Yield: seventy-two 2-inch cookies
Type Rolled cookie
Description This crispy rolled sugar cookie is flavored with anise and lemon zest and topped with cinnamon sugar. The flavors come together in a gloriously harmonious way. I didn't think these would be kid-pleasers, but they are!
Field Notes These anise-flavored cookies are favored throughout the Southwest and New Mexico. Traditionally made with lard, which you may use, I have substituted vegetable shortening and added some butter for flavor. You can use a fleur-de-lis-shaped cookie cutter, which is popular, or any other shape you like.
Lifespan 2 weeks at room temperature in airtight container.
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons anise seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl.
2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and shortening together until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes; beat in anise seeds and zest. Add whole egg and egg yolk one at a time, beating well after each. Add about one third of flour and mix on low speed. Gradually add remaining flour, mixing just until blended. Form dough into two very flat discs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm enough to roll out, at least 2 hours or overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
To make topping, combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
4. Roll out one disc to 1/8-inch thickness on floured surface; you may need to flour rolling pin too. If dough is sticky, roll it between 2 pieces of floured parchment paper. Cut out cookies with shapes of choice and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Sprinkle cookles with cinnamon sugar, taking care not to get too much on sheet.
5. Bake until light golden brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Slide parchment onto racks to cool cookies completely.
A Baker's Field Guide to Christmas Cookies
by Dede Wilson
Harvard Common Press
176 pages, Color photos
Recipe reprinted by permission.
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