Star Anise Snickerdoodles from Cooking Light Magazine, December 2013

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I’ve always told Dudette that she can do anything she wants, especially when she’s told by others that she can’t do something because she’s a girl and what she wants to do is a ‘boy’ thing. To that, I say posh.

Well, except for one thing. I tell her that she can’t be president of the United States. Before you get all huffy in my direction, it’s not my fault. I can’t be president either.  Only people born in this country are able to run for that office. I was born in France; Dudette was born in Armenia. Option closed. It’s not a girl/guy thing. Arnold can’t do it either.

Presidency aside, I think there are two other ‘things’ that definitely fall in the guys-only category. The first is The Three Stooges. I don’t know a single female that likes watching them, but all the men in my life love them. And I don’t get it. Idiotic is a word that comes to mind.

The second thing is licorice. Just typing the word makes me want to retch a little. You know I’m not talking about the red kind, right? Just that black, nasty stuff. I always thought that people who gave out Good ‘n Plenty on Halloween hated kids. I still can’t understand why jelly bean companies include licorice-flavored ones in the bags when they know that 90% of the folks eating them are munchkin-sized. Licorice is plain old nasty and if anyone’s going to like it, it’ll be a guy (and my aunt … hi Tata Mic).

So, why did I make star anise snickerdoodles? Good question.

The Process

You know the drill on this one. Dry stuff in one bowl, wet stuff in another. Mix each separately, then combine and mix some more. Throw it in the fridge for an hour, then take it out. Roll balls of dough in cinnamon sugar and place on a cookie sheet. Bake.

Here’s a little lesson for you though. You see how flat my cookies are? That’s the result of Cream of Tartar that’s too old. When I got the first batch out of the oven and they were flat and spread out, I knew exactly what had happened. The Cream of Tartar gives the cookies the lift and cohesion. When it gets old, it loses it’s effectiveness. Even though the cookies taste exactly the same, they look different. Not bad; just different.

The Verdict

When my dad was visiting, he bought a bag of licorice. I don’t remember ever having the stuff in my house on purpose before (see the jelly bean comment for what that means). I had forgotten all about that guy/licorice thing and that Hubby enjoys the flavor too. So, I made these cookies for the guys in my life.

Hubby loved them. In fact, I think I saw him grab four of them to take to work with him this morning. In keeping with how the world works, Dudette’s response to them was less than positive (see the retching comment for what that means). She’s not a fan. I did like them. The licorice flavor is subtle and does blend well with the cinnamon. They’re even better with coffee.

What I’d Do Different Next Time

I’d use fresh Cream of Tartar.

Star Anise Snickerdoodles from Cooking Light Magazine, December 2013
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Reviewed by:
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24
  • 5.75 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1¼ cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground star anise (about 3 pods)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through cream of tartar); stir with a whisk. Place butter in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 30 seconds or until smooth. Add 1 cup sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add egg; beat 1 minute or until well combined. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed 30 seconds. Shape dough into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour.
  2. Arrange 1 oven rack 2 positions down from top of oven; arrange another rack 2 positions up from bottom of oven. Preheat oven to 375°.
  3. Shape dough into 24 balls. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Roll dough balls in cinnamon mixture, coating completely. Place balls 3 inches apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 11 minutes or until edges are golden, rotating pans after 6 minutes. Cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.


For my friends out there that are going to write and ask me about Tata Mic, here’s my answer ahead of time. Tata is the French version of Auntie. My aunt’s name is Monique. Our official name for her is Tata Monique. When we were little, we couldn’t say that so we called her Tata Mic. It stuck and she’s wonderful enough to have put up with it all these years.

5 thoughts on “Star Anise Snickerdoodles from Cooking Light Magazine, December 2013

  • December 28, 2013 at 9:39 am

    I can't be president either! Luckily though Maya can! And she loves licorice whereas I don't….things are stacked against me. :)

    Love snickerdoodles…I would definitely love to try these!

  • December 20, 2013 at 11:49 am

    What you're describing we call biscochitos down here in the New Mexico. They are a Christmas tradition! Also, the only "licorice" thing that I enjoy.

  • December 20, 2013 at 9:39 am

    I never thought to use star anise in a sweet dish like this. I always use it in savory Asian style dishes. Looks great. :)

  • December 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    I always, always sort out the black Jelly Bellies….they make me retch too. But, these cookies look interesting. I love snickerdoodles! (Kudos for you for preaching to Dudette she can do anything she wants…well, almost anything sans the president thing.)

  • December 19, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Hunh. I always knew I was supposed to have been a guy. ;) I suppose that explains the love of football and hockey, too.

    LOVE snickerdoodles! Taking note of the cream of tartar – I probably need to get a fresh bottle as well.


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