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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
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 273kcal
Author: Becky Hardin
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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For the Cookies

  • 1 cup granulated sugar 200 grams
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter 57 grams, room temperature (½ stick)
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening 92 grams (½ stick), such as Crisco
  • 3 large eggs 150 grams, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon anise extract 1 gram (or almond extract)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 360 grams
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda 3 grams
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder 3 grams
  • 1 tablespoon milk 14 grams, optional, if needed

For the Icing

  • 1 cup unsalted butter 226 grams (2 sticks)
  • ½ cup milk 114 grams, at least 2%
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 4 grams
  • cups powdered sugar 283 grams, sifted


For the Cookies

  • Using a hand mixer, cream the sugar, butter, and shortening together for 3 minutes.
    1 cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup unsalted butter, ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
    3 large eggs
  • Add the anise extract and mix well, about 1 minute.
    ¼ teaspoon anise extract
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and whisk together.
    3 cups all-purpose flour, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • Add the dry ingredients all at once to the sugar mixture.
  • Beat just until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients.
  • This should make into a soft dough. Add 1 tablespoon of milk if the mixture is too dry
    1 tablespoon milk
  • 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 oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge and cut into ½-inch thick slices.
  • Place on prepared baking sheet(s).
  • Bake 10-12 minutes, 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.

For the Icing

  • Melt the butter in the top of a double-boiler or in a heat-proof bowl placed over a smaller saucepan.
    1 cup unsalted butter
  • Add the milk and vanilla, stirring constantly until the mixture is hot.
    ½ cup milk, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Once the mixture is hot, add the powdered sugar.
    2½ cups 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 8 cookies, then sprinkle them before they dry.
  • Let set overnight or at least for several hours until completely dry.


  • 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 lightly 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.
Storage: Store Riscotti cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Freeze for up to 1 month.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 122mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 338IU | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg