Thursday, December 22, 2016


My husband's grandmother, Elisabeth Greco Noviello, always made these cookies at Christmas time. She colored the icing and formed the cookie dough into circles and 'S' shapes. I like the simple ball shapes with white icing and red and green sprinkles. My husband said it brings back his childhood when he smells them baking.

¾ cup (175 ml) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ (310 ml) cups granulated sugar
1 t (5 ml) anise flavoring
1 t (5 ml) lemon zest
½ t (2 ml) salt
3 large egg yolks
1 large whole egg
3 cups (750 ml) all-purpose flour

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar. 
Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. 
Beat in anise, lemon zest, and salt. 
Add yolks and whole egg, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Reduce speed to low and add flour, 1 cup (250 ml) at a time, beating until fully combined.

Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) degrees.

Roll dough into 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls.
Transfer to a cookie sheet. 

Repeat with remaining dough. 

Bake until firm and lightly golden, 12 to 14 minutes. 
Transfer to a cool cookies sheet fitted with a wire rack to cool.  

Place wire rack on the baking sheets to catch any icing drips.

Royal Icing
2 cups (500 ml) confectioners’ sugar
1 egg white
1 to 2 T (15 to 30 ml)  milk
1 t (5 ml) anise flavoring
Red and green sprinkles

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all ingredients on low speed until smooth. 
You can also do this in a bowl using a wire whisk.

Dip cooled cookies into icing and add sprinkles while icing is still soft.
Let icing harden and then store in an airtight container.

Makes about 6 dozen (72) cookies

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