Thursday, December 13, 2012

Orange and Anise Cookies

I love all the nuances and quirks of people.  They can be so strange and fascinating.  For instance, take Seth and me.  We love pajamas.  Love them.  Nothing makes us happier than being all cozy and comfy at home.  But when we eat, we rarely use paper plates and paper napkins.  We get out the place mats and plates and utensils and cloth napkins, even when we get takeout Chinese or pizza.  And we eat like this while wearing pajamas.

There are many things that Seth doesn't eat that I enjoy.  I love fruit and fruity desserts.  Seth doesn't. And it is a bit random what I actually find worth making for myself (and Max) and what I don't think is worth it.  Like cheesecake - I won't make it.  Even though I adore it and used to have my mom make me some for birthday cakes growing up.  But banana bread is a yes.  Desserts with peanut butter are generally a no (Seth hates peanut butter in sweets).  But I make apple pie at least once a year.  These cookies are also a yes.  Seth doesn't particularly love anise, but Christmas isn't Christmas without these cookies for me.  They are adapted from my dad's mother's famous recipe.  They are like anisey, orangey little cakes with a cream cheese frosting.  And I crave these every year.  So while peanut butter blossom cookies won't make the cut on the holiday cookie list - these are always at the top.

For the cookies:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup whole milk or buttermilk
2 teaspoons anise extract
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

For the icing:
8 ounces cold cream cheese
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons anise extract
1 tablespoon orange juice
pinch salt
pinch allspice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cookies:
In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder, allspice, orange zest.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg and egg yolk, and beat until incorporated.  Add milk, anise, and orange juice into the butter mixture.  Slowly stir in flour mixture.  Once the flour has been incorporated, refrigerate the dough for a few hours or overnight.  Bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes.  Once cool they have cooled, frost with the cream cheese icing.

For the icing:
Beat cream cheese, butter, and sugar in mixer.  Add in remaining ingredients and beat gently until a spreadable icing remains.  Feel free to add more sugar if the icing is too liquidy, or to add more liquid if it is too stiff.


  1. Anise cookies are one of my favorite things during Christmas :) Those and my grandpa's pizzelles :D

  2. I've never tried anise cookies except biscotti! These look so festive that I might have to make it a Christmas tradition myself.... I'd totally love to have a pj and paper plate party, that's really how I roll too. Less work is always a win in my book! :)

  3. I've come to really appreciate anise in cookies. They're always a nice surprise for me! We have have traditional New Mexico cookies that are cinnamon sugar and anise cookies that are some of my favorite cookies. I'm going to be making two large batches of those in the next few days! :-)

  4. I love your frosting to cookie ratio- spot on! :D
    When it comes to people, the quirkier the better.

  5. I love the flavor anise gives..I use it in my Pizzelles. I love that you eat with your fancy dinnerware while in pajamas :)

  6. I want to join this pajama cookie party! I've never had anise cookies before but would love to try these, the icing alone looks amazing.

  7. I will trust you that these are delicious because I don't care for anise.

  8. Seth be crazy. Peanut butter is awesome. I've never had anise cookies, but I do love me some citrus.

  9. These cookies look so delicious :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  10. I'll generally try to bake or cook anything at least once before deciding whether it's worth it, but you're right - some things are some things aren't. Cookies are ALWAYS worth it in my opinion! This flavor combo sounds so festive!

  11. I've never tried anise cookies but they sound delish!! Love the orange zest in there and the icing sounds really really good!

  12. These cookies look amazing, just in time for Christmas!

  13. Delightful cookies! I have never heard of anise extract! Interesting!

  14. We do the same :) Even if it's takeout we get out plates/silverware/etc and eat it at the table. It's funny what sort of habits and food memories you pick up. I've never had an anise cookie (but I love the idea of a cream cheese frosting) and I think it'd definitely be a great flavor combo with the orange.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...