Anise’s Family Christmas Sugar Cookies

Anise shares a family favorite in our next recipe of the Salty Running in the Kitchen series! Every family has that special dish that makes you remember childhood fondly and creates wonderful memories. My mom was a SAHM who baked, cooked, cleaned, and took care of her four kids like it was her job. We always had homemade cookies (except Oreos, because, well, it is hard to make them taste “real”), but the Christmas cookies were special.

This recipe may have originated on a box since it’s on paperboard, but it was well before I was born and nobody remembers the exact source. Proper credit intended.

These are the best sugar cookies ever. They can have food coloring added to make them festive, they can have a variety of decorations added and we’ve used them for other holidays depending on the cookie cutters for the shapes. Here’s where they become “anise” — while the recipe calls for either vanilla or a combination of vanilla and almond extracts, I have preferred using anise. I am one of those licorice-loving people and there is nothing better than making these with anise.

Anise’s Family Christmas Sugar Cookies


  • 2 3/4 c sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 c butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 c water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t anise extract or a combination of vanilla and almond extracts


  1. Sift together in a bowl the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add butter or margarine, water, eggs, and extract. Beat with mixer or wooden spoon until light and fluffy. If using food coloring, add it as well.
  3. Add in flour mixture with mixer or spoon slowly, blending until smooth.
  4. Chill 1 hour or until firm. Keep extra dough in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  5. Roll a small amount of dough at a time onto a floured board, about 1/8″ thick. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters and put on greased cookie sheets. You can also use parchment paper or non-stick cookie sheets.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven (375º F) for 8 to 10 minutes until pale brown.
  7. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  8. Once cool, decorate as you like!

Makes about 4 dozen 3-inch cookies.

Anise’s notes: I have successfully put everything in my KitchenAid stand mixer at once.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.