Food & dining

Recipe for cocos a l’anis (anise-seed cookies)

Cocos a l’anis

(Anise-seed cookies)

Makes about 40

The texture of these cookies, which have no additional fat beside egg yolks, is quite crunchy, like traditional biscotti. The anise seed provides a light licorice flavor and additional crunch. “The thing that makes this a Provencal recipe,” says French Consul General chef Etienne Jaulin. “is the anise seed. If I see a Frenchman drinking pastis [anise-flavored liqueur], I think they must be from the south of France.” This dough is soft and a bit sticky. Instead of rolling it out and stamping rounds, it’s easier to shape little balls and flatten them with the bottom of a glass. The cookies are best eaten within two days. The recipe comes from a cookbook the Fieschi family owns, “Cuisine et recettes en Provence,” by Claire Lhermey.

2cups flour
2teaspoons anise seed
Pinch of salt
1cup sugar
Extra sugar (for dipping)
Extra anise seeds (for sprinkling)


1. In a bowl, blend the flour, anise seeds, and salt until the seeds are evenly distributed in the flour.

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2. In another bowl with a whisk, beat the eggs to mix them. Add the sugar and continue whisking for 1 minute or until the sugar dissolves and the batter turns a slightly paler color.

3. With a rubber spatula gently stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture until thoroughly combined. Do not overmix; the dough will be sticky. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the dough, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

4. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Spread enough sugar on a deep plate to make a thin layer. Using a small spoon, scoop up a mound of dough and roll it in your hands into a ball. Drop it into the sugar and roll it around to coat it all over. Transfer to the baking sheets. Sprinkle with anise seeds, then, using a glass dipped repeatedly in the sugar, flatten each cookie.


6. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are a light golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Adapted from “Cuisine et
recettes en Provence”