There isn’t a Christmas that comes and goes that I haven’t make these gems. Italian cookies are quite delicious, somewhat easy to make, and very satisfying. They go great with everything and it always amazes me how much people in general enjoy these treats. I never ate them as a child, always went for the chocolate or the shaped sugar cookies with the colored sugar sprinkled on them. I believe at some point in your life, truly enjoying Italian cookies make the statement that your taste buds have arrived at a new level of maturity. Well I guess my tastebuds have really matured, they must be ancient. I love these darling little balls of delight! This recipe includes anise but is not overpowering. I just made them and omitted the lemon extract as I didn’t have any and they still were just perfect!
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1-5 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ of 1 oz. bottle anise extract
1 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
Melt and cool shortening. Mix with sugar and eggs, one at a time.
Add anise and lemon extracts. Gradually blend in flour and baking powder.
Shape into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in a 325* oven for 8-10 minutes or longer depending on the size of the balls.
When cooled, frost with icing and add nonpareils.
Icing: 1 box powdered sugar, 1/4-1/2 cup milk, and 1-2 drops anise.