(about 3 dozen cookies)
My mother loaned me one of her German Christmas cookbooks for my holiday baking. I couldn't wait to try these anise cookies, although they turned out much flatter (for me) than the ones I remembered from my childhood.
I'm not entirely certain why my cookies didn't rise as much. It might have been the result of any or a combination of the following. I used baking powder instead of ammonium carbonate, my eggs might have been larger than the standard ones used in Germany or it might have been the humidity (I live about a mile from the ocean). If you like biscotti, then you might enjoy these anise cookies. They are unusually flavored, crisp, light cookies that are wonderful dipped into hot tea or coffee.
adapted from Handbuch für die Weihnachtsbäckerei
from Kölner Zucker (Pfeifer & Langen) ©1978
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp ground anise
two pinches of baking powder (Hirschhornsalz/ammonium carbonate)
1 cup all purpose flour
Prepare the cookie sheets by greasing with butter and then lightly dusting them with flour. Set aside.
Beat the eggs until they are throthy. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar and continue to beat for about 15 minutes until the eggs are light, thick and creamy.
Beat in the anise and baking powder and when they are well combined, add the flour and beat for about one minute.
Drop tablespoons of batter onto the prepared cookie sheets about an inch or more apart; the batter will continue to spread. Leave the cookies in a warm kitchen for about 6-8 hours or overnight. The tops should dry and harden slightly.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Bake the cookies in the middle of the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until they are very lightly browned around the edges.