1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup mild flavor molasses
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon anise extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Powdered sugar or sugar, if desired
Combine butter, sugar, brown sugar and molasses in bowl; beat at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until creamy.
Combine water and coffee granules in another bowl; stir until dissolved. Add coffee mixture and all remaining ingredients except flour; continue beating until well mixed. Add flour; beat at low speed until well mixed. Cover; refrigerate at least 30 minutes until firm.
Heat oven to 350°F.
Divide dough into 10 portions (about 1/4 cup dough each). Roll 1 portion at a time into 18x1/2-inch rope on lightly floured surface. Cut each rope into 1/2-inch pieces with sharp knife. Place pieces 1/2 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8-9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookies are set.
Place waxed paper on top of cooling racks. Loosen cookies with spatula; spread onto waxed paper. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar or sugar, if desired.
Dip knife in flour while cutting dough to prevent sticking. If dough becomes too soft while shaping into ropes, refrigerate 15-20 minutes.