We are introduced, at an early age, to the sweet wondernous of a cookie. From teething cookies to soothe the swollen aching gums of incoming incisors, onto animal crackers purchased in rectangular-shaped boxes bearing a string handle for easy toting by little fingers. Deciding which part of the animal should be eaten first-the trunk of the elephant or the tail of a lion-depended on how hungry one was. Savor each and every one or simply gobble them down as fast as possible.

My next cookie memory would be the ever famous, possibly all-time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing better than to bite into a round circle of baked dough sprinkled with gooey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie can dry tears, heal broken hearts, mend scraped knees and elbows and solve sibling arguments. Most of the problems in the world could likely be solved by a properly baked, right out of the oven, chocolate chip cookie. The power of a cookie is underestimated.

I will attempt in the next 365 days to prepare and comment on a year’s worth of different cookies-one for each day. My goal is to share with others my extreme love of cookies-baking them and especially eating them! Feel free to send me your favorite recipe, your earliest cookie memories, or how cookies may have influenced your life. Cookies Rule!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cookie Recipe #330 - Anise Cookies

If you like black licorice, you will enjoy these cookies. They are more like a sugar cookie with an anise aftertaste. You will need to plan ahead, because the anise seeds and sugar need to sit together for 24 hours.

Ingredients: 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons anise seeds, 1 cup butter or margarine, softened, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons brandy OR 1 tablespoon EACH lemon juice and water, 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Instructions: Combine sugar and anise seeds; cover tightly and let stand for 24 hours. Use the sugar as is or sift out seeds and discard for a subtler flavor.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and 1/2 cup of the anise sugar until creamy. Beat in egg and brandy (or lemon juice and water). In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; gradually add to butter mixture, blending thoroughly. Gather dough into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm (about 1 hour) or for up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper; set aside. Roll out dough ona lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Cut out with desired cookie cutters and place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Using remaining anise sugar, sprinkle liberally over cookies.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 5 dozen.

"Sunset Cookies", Lane Publishing Co., Menlo Park, CA, 1985.

Cookies Rule!!!

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