Desserts, Parve

Recipe: Anise Drops

anise drop cookies

With many of our children grown and out of the house, we like to have cookies ready to send home with them when they come for a visit. This week we revisited this classic cookie from Joy of Cooking, but have substituted anise extract for the crushed anise seeds, which makes for a smoother textural experience, a family preference. We also added a pinch of salt, to bring out the lovely flavors of the anise and vanilla.

Don’t make these cookie drops when the humidity level is over 50%, for they do not come out well. Ideally, anise drops will have a soft cookie base with a meringue-like topping.

Make sure you have a space to hold 6 cookie sheets for the 18 hours you leave the cookies to air dry before baking them off. I like to use jelly roll pans as my cookie sheets. These can be stacked without damaging the unbaked anise drops. I stack the pans inside my cold oven to keep the drops clean until I am ready to preheat my oven.

Anise Drops

Yield: Around 96 1-inch cookies


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon anise extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder


  1. Cover 6 cookie sheets with foil.
  2. Sift flour with baking powder and a pinch of salt.
  3. Beat eggs until light.
  4. Add sugar gradually. Continue to beat with electric mixer at medium speed for five minutes. Add extracts.
  5. Fold in dry ingredients. Beat for another five minutes.
  6. Drop ½ teaspoons of batter well apart on foil-lined cookie sheets. Allow the anise drops to dry at room temperature for 18 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 325 ° Fahrenheit.
  8. Bake drops for around 12 minutes or until they begin to color.
  9. Cool cookies completely, then carefully peel them away from the foil. Store the cookies in an airtight cookie tin for up to one month.