Saturday, December 26, 2009

Anise Cookies

These Anise Rosettes were a cookie I remember my mom making year after year. I haven't made this cookie in a long time. After making them, I remember why they fell off the Christmas cookie rotation. They are excessively fussy.

First you make the dough then it has to chill overnight. Then you cut the dough into eighths and roll each piece into a log. The logs then get cut into smaller pieces and formed into a ring. The ring is then sliced to make a flower like shape. Next the dough is baked, and the baked cookies must sit to cool completely. Then you make icing and dip the completely cooled cookies into the icing. My mom always topped the cookies with with rainbow sprinkles which I thought was the best part of this cookie as a child. The final step of the cookie is to wait for the icing to set and dry. The last step seems to take forever.

It had been such a long time since I made these cookies had forgotten how much I liked these cookies. They are like a mildly licorice flavored light, airy, two bite size cake. It was nice to have the cookies again and take a stroll down memory lane, but I'm not sure if they will be something I make every year. Most likely I will make these every 2 years. That will be long enough for me to forget what a pain the butt they are to make.

Blockette really enjoyed helping out with these cookies. It was her job to add the sprinkles. She did a really great job and only got heavy handed with a few. The really cool thing about adding these little sprinkles is that the color runs a bit as the icing dries. This creates a streaky sort of tie dye look. Blockette got excited because the cookies turned into rainbows!!

The bad thing about these cookies, besides their fussiness, is that they have a short shelf life. You would think because these are such a moist cookie that they would dry out quickly. Nope, in fact, the exact opposite happens. They get overly moist and tend to stick together in a gooey mess. You can extend their life by a few days by freezing them. I forgot about that this time around. Hopefully I'll remember that for next time.

Anise Rosettes (makes about 3 dozen)
sift together:
3 c flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

in a a separate bowl cream:
1/4 c shortening
1/2 c sugar

add: 3 eggs, beat into sugar mix until blended
add: 1 tsp anise extract
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 1/2 T lemon juice

Stir in 2 cups dry ingredients and blend well. Stir in remaining flour. Knead until well blended. (I was able to stir with a regular spoon) Chill dough overnight. Divide dough into 8 parts. Roll into 20 inch lengths and cut into about 5 inch lengths. Form 5 inch logs into small ring. Make slits on the ring half way through. Bake8-10 minutes in a preheated 350 F oven. allow cookies to cool. Dip completely cooled cookies in glaze and top with sprinkles if desired.

3 c sifted powdered sugar
1/3 c hot milk

Combine ingredients until sugar is completely dissolved in milk.

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