I’ve been in a lemon mood lately, so I’ve been dreaming up all kinds of lemon desserts in my head. A few of them have actually made it out of my head and into my kitchen. One of those were these little lemon anise cookies.
I love the flavor of anise–sweet and woodsy with a bit of a licorice flavor. The other day I got to thinking about some little Italian anise cookies I had made a few years ago, and decided they would be even better with some lemon added. So I pulled the recipe out and started making some notes until I came up with a version I thought might work. The result was a little cookie/tea cake that has a tangy lemon glaze on the outside and a wonderfully soft anise lemon center.
These cookies make perfect dunking cookies because they are cakey enough to soak up liquid, but they don’t disintegrate when you dunk them.
Lemon Anise Cookies
Makes 55 – 75 (depending on how big you make them)
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 tsp. anise extract
zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Glaze (recipe follows)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease baking sheet(s).
2. Make Dough: Beat sugar, butter, eggs, milk, anise extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice together in a large bowl with mixer until blended. On low speed, beat in flour, baking powder, and salt until blended.
3. Drop rounded measuring teaspoons of dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheet(s).
4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until bottoms are light golden. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool.
5. Make Glaze.
6. Dip tops of cookies in glaze. Let set and then dip again (optional), and let set. Store airtight at room temperature up to 2 weeks or freeze up to 1 month.
Glaze: Whisk together 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 2 tsp. milk in a small bowl until smooth.