The Crisp Italian Anise Cookie That Looks Like A Waffle Cone

There are so many types of cookies that even if you were to bake a different cookie every day of the year, you still wouldn't run out of a new one to try. Once you've baked your way through the obvious chocolate chip, sugar, snickerdoodle, and butter cookies, there are hundreds of regional cookie flavors from around the world to bake and eat.

In Argentinian alfajores, dulce de leche is sandwiched between two shortbread cookies. Austria's vanillekipferl is shaped like a half moon and dusted with sugar, Croatia's paprenjak comes with a hint of black pepper, and the French madeleine is a tea-time classic. In Iran, reshteh khoshkar is deep fried and soaked in sugar syrup, and kourabiedes in Greece is a cookie made from ground almonds.

In fact, Italy alone has dozens of different cookies, and it's probably going to be a good few weeks before you eat your way through them all. There are all the many flavors of biscotti, baci di dama cookies that are famously dubbed as lady's kisses cookies, Cuccidati Siciliani topped with sprinkles, nutty florentines ... you name it! Italy has a different cookie for every palate, but one particular Italian cookie is perhaps the most uniquely shaped of them all. With the appearance of a taco-shaped waffle cone and the flavor of anise, these wafer-thin cookies are famous in Tuscany. 

The Tuscan cookie was the result of a sweet accident

Though the brigidini has enjoyed a renewed interest over the last century, the Tuscan cookie has ancient roots dating back to the 1300s in the town of Lamporecchio in Tuscany's Pistoia region, per Honest Cooking. Legend has it that a Swedish nun called Sister Brigida traveled to Tuscany, where she established the Order of the Brigidine. While preparing the host for communion, a mistake in the dough for the usual circular wafer led to what is now known as the brigidini cookie. Brigidini is made from a dough of flour, eggs, and sugar that's flavored with a touch of anise. While the dough was shaped like taco shells by iron molds called schiacce and baked over a fire in the old days, the wafer cookies now get their waffle-like appearance through special machines dedicated to making brigidini.

Brigidini is usually eaten as a post-meal cookie and washed down with an Italian dessert wine called Vin Santo, but the Tuscan cookies are also a common fair food across Italy. While family-run Italian businesses have begun to export the cookies worldwide to keep the tradition of the ancient cookie alive, brigidini is also a fairly easy thing that you can make in a waffle iron at home, using only a handful of ingredients.