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Holiday Cutout Cookies

Anise Citrus Cutout Cookies

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  • Author: Cosette's Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Varies depending on size of cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern


A tender delicate cutout cookie, perfect for the holiday season.

In partnership with Crate and Barrel.


Units Scale

Cookie Dough

  • 1 pound + 4 tablespoons unsalted butter -515 grams or 4.5 sticks, softened
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar -165 grams, additional for rolling
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • Zest of 1 large orange or 3 smaller mandarin oranges
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour - 1000 grams (spooned and leveled if not weighing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons whole aniseed (not star anise)
  • 2 teaspoons ground anise
  • 1/2 cup chopped unsalted pistachios (optional)


  • 1 cup powdered sugar/confectioners sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons of orange blossom water
  • pinch of salt
  • orange zest, about 1/2 teaspoon


Preparing the Dough

  1. In the bowl of your Artisan KitchenAid Mixer, fitted with paddle attachment add your softened butter and powdered sugar. 
  2. Set to stir setting initially to ensure powdered sugar doesn't come out of the bowl. Slowly mix until sugar and butter are incorporated then increase speed to about a 6 for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Add your 2 whisked eggs and be sure to stop and scrape down sides as needed. Add your orange zest.
  4. Your mixture at this time will probably look slightly curdled, that's ok.
  5. Slow your mixer down to stir again and add in half your flour, mix.
  6. Once combined add in the rest of your flour, baking powder and spices.
  7. Dough should be thick. 
  8. Remove from mixer and split into 2, if you'd like to add pistachios to one dough - or even both, add in your chopped pistachios now and work into your dough. If you want to add to both - double to 1 full cup.
  9. Wrap in plastic wrap and pop into the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and rack set to center of oven while your dough chills.

Rolling and Shaping

  1. Remove your dough out of the fridge and cut off a portion to work with.
  2. Sprinkle your work surface with a bit of powdered sugar, a cold countertop is best to work.
  3. Using a rolling pin, begin to roll out your dough until it's evenly about 1/8" thick.
  4. Then begin using your Lekue Christmas Tree Multi Cookie Cutter and Winter Cookie Cutters to cut out festive cookies. 
  5. Continue to gather scraps of dough and reroll - chill again if needed.
  6. Line your cookies on your All-Clad Pro-Release Cookie Sheet, leaving cookies 1/2-3/4" apart. Bake in center of oven for 14-17 minutes until edges and bottoms begin to slightly brown but cookies remain white in color on top.
  7. Begin checking cookies at the 14 minute mark as oven temperatures vary.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool on cooling rack before decorating.


  1. In a small bowl, add your powdered sugar, a few teaspoons of orange blossom water, salt and orange zest.
  2. Stir heavily with a spoon until all the sugar is incorporated.
  3. The glaze should be thick but run off the spoon. 
  4. Test 1 cookie with the glaze to ensure it hardens after 5-6 minutes - if it doesn't add some additional powdered sugar to your mix to thicken.
  5. If it's too thick, add a splash more orange blossom water to thin.
  6. Once desired consistency is achieve, glaze cookies, add sprinkles or make additional batches and color.
  7. Glaze is best used immediately.


Freezing Cookies

  • Cooking dough can be frozen in a sealed container for up to 3 months, as well as baked and frosted cookies. You can also freeze unglazed cookies ahead and decorate before serving.