Anise Seed Christmas Cookie Recipes

Need new Christmas cookie recipes or dessert recipes? These are such easy Christmas cookies and they are AMAZING!  

This year, think outside of the sugar-cookie cutter and throw an unexpected ingredient into the mix: anise seeds.

My family and I have made these anise seed Christmas cookies every year for as long as I can remember (there are the cutest pictures of me decorating them when I was little), and they’re still my favorite cookies of all time. I swear, nothing is better!

Of course, anise seeds are the secret ingredient, but to really bring out the flavor, pack your finished cookies in tins and set them outside (in the garage or on the back porch) for 48 hours—or longer, if you can wait. It sounds weird, but the longer the better. It makes them super soft and amazing.

This holiday cookie recipe has been in my family for three generations, and this year, I’m carrying on the tradition and making them for the first time all on my own. (This is a big deal. Usually I just nudge my mom to make some for me.) It’s my favorite holiday tradition and was the ONLY thing my dad asked for for Christmas each year before he passed away. On one of our last Christmases together, he gave my sister and I each a set of our own cookie cutters so we could make them each year (for him, obviously) but also for our friends and for our own families one day.

Hopefully this recipe brings as many warm memories to your family as it did to mine!

Anise Seed Cookies
Makes about 30-35 cookies

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon anise seeds


1. Cream softened butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix.

2. Add flour, salt and baking powder to batter. Mix well. Add anise seeds.

3. Roll dough in a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight (or for at least 2 hours).

4. Next day, roll out dough so it’s 1/4-inch thick and cut out cookies.

5. Bake at 325 degrees for 12 minutes, or until edges are lightly brown. Cool before frosting.

Anise Seed Cookie Icing

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • A few drops of vanilla extract
  • Splash of milk


1. Combine butter and powdered sugar and mix.

2. Add a few drops of vanilla and a splash of milk to give the frosting a spreadable consistency (careful not to add too much). Decorate when frosting is wet.

One thought on “Anise Seed Christmas Cookie Recipes

  1. This brought tears to my eyes. These are my favorite cookies to make and bring back so many fun memories of your dad and gram!

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