Skip the standard vanilla and opt for wonderful and complex anise flavor!

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Makes about 2 dozen

You will need:

For the Dough:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1⁄2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1teaspoon anise seeds, roughly chopped

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt


1 cup confectioners’ sugar

11⁄2 tablespoons powdered egg whites

1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons water

sanding sugar, for sprinkling

  1. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and anise seeds and beat to combine.
  3. Add flour and salt and mix until a dough forms.
  4. Lay out 2 large pieces of plastic wrap.
  5. Spoon half of the dough onto each, then wrap and shape into a disc.
  6. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 350F.
  8. Working 1 piece of dough at a time, roll on a lightly floured surface until 1⁄8” thick.
  9. Cut into decorative shapes with your favorite holiday cookie cutters.
  10. Transfer to a baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough. Save your scraps! They can be patched together and re-rolled.
  11. Bake until lightly golden. This will take about 10–12 minutes.
  12. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
  13. Mix all of the icing ingredients together in a bowl.
  14. Using a small spoon or brush, carefully glaze the cookies and immediately sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  15. Let stand until the icing has set.


Skip the standard vanilla and opt for wonderful and complex anise flavor!
Photography by PHOTOGRAPHY by Linda Xiao | FOOD STYLING+RECIPES by Molly Shuster | PROP STYLING by Maeve Sheridan

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