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Anise Cookies are one of the most popular and beloved Swiss Christmas cookies! They have a unique flavor, are very crisp, yet have a soft core!

swiss anise cookies in a cookie tin

In Switzerland, we call them Chräbeli! They owe their name to their appearance, but they don’t differ in taste from German Anise Cookies. The only difference is the shape. So feel free to use this anise cookie dough recipe for either the Swiss or German version.

Swiss Anise Cookies (Chräbeli) have a half-moon shape and can be made with only a knife. 

anise christmas cookies in a cookie tin

German Anise Cookies (also known as Springerle) are cut-out cookies for which you need a special Springerle mold or cookie stamps to make the beautiful and very typical ornament. 

Therefore, the Swiss version I am going to show you in this recipe is much easier, faster, and no special equipment needed.

Unique Taste & Essential Oils

In terms of taste, anise cookies are truly unique. Not only do they have a flavorful anise taste, but letting the raw dough dry for 24 hours at room temperature before baking gives them a unique taste like no other cookies have.

If this is your first time making them, you must know that letting them dry for so long before baking is an essential step of this recipe and can’t be shortened nor skipped. It is also responsible for the typical “feet” they build once in the oven. 

anise cookies in a cookie tin next to a cup of tea

To get the best out of anise seeds, I highly recommend toasting them slightly in a skillet and crushing them with a mortar afterward. 

Why? Essential oils are released during those steps, which make for a beautiful anise flavor. You will smell it in your kitchen, I promise!

Anise Cookies Recipe

This step-by-step guide will help you along the way – definitely recommended if you’re a baking beginner! 

The exact quantities and everything else you need to know for the recipe can be found in the recipe card below.

  • Toast the anise seeds for a few minutes in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Coarsely grind them in a mortar and set aside. → Those two steps enhance the anise flavor!
anise cookie recipe step 1
  • Beat the eggs, powdered sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer until white and fluffy (takes about 3-5 minutes).
  • Stir in anise seeds.
anise cookie recipe step 2
  • Add flour and stir using a spatula until just combined.
recipe step 3
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and form/roll the dough into ½-inch (1 ½ cm) thick rolls. → This is about the thickness of a finger.
  • Cut the rolls into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces. Make two cuts and shape them into a half-moon (see pictures in the blog post’s step-by-step instructions).
anise cookie shape
  • Transfer to with parchment paper-lined baking sheets and let them dry at room temperature for 24 hours. → Don’t cover, and don’t leave at a place with a draft.
recipe step 5
  • Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Bake the cookies in the lower third of the oven, with the oven door slightly ajar, for 15-20 minutes.→ Stick a wooden spoon between the oven and the door!
  • Remove from the oven, allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Recipe FAQ & Tips

How long do they stay fresh? They are best freshly baked. However, you can store them for at least one week in a cookie tin or airtight container at room temperature.

Can I make the dough ahead of time? Unfortunately, this dough can’t be made in advance! Once the dough is mixed together, you don’t want to lose any time shaping them.

Do you have Kirsch at home? Add two tablespoons of Kirsch to the dough (Step 4) and add a little more flour.

Do you prefer to cut out cookies (German Anise Cookies)? Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it out, using a rolling pin, to about ¼-inch (½ cm) thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all dough is used.

german anise cookies in a cookie tin

More Christmas Cookie Recipes You’ll Love:

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📖 Recipe

swiss anise cookies in a cookie tin

Swiss Anise Christmas Cookies

Anise Cookies are one of the most popular and beloved Swiss Christmas cookies! They have a unique flavor, are very crisp, yet have a soft core!
Author : Aline Cueni
4.92 from 12 votes

Click on the stars to leave a vote!

Prep Time :45 minutes
Cook Time :15 minutes
Resting Time :1 day
Total Time :1 day 1 hour
Servings : 50 Cookies
Calories : 37kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Toast the anise seeds for a few minutes in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Coarsely grind them in a mortar and set aside. → Those two steps enhance the anise flavor!
  • Beat the eggs, powdered sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer until white and fluffy (takes about 3-5 minutes).
  • Stir in anise seeds.
  • Add flour and stir using a spatula until just combined.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and form/roll the dough into ½-inch (1 ½ cm) thick rolls. → This is about the thickness of a finger.
  • Cut the rolls into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces. Make two cuts and shape them into a half-moon (see pictures in the blog post's step-by-step instructions). Transfer to the lined baking sheets and let them dry at room temperature for 24 hours. → Don't cover, and don't leave at a place with a draft.
  • Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Bake the cookies in the lower third of the oven, with the oven door slightly ajar, for 15-20 minutes.→ Stick a wooden spoon between the oven and the door!
  • Remove from the oven, allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes

Do you have Kirsch at home? Add two tablespoons of Kirsch to the dough (Step 4) and add a little more flour.
Do you prefer to cut out cookies? Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it out, using a rolling pin, to about ¼-inch (½ cm) thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all dough is used.
Store: They stay fresh for quite a while if stored in a cookie tin at room temperature.
This dough can’t be made in advance! Once the dough is mixed together, you don’t want to lose any time shaping them.

Nutrition

Calories: 37kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 10mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




4.92 from 12 votes (11 ratings without comment)

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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These cookies are delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe! I made the moon-shape, not molded, cookies. But I was confused when they started to “ooze” dough from the center when baking, and did not get “feet”. They still tasted great but didn’t look so appealing because of this. I’m going to try the recipe again but will dry them longer before baking to see if that makes them ooze less. But any other suggestions would be welcome!

    1. Hi Patti, leaving them for 24 hours before baking makes a difference. But there are lots of reasons they don’t get the “feet”. At least, they still taste delicious! 😉

  2. OK, good to know 🙂 – then I will start a second batch today. Thanks for sharing the recipe – I bought some from the local Christmas market (I am in Switzerland) to compare tastes and texture – and your recipe was spot on for both. They kept their anise seeds a bit more whole than I did, but everything else was good (except for my little feet – which they did not have :))

  3. Hello, I tried the recipe and all the cookies had a “blow out” on the bottom where dough expanded out and cooked / hardened. Any suggestions on what I did wrong? The taste is great and the only modification I did was the addition of the kirsch.

    1. Hi Kathy, you did everything right! This is very typical for Swiss Anise Cookies, we call it “Füsschen” (little feet)! 💕