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Let the festivities begin! It's hard to believe it's already December 1st. With everything on my to-do list, I often wonder how it will all get done. I need a holiday assistant, wouldn't that be fun?
Now, on to cookies. I LOVE baking holiday cookies of all kinds. Big ones, little ones, sugar-cut-outs, chocolate, I could go on forever. I believe there is nothing more heartfelt than receiving homemade gifts during this season...especially if it arrives as a tray of sweets.
When I saw these Italian Cookies, I knew I had to make them. They are the perfect bites of sweetness for this time of year and they will pimp out your holiday cookie platters.
Who doesn't love sprinkles anyway?
Let's whip these up...
Here's what you'll need for the cookies and the glaze:Butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, anise extract, all-purpose flour, eggs, table salt, shortening and baking powder. Ingredients not shown: Milk.
Sift 3 cups all-purpose flour, 5 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a bowl. Set aside.
In the microwave, melt 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup shortening (makes sure the shortening is fresh or it will taste bad) together in a bowl.
Beat the melted butter and shortening together until it is completely incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup granulated sugar and mix well. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, about 1 minute each. Mix in 2 teaspoons anise extract.
Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture slowly, until fully incorporated. Don't overmix. If the cookie dough is too sticky to roll in the palm of your hand, add a bit of flour. However, the dough should remain very soft, so don't add too much.
Roll the cookie dough in small balls (they puff up quite nicely) and place them on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes (mine took 8 minutes). The bottoms of the cookies should be lightly browned but the tops should remain light in color.
Remove cookies from cookie sheet immediately and move to a wire rack. Cool completely before glazing.
For the glaze, slowly mix 3-4 Tablespoons milk with 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon anise extract. The glaze needs to be thick to adhere to the cookie.
Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze. I dipped about 10 cookies at a time.
Sprinkle each cookie with nonpareils and leave them to completely dry.
This recipe made approximately 100 cookies when dough was rolled into 3/4" balls.
Perfect for tea time.
Or a coffee break.
Or anytime really. Just try them, they are really good.
For the cookies:
For the glaze:
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