"MY AUNT would make these cookies for dessert. I can remember walking into the house and I'd almost swoon when I smelled them baking—the aroma seemed to fill every room. They were my favorite, and they still are. Back then, I used to pretend Aunt Carmella made them especially for me!"
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons crushed aniseed
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup blanched almonds, toasted and finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons milk
- Line a baking pan with foil; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, aniseed, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and eggs. Stir in almonds and reserved flour mixture.
- Divide dough in half. Shape each into a 12-in. x 2-in. rectangle on the prepared baking pan. Smooth the surface of each rectangle; brush with milk and sprinkle with remaining sugar.
- Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and reduce heat to 300°.
- Transfer rectangles with foil to a wire racks; cool for 15 minutes. Place rectangles on a cutting board; cut diagonally into 1/2-in. slices. Place slices, cut side down, on baking pans.
- Bake 10-12 minutes longer. Turn oven off, leaving cookies in oven to cool with door ajar. Store cookies in airtight containers. Yield: 3-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Anise Cookies in Reminisce September/October 1991, p33
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