Years ago, my German neighbor made similar cookies and hung them on her Christmas tree for the neighbor kids to eat. I finally came up with my own recipe and have been very pleased with the results.
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon aniseed
- 2 teaspoons anise extract
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon anise extract
- Paste food coloring, optional
- 2-1/2 to 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in aniseed and extract. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2-1/2-in. cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.Bake 375° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
- In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water and cream of tartar; bring to a boil over low heat. Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 226° (thread stage). Cool to 110° (do not stir). Stir in the extract, food coloring if desired and enough confectioners' sugar to achieve spreading consistency. Spread over cookies. Yield: about 6 dozen.
Originally published as Glazed Anise Cookies in Best of Country Cookies 1999, p46
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