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Salty Anise Butter Cookies

June 21, 2021
Salty Anise Butter Cookies

Lior Lev Sercarz is carrying a black backpack and pulling a small wheeled suitcase as he walks through midtown Manhattan. Looking like a kindly, modern-day peddler, with striking blue eyes and a beard, the 39-year-old “spiceologist to the stars” crosses West 52nd Street. He glides down an escalator and enters the back door of Le Bernardin, Eric Ripert’s Michelin three-star restaurant. Pulling his wares, Sercarz twists and turns through the warren of corridors until he reaches the kitchen. It is 5 p.m. on a Friday. He is two hours late. No one seems to mind.

Featured in: Posh Spice


  • 6tablespoons, unsalted European butter, softened
  • 2tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6tablespoons sugar
  • 1large egg
  • ½teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2teaspoons anise seed
  • 1teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2tablespoons Pernod or other licorice liqueur
  • 1tablespoon orange blossom water
Yield: About 64 small cookies


Adapted from Lior Lev Sercarz

  • Step 1

    Cream the butter, olive oil, and sugar in an electric mixer equipped with the paddle. Stir in the egg and the vanilla. Gradually add the flour a little at a time. Finally, sprinkle in the anise and then the salt. Do not over-mix; the salt should not dissolve or break apart. Roll the dough into a ball, flatten into a 1-inch-thick round disc, and wrap in Saran Wrap. Let the dough rest for at least an hour in the refrigerator.

  • Step 2

    Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • Step 3

    Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thick. Cut with a 1 ½-inch round cookie cutter.

  • Step 4

    Gently place cutouts on the lined baking sheets. Bake for about 12-14 minutes, or until the cookie bottoms are golden brown.

  • Step 5

    Mix the Pernod and orange blossom water in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the mixture on each cookie. Then use a metal spatula to gently remove each cookie from the baking sheet to a cooling rack. Serve when cool.

  • Variation: For a Ginger-Cardamom Butter Cookie, substitute 2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger and ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom for the anise and salt. Substitute Canton, or other ginger liqueur, for the Pernod.

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