Fennel and Anise Snowy Crinkle Cookies
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
For more information on these spices, please visit
- Fennel Benefits & Information (Foeniculum Vulgare)
Fennel is used primarily as a digestive aid, but it also has quite a few other healing properties. Go to this link to see the full spectrum of its curative properties.
- More on Fennel and its seeds
This site has good pictures of fennel plants and seeds, and describes the variation around the world.
- Everything about anise, aniseed, aniseeds, anise seed, herbs and spice.
Anise seed is a relative of fennel, and they are both in the same family as our old friend the Carrot. It is also used to treat colic in children and to help digestion.
- More on anise, lovely photos
For beautiful pictures of snowy anise flowers and more information on the spice, try this site.
Anise is a beautiful plant - Perhaps you might like to plant some anise in the garden next summer?
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 www.mainefoodandfarms.com
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.
- Chewy Cinnamon Bar cookies
It is so hard to figure out how to describe a cookie so people will try them. All I can say is that these are fantastic, and when people hear that they have no butter or oil in them they always have more.
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?
Extracts and spices
Using fresh extracts and spices means your cookies will taste better.
A good anise extract really helps these cookies shine.