2 ½ cups all purpose plain flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
½ cup castor (superfine) sugar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup whole mile
finely grated zest 1 orange
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 ½ teaspoons ground anise seeds
1 cup sifted icing sugar
1 tablespoon soft butter
2 teaspoons fresh orange juice/liquer of choice
5 to 6 teaspoons water
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of the stand mixer beat with the whisk attachment the eggs until frothy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar and beat until the mixture is thick and pale, about 2 or 3 minutes. Continue beating and gradually add the oil. Then on low speed add the milk, zest, juice and ground anise. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and add the flour in two additions mixing with a wooden spoon. It may be too sticky so add a couple more spoonfuls of flour if needed. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a couple of baking trays with non stick paper. Roll teaspoonfuls of the dough into balls and place on the prepare baking tray. You should have about 36 cookies.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the tops have cracked and are lightly browned.
Make the icing by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Dip the tops of the cookies into the icing and place upright on a wire rack. Sprinkle immediately with coloured sprinkles. Allow to set.