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Fennel and Anise Snowy Crinkle Cookies

Updated on November 24, 2014
Elyn MacInnis profile image

Elyn spent the last 30 years in China, coming home in the summer to cook American food and have fun doing craft projects with her family.

Fennel and Anise make these cookies ideal to eat after a big meal.

The ground fennel and anise seeds in Snowy Crinkle Cookies have special properties.

You may have seen fennel seed in an Indian restaurant. You can take a spoonful of fennel seeds plain or covered in a pastel sugar coating after a meal to help digest your food.

Fennel tea and Anise tea are also used to treat colic in babies. So if you have had a big meal, and want to just have one cookie - it would be wise to pick this one! Not only will it be a tasty dessert, it will help you digest your meal too.

Fennel in flower
Fennel in flower

I believe we tried this cookie in a chocolate form first. But then, because we were living in China in the 1980s, we had no good chocolate to add, so we tried it without. What to add? First we just added more vanilla. The cookies were quite good.

Then we discovered that we could add other spices to give it more holiday flavor. And one year we had a small jar of anise and fennel seed. Eureka. That was it. We stopped experimenting. You can add anise extract to the dough, and grind up some fennel seeds into the powdered sugar that you roll the cookies in at the end to give them their snowy look. The fragrance is lovely, and it really will help your digestion.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 15 minutes, 3 hours in refrigerator, Less than 1 hour to cook all of them.

Total Time: One hour plus.

Serves: Well, depends on how many people want!


  • Mix 2 cups of sugar with
  • 4 eggs and beat well
  • Add 2 tsp anise extract to mixture and blend
  • Sift 3 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Mix together and then cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  • Roll a Tablespoon of dough in your hand until round.
  • Drop it in powdered sugar (can add crushed fennel or anise seed) and put on greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350F / 180 C for 10-12 minutes.


  1. I like to have my directions mixed in with the ingredients. But I will write them here, so if you prefer reading directions, you will have them.
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar in a bowl and add extract. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together and add to the egg-sugar mixture. Mix well, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Take about a tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball, dropping it into a bowl of powdered sugar and coating it before you cook them. These cookies are made in the usual way on a buttered cookie sheet or on parchment paper on a cookie sheet for baking. Bake at 350 F or 180 C for 10-12 minutes.
Cast your vote for Snowy Crinkle Cookies Recipe

Anise is a beautiful plant - Perhaps you might like to plant some anise in the garden next summer?

anise plant
anise plant

Planting spices is fun. You could plant some anise in the summer and save the seeds to use for your Christmas cookies.

I planted soybeans in the garden with my daughters one summer, and then we harvested the beans and made them into tofu. It was a "start to finish" sort of experiment! The tofu was very special with a very fresh flavor.

I think next year I will try planting anise. It is an annual plant, so you have to replant it every year, and it needs full sun and a kind environment where there is not too much wind because the plants are quite tender when they are first growing.

The anise plant photo is from the kind folks at

No-fat cookies - Snowy Crinkle Cookies are no-fat! - If you are trying to stay away from oil and fats...

Cookies usually have butter or oil and sugar in them. Frankly, that is why they taste so good. Not much you can do about that! But if you have a reason to stay away from fats, you will appreciate these recipes, which don't have oil in them.

Do you like spice flavors in cookies?

Where I live, in China, people don't like the flavor of cinnamon very much. They wrinkle their noses and mumble something about it being a flavor that is used with meats. When I think of anise, I actually think of Italy. And I also think of those amazing mints I used to get with white chalky mint on the outside and a small center of black anise flavored gum drop in the center. When I think of ginger I always think of ginger snaps, one of my favorite cookies.

If you could only have one flavor in your cookies, which would it be?

See results

Extracts and spices

Using fresh extracts and spices means your cookies will taste better.

Cook's Pure Anise Extract 8 oz
Cook's Pure Anise Extract 8 oz

A good anise extract really helps these cookies shine.


So did you try them? What did you think?

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    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 

      6 years ago

      I have not tried them because I have to go to sleep! But, I will make a note to try them, they look delicious.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I will try them. They look delicious. I grow fennel and save the seeds. I will have to try growing anise.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Love them. Thanks for the reminder! ;-)

    • Aster56 profile image


      6 years ago

      Anise and fennel cookie sounds good to have after a meal.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      6 years ago from Canada

      These cookies look delicious although they have Fennel and Anise, two items we don't cook with much. I should try them.

    • Einar A profile image

      Einar A 

      6 years ago

      Very unique and tasty sounding recipe. I'm going to have to give these a try!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile imageAUTHOR

      Elyn MacInnis 

      6 years ago from Shanghai, China

      @MissionBoundCre: They aren't very big! Perhaps even a dozen might be a good trial eating. ;- ) They are simple. That is why I love them. Thanks for stopping by!

    • MissionBoundCre profile image


      6 years ago

      I can't believe how simple the recipe seems. I'll have to try it and eat several of them ( like 1/2 a dozen) before I can confirm that

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Yummy cookies!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm going to have to try the snowy crinkle cookies...They look delicious

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Such good cookies...Yum!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The flavor sounds odd but the photo of the cookies looks very tempting. I will aks my wife to bake one of this and made some chocolate sauce for dipping... YUM!

      Material Handling

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Mmm now I have an excuse to eat cookies and actually be healthy. I've had anise in some soup broth but not in cookies. I'll have to give these a try to add some extra sweetener.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I really enjoy anise cookies, nice lens.

    • SiochainGraSonas profile image


      6 years ago

      I haven't tried these. They sound yummy.

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 

      6 years ago

      Very informative! I am definitely going to make this for christmas!


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