You ask, we tell!  Here are the homemade anise cookies we were nomming on for today’s Odd Ball.

Italian anise cookies (modified from Food.com)
COOKIE

* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 3 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons anise extract
* 2 – 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour [may need a bit more, but keep them light!]
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 2 -3 tablespoons milk

ICING

* 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
* 3 tablespoons milk
* 1/4 teaspoon anise extract

Directions:

Prep Time: 40 mins

Total Time: 1 1/4 hr (took me less!)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. [or grease 'em, that's what I do!]

2.  For cookies, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. [I used a spoon, a couple minutes, they were fine] Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add anise extract.

3.  Blend flour and baking powder. Start by adding about 1/3 of these dry ingredients to the butter/sugar in your mixer [or, beat on it with a spoon], then add 1 T. milk. Add another third of the flour and another 1 T. milk. Finally, mix in enough of the remaining flour until your dough is like a brownie batter (it should be softer than a drop cookie dough).

4.  Use a 1 T. cookie scooper to make simple round drop cookies – use wet fingers to pat any rough edges OR for an Easter-Egg look, roll 1 T. dough into an elongated ball.  [I just put vaguely circular blobs on the sheet with a silverware spoon as a scooper, tucked in edges]

5.  Bake cookies 10-12 minutes (they won’t be brown but the insides will be soft and cake-like). [In my oven, it took just a bit longer for the very bottom to be honey-brown, and that was just right]

6.  For icing: mix sugar, milk and extract to make a sugar glaze. HINT: When I make the icing, I make it thick but then I microwave it for 10 seconds so it is thin enough for dipping. Also, I like to divide the mixture in thirds, and then add ONE DROP of food coloring to each batch (pink, green, yellow). [I don't *own* food coloring or sprinkles, but I left that part in -- great hint on the microwave though!]

7.  Hold cookie in your hand and turn upside down so you can dip the top half in the glaze; turn over and immediately top with sprinkles so they will stick. [let the warm glass drain off of the cookie after you dip it or they'll be half sugar glaze, and you'll run out -- I drained mine, and barely had enough]

8.  Allow icing to harden overnight [but grab a couple warm -- they'll be an amazing mix of glaze, fluffy cake, and lightly crisp bottom]; then store in air-tight containers or freeze. [or as we did, just leave them on a plate in a cool room -- until devoured -- they won't go stale]

[Our yeild was 24 2.5-3" cookies]