The Foodie Blogroll

Anise Drop Cookies - Two Different Versions

I know I've mentioned time and time again how the only part of my Italian heritage I feel that I truly share with the rest of the Italians is the fact that I like to cook for others. However, the past couple weeks when I started getting cravings for anise I knew that I shared more with Italians than I care to remember. Since I can remember I have always loved the flavour of anise. Although my mom never had a pizelle maker (my mom is French, my dad is Italian, however my mom was always the cook and Italian cooking she does incredibly well), however, she never had a pizelle maker so I never got fresh batches of these made. However, our next door neighbour, the accountant I was working for, does have a pizelle maker. They would make these cookies in batches and I would always manage to steal some.

I loved the flavour. I love the fact that when you have anise, it kind of makes your tongue tingle, well, it makes mine tingle but I looove it so I usually put a little bit more than suggested.

When I was younger I always despised black candies, seriously, I felt like writing to the manufacturers and asking what their deal was with BLACK licorice flavoured candies, however, over time my taste buds changed. I decided to try my hand at black Wine Gums (heck, they're more purple than black), and was shocked at just how good they were. I then moved onto trying black jelly beans, black licorice, black babies (what a racist candy name, however, I heard it was something even more vulgar when my parents were younger...) every time I popped a black candy in my mouth I was overcome with joy. It brought such a warm feeling into my body, and the taste was incredible. I then became incredibly thankful with those candy manufacturers, and I thanked them that the majority of people PICK the black candies out, meaning more for me! However, that's not true in the case of my mother's boyfriend, heck, he seriously loves the majority of the flavours I like (candy-wise not health wise... let's set that straight). Molasses, black candies, caramel, frozen yoghurt, sweet chili rice cakes, etc... so, he usually buys more of the red jelly beans/sour jubes and tries to HIDE them on me, I'm not even lying, however, I find them and I EAT THEM! MEUAHAHHAHAHA. Okay, wow, I'm sorry.

Back onto what I was talking about? If you aren't familiar, and CANNOT for some odd reason can't pick up what the flavour of anise is from what I'm saying, I will tell you anise is simmilar to licorice, fennel and tarragon, all flavours I loooove.

Anyways, I've had nothing but cravings for anise cookies, c.c.c. (for heaven knows why), and oatmeal raisin cookies (however, I will be posting the Holy Grail of oatmeal raisin cookies in a couple of posts, make sure you look out for them!) Last year I made an anise drop cookie, and I loooved them, however, I was craving something a little softer this time around. When I was browsing blogs and came across Martha Stewart's version for anise drop cookies I knew I had to make them. When I got home from work I immediately got my mixing tools out, I didn't even have my winter jacket off and my arms were arm deep in flour, I'm disgusting I know...

Anise Drop Cookies

Recipe taken from here

The cookies that resulted from that recipe were too good to be true. Seriously, I ate the whole batch to myself. I'm not lying. The batch wasn't insanely huge, but considering it was more than four cookies I think that's enough to be a little disgusted with one's self. However, I felt okay, because they were just SO good I couldn't stop. I've mentioned it before how I have weaknesses to certain foods such as ice cream and cake, however, these anise cookies were almost cakey and were ANISE flavoured so I couldn't stop as much as I wanted to. I kept closing the tin, then peeking in taking a whiff, breaking off corners, then eating them because they were "broken", then just ended up grabbing the tin and sitting with it next to me on the couch. Yes, instead of veggies sticks, or even chips for crying out loud I had a tin of cookies...

This is definitely a great recipe, and even though mine did not look as good as Martha's, I didn't use a piping bag, I just used a spoon they were incredibly delish! A must-make and can definitely be made all year round but are so perfect for this time of year!

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp anise extract
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.


Put eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on medium speed until eggs are fluffy, about 3 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar until incorporated, about 3 minutes. Mix in anise extract. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a coupler or a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as an Ateco No. 806). Pipe 1 3/4-inch rounds onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 1/2 inch apart.


Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until tops crack and cookies are very pale, 8 to 9 minutes. Transfer to wire racks using a spatula; let cool. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days (if they last even one day).



Anise Drop Cookies x2

Recipe taken from here

The next anise cookie that I made looked very very similar to macarons, but the flavours are more so replicated by the German Pfeffernüsse cookies, which means "pepper nuts". Over the past few months I have seen many varieties for this cookie but still haven't got around to making it. So when I saw this recipe I knew that I would be makiing it immediately. These cookies were so incredibly delicious! The anise flavour wasn't as prevalent as I would normally go for, however, if you're on the fence with anise then this is definitely a great cookie for you!

The cookie has a hard shell, and when you bite into the cookie it's shell cracks, just like a macaron. When you get to the centre of the cookie you get this beautiful soft and chewy inside. I loved this, it would be so nice to try it with different spices. My favourite part of the cookie was definitely taking the first bite and cracking its shell. I will certainly make this over and over again, however, adding much more anise next time!

Directions:
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 drops anise oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp anise seed
  • 3/4 tsp lemon zest
  • Pinch salt
  • Butter, to liberally grease the baking sheet

Directions:

Cream together the egg, sugar, and anise oil until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, anise seed, lemon zest, and salt. Beat the dry ingredients into the wet (the dough will be thin, almost like cake batter). Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet, 1-inch apart. Let stand 12 hours or overnight (dough will harden). Bake at 300F for 20-25 minutes until the cookies are puffed and look like mushroom caps, and the bottoms are lightly golden.

Yield - 12 cookies

Enjoy :)

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