top of page
  • Writer's pictureMai

Yansoon No chill Holiday Cookies

words on the cookies: Eid in Arabic means Holiday, and Hub means love, everything else was too long to stamp lol

A sugar cookie is such a simple pleasure. They’re so buttery, sweet and melt in your mouth. The same reasons my kids say i ruined this sugar cookie recipe. Don't listen to them i have been adding anise to these cookies since they were old enough to decorate them and every year i hear the same story "mom, here comes the aneeeeese cookies again, why aneeeesssseee!!!. Why, because flavors of anise and citrus are very common in Arab baked goods and treats. Anise seeds are in fact steeped to make a warm cozy tea that's often served in the winter months. That cozy aroma always reminds me of my teta's house in the winter and the image of teta sitting by the stand alone heater with her white shawl over her shoulders and thick socks and slippers. Its my way of incorporating the flavors that are familiar to me growing up to new traditions and ideas. I never grew up with cut out cookies when i was little in Palestine, but we always had an anise or yansoon flavored cookie of sort for the holidays.

This tradition all started when a friend shared with me what she claimed to be the perfect cut out cookie recipe. I was an intimidated baker 15 years ago so i wanted to believe her. she sent me a clipped page out of i think a Parents magazine . And i never looked back again at any sugar cookie recipe. because when you find a recipe for a good one, you hold on tight. Although its a family joke that i add anise seeds to the cookies but we all love it so much and its the cookie Santa is been requesting for years. It even became the cookie of choice for my friend tammy. Tammy and I bake together for the holidays every year and this is the recipe she always requests. I know how to make these cookies with my eyes closed but please don't ask me about any frosting tips, you can see for yourself in the photo above, the lines are barely straight. Wishing you Hub (love), Farah (joy) and Salam (peace) this holiday season and always.

Anise Cut Out Sugar Cookies - No chill cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) softened unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar (original recipe calls for 1.5 cups of sugar, adjust to your taste)

1 egg at room temperature

1.5 tsp Anise extract or vanilla extract

2 and 3/4 cups AP flour

2tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tbls roughly ground anise*

zest of a lemon

what is Anise Seed:

Anise seed is used as a spice, either ground or whole. and often used in baked goods in the Middle East and also enjoyed brewed as tea or a digestive after dinner. The seeds have an aroma of licorice, its sweet and very aromatic


Preheat the over to 350

Mix the sugar and softened butter until pale yellow and fluffy, add egg, zest and extract.

In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients gradually to the wet until combined. Combine the dough into a ball. On a floured surface divide the dough into 2 balls. Don't chill the dough if you are baking it right away. .

Then use a rolling pin to roll each disk out to 1/4- to 1/8-inches thick. .. Don't roll dough too thin if you re decorating the cookies this way they are sturdy and perfect for frosting .. Using a floured cookie cutter cut out your shapes. Re-roll the dough scraps to cut out additional cookies.

position the baking rack in the middle position in your oven.

Bake on silicone baking mat or parchment paper until light brown and cooked about 7-8 minutes. start checking them at 7 minutes. You want to bake your cookies until the edges are set and just barely starting to turn golden. Baking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your cookies.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer them to a cooling rack to completely cool before decorating them.

Store cookies in an airtight container they will last up to one week.

Recipe Tips:

- i like to grind my spices from whole. So for this recipe i used a coarse ground but if you have anise seeds powder go ahead an use it.

- This dough can be made in advance. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

- To freeze: Form the dough into a ball, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place in an airtight container and freeze 2 to 3 months. Let thaw completely in the fridge before using.

- This roll-out cookie dough recipe is great for making cut-out cookies of all shapes and sizes. They will hold their shape and can easily be customized

Recent Posts

See All



bottom of page