This is the only Christmas baking that I MUST do! It’s my husband’s favorite cookie, and it’s the only thing flavored with anise/licorice that I can tolerate. That’s probably because my recipe, unlike a lot of those I’ve read, doesn’t contain any anise or licorice oil, but only has a dusting of it on the bottom. It adds a delicious note to the lemon, which is the main flavor.
Here it is, then, with illustrations!
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 Tablespoon anise seed, crushed
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; blend into egg mixture. Dough should be smooth, not sticky; if necessary, add more flour. Cover and chill dough 2 of more hours. (NOTE: I usually don’t do this, as our house is chilly enough that I don’t need to.)
Sprinkle board lightly with sugar. Roll dough 1/2-inch thick. Make designs on dough with springerle roller or molds, pressing hard to get a good imprint. (I usually roll the dough out thicker than I want with a smooth roller, then press with the springerle pin.)
Cut dough into squares. Line two cookie sheets with foil or parchment paper and grease them. Even non-stick pans or surfaces need to be greased, to hold the anise seed. Crush anise seed. Sprinkle seed over greased cookie sheets. Place cookies on cookie sheets; set aside, covered with a light towel, for at least 12 hours to dry.
Preheat oven to 325 F. Bake cookies 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges are pale gold (not brown!).
They’re supposed to be kinda hard. You dip them in milk or coffee or tea to soften them, or you can break off a corner and soften it in your mouth and then chew it.
If you’re really ambitious and/or artistic, you can paint the designs with food coloring. You can see how ambitious and/or artistic I am, can’t you?
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: What is the one celebratory tradition your main character will not dispense with?