Anise seed biscuits (anyskoekies)

This is an old fashioned recipe, which Marietjie loves. Her mom used to bake these biscuits, with the help of a cookie press, in large batches, but Marietjie adapted it for a smaller, family-sized batch.

Anise seed is not readily available in NZ. You want to stash up on it when you happen to find some.

Jaco, not being a fan of anise seed baking, prefers Marietjie to use vanilla bean instead. He does not always get his way, of course.


  • 115 gram butter
  • 3/4 cup (160 gram) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) anise seed
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) baking powder
  • 2 cups (280 gram) flour
  • Optional: a tablespoon or two of cornflour.


  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until it is soft and light.
  3. Beat in the egg and mix well.
  4. Add the anise seed (or vanilla paste) and salt and mix thoroughly.
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder over the creamed mixture. Mix well and knead lightly if necessary.
  6. Form biscuits with a cookie press or a cookie gun. If you don't have a cookie press, roll the dough into little nut-sized balls and flatten them with a fork. (If the dough turned out too soft, you can add a little cornflour to make it easier to work with.)
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes at 190°C until they turn pale golden, about the colour of straw.
  8. Remove from oven.
  9. Use an egg lifter or spatula to gently loosen each biscuit from the baking trays while they are still warm, but leave them on the trays to cool down.


Store them in an airtight container. Or invite your friends over and polish the lot.