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Riscotti Italian Anise Cookies with sprinkles

Riscotti Cookies (Italian Anise Cookies)

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 272kcal
Share some festive Christmas cookies with family and friends--starting with Riscotti Cookies (Italian Anise Cookies). My family loves Riscotti Cookies.  Don't confuse riscotti with biscotti, though. These cookies are a family tradition with a funny name, but they're sure to please!
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Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter unsalted, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening such as Crisco
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon anise extract add a little more if desired or substitute with almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon milk optional, if needed

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter 2 sticks
  • 1/2 cup milk at least 2%
  • 2 1/2 cup powder sugar sifted


Cookie Directions:

  • Cream together sugar, butter, and shortening for 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
  • Add the anise extract and mix well - about 1 minute.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and whisk together.
  • Add the dry ingredients all at once to the sugar mixture.
  • Beat just until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of milk if the mixture is too dry
  • This should make into a soft dough.
  • Divide the dough into thirds or fourths and roll into long ropes 2-3 inches across.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  • Place on parchment-lined cookie sheets.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees until set and a little golden on the bottom.
  • Take out of the oven and place the cookies onto cooling racks.
  • Let cool completely, then ice.

Icing Directions:

  • Melt the butter in the top of a double-boiler or in a heat-proof bowl placed over a smaller saucepan.
  • Add the milk and vanilla, stirring constantly until the mixture is hot.
  • Once the mixture is hot, add the powdered sugar.
  • Mix or whisk until the consistency is smooth.
  • Being very careful, remove the icing from the heat. (Use a hot pad to hold the bowl with the icing with one hand, and wipe the water/steam off the bottom with a towel with the other hand. You don't want the cookies accidentally getting wet.)
  • Dip each cookie into the icing and place on a cooling rack. (Place aluminum foil under the rack so clean-up is easier.)
  • Sprinkle with Christmas or party sprinkles or coarse sugar while still wet I usually will dip eight cookies, then sprinkle them before they dry.
  • Let set overnight or at least for several hours until completely dry.
  • Store in an airtight container.
  • These freeze beautifully.


  • Be sure to let the dough chill before you bake the cookies. This will prevent them from spreading too much when baked.
  • The Riscotti Cookies are done when they are very light golden. Take care not to overbake them.
  • Don't ice the cookies until they have completely cooled.
  • If you plan on freezing the cookies, don't ice them.


Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 191mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 333IU | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg