1 cup sugar
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1 tbsp. pure anise extract
3-1/2 cups of flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup milk
3 cups confectioner's sugar or powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
NonPareil sprinkles or large granule colored sugars
Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Generously butter a cookie sheet before dusting with flour or place parchment paper on cookie sheet and butter parchment paper (cookies are sticky before and after baking).
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and the anise until smooth and fluffy. Set aside.
In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add 3 cups of sifted flour and 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder and mix. Add the eggs and anise mixture and mix well. Add remaining 1/2 cup of flour and continue to mix with a fork, until the dough is stiff and sticky (almost elastic consistency).
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared pan - as dough will be sticky, I suggest a bit of butter on spoon - space about 1” apart. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes, or until dough springs right back after pressing with finger and the tops are lightly brown. **Watch the cookies very close toward the end of baking, so as not to overcook them.
When the cookies are done take them off the cookie sheet immediately and place them on the cooling rack.
Icing: In a medium bowl, add confectioner's sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Mix well (add a little more milk and/or a little more powdered sugar to get the right consistency)
When cookies have cooled, dip tops in icing or drip icing off spoon onto cookies – sprinkle with sprinkles or colored sugar.