I never thought I would like anise until I moved to Pittsburgh. Many of my friends were Italian and made the most wonderful cookies. I fell madly in love with Italian anisette cookies and could’t wait for the holidays to savor the wonderful sweet and slightly licoricey flavor. I was diagnosed celiac and left Pittsburgh around all in the same year. When Christmas came around this year I knew I had to figure out a gluten free version of my now most favorite Christmas cookie. I had been having trouble finding anise flavoring in my local grocery stores, until one day I came across a bottle of anise emulsion at my local Ross. Emulsion and extract or anise flavoring will all work interchangeably in this recipe.
I wanted these cookies to be easy without any complicated mixing of flours. I also knew I wanted them to be soft chewy and cakey. I went to my local Walmart and looked at the gluten free flour blends that they had available. I spotted one I had never heard of before Gluten Free Cafe All Purpose Mix. I liked the fact that it contained sorghum flour which I know gives baked goods a great chew and consistency. I decided to give it a whirl. It is now my new favorite all purpose cookie flour. I created two recipes that I love so far using this flour; this recipe and a fantastic gluten free peanut butter cookie. If you like anise then these cookies will soon be your favorite too. The flavor is strong enough that I did not feel these needed the sugary icing that the original Italian version has. They stand alone well. If you feel like icing them anyways a simple glaze made of confectioners sugar, milk, and anise can be easily made.
- 2 cups Gluten Free Cafe All Purpose Flour
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- 6 tbsp eggs beaten (about 1 and a half eggs)
- 1½ teaspoons anise emulsion, extract, or flavoring
- Mix together dry ingredients.
- Mix together wet ingredients.
- Add wet to dry and mix until well combined.
- Chill dough until firmer about 30 minutes.
- Roll dough into teaspoon sized balls.
- Place balls 1 to 2 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Place any extra dough balls back in fridge to chill.
- Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Cookies will be soft and need to cool completely before being moved off of the tray.
- Makes 2 batches of 24 cookies.