You can add more milk to make it thinner or more sugar to make it thicker. *You can mix-in food coloring, drop by drop, to achieve desired color. I didn’t have any on-hand this year, but I have done it in the past.
Once cookies are cooled, dip and twist the top of them into glaze. Hold them over the glaze until they stop dripping, then place on a cooling rack (I put parchment paper underneath) and then sprinkle the cookies with desired sprinkles. Allow glaze to set and then mangia!!