My mom used to make these cookies for the holidays. They're great for any occasion, really, but they do look festive during the holidays.
Italian Anisette Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons anise extract (or almond extract)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (may need up to 3 cups)
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 -3 tablespoons milk
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1/8 teaspoon anise extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For best results, line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
For cookies, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add anise extract.
Blend flour and baking powder. Start by adding about 1/3 of these dry ingredients to the butter/sugar in your mixer, 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).
Use a teaspoon to make simple round drop cookies - use wet fingers to pat any rough edges.
Bake cookies 10-12 minutes. They won't be brown but the insides will be soft and cake-like.
For icing: mix sugar, milk and extract to make a sugar glaze.
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.
Allow icing to harden overnight; then store in air-tight containers or freeze.
And... gobble 'em up!