Get Cracking on Cookies: Dorie Greenspan’s Coffee-Anise Star Cookies


We don’t get through the holidays without at least one batch of Dorie’s famous World Peace cookies, but we’re going to try these treats from her newest book, “Baking with Dorie,” this year.


For the cookies:

  • 1 1/4 cups (5 1/2 oz./170 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (4 oz./120 g) spelt flour
  • 2 tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground star anise (see below)
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./113 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (2 1/4 oz./67 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz./50 g) turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. unsulfured molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 1 1/2 Tbs. egg white (beat 1 white and measure out 1 1/2 Tbs., or use liquid whites)
  • 1 1/4 cups (4 3/4 oz./150 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 1/2 tsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • Warm water if needed
  • Chocolate pearls, chopped candy coffee beans, sprinkles, dragées or instant espresso powder for finishing (optional)

To make the cookies, in a bowl, whisk together both flours, the espresso powder, cinnamon and star anise.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the butter, both sugars and the salt on medium speed, scraping the bowl as needed, until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat for 1 minute (don’t be concerned if the mixture curdles). Reduce the speed to low and beat in the molasses and vanilla.

Turn off the mixer, add the flour mixture and pulse just until the risk of flying flour has passed, then mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Scrape the bowl and turn out the dough. Divide it in half and pat each half into a disk.

Working with one disk at a time, place the dough between sheets of parchment and roll it to a thickness of 1/8 inch (3 mm). Refrigerate the disks for 3 hours or freeze them for 1 hour. (You can refrigerate the dough for a couple of days or freeze it for up to 2 months.)

When ready to bake, preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats.

Keep one piece of dough in the fridge while you work on the other. Peel off the top sheet of parchment and, using a star-shaped cookie cutter that is 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, cut out as many cookies as you can.

Place the cookies about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets. Gather the scraps and save them to combine with the scraps you’ll get from the second piece of dough, then roll, chill, cut and bake the scraps.

Bake the cookies until they are golden and only just firm—poke one in the center and it will give a bit—8 to 9 minutes. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Bake the remaining cookies, always using a cool baking sheet.

To make the glaze, in a medium bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and, using a flexible spatula, stir until it’s incorporated—this takes a little work. Stir in the melted butter and keep mixing until you have a smooth glaze that spreads easily. If you think it needs it, add warm water by the droplet.

To finish the cookies, using a small offset spatula or a butter knife, spread some glaze over each cookie. If you’d like to add a little chocolate pearl or three, some sprinkles or anything else, do it while the glaze is still wet. Leave the cookies out for an hour or so to allow the glaze to dry. Unglazed, the cookies can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 2 months. Once glazed, they can be kept at room temperature for about 5 days.

Makes about 50 cookies. For more tips and info, visit williams-sonoma.com

Adapted from Baking with Dorie by Dorie Greenspan (Mariner Books, 2021)