Note: Anise OIL does not evaporate out of the cookies as anise EXTRACT does.
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon anise OIL20 drops
- 4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon bakers Ammonia (Available at some drug stores)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- Additional desirable items: A very strong stand mixer with a "paddle", a medicine-dropper for measuring the anise oil, a rolling pizza cutter, a regular rolling pin, springerle rolling pin, or imprinters and airbake cookie sheets.
Beat eggs in stand mixer with "paddle" (not the wire whip) until light. Slow mixer down and continue beating while adding powdered sugar. Continue beating for 15 to 20 minutes, or until like soft meringue. Slow mixer down again and add the anise oil, measuring with medicine dropper, and add the butter.
Slow mixer way down and mix together three cups of the flour,the bakers ammonia, baking powder and baking soda, and gradually add to the mixer. Add enough of the last cup of flour to make the dough stiff enough to roll.
If you sample the dough at this point, you will be able to taste the Baker's ammonia, but it will completely evaporate out when the cookies are baked, but helps them to be higher and lighter. The last cup of flour is used to make the dough stiff enough to handle and also to flour the rolling pin and board.
When the dough is stiff enough to roll, stop mixer, remove paddle or beater, cover bowl with a dishtowel and let dough sit for 15 minutes to ripen. This DOES make a difference--it will make the dough easier to handle although the dough will still be sticky.
On lightly floured surface with regular rolling pin, roll dough a little thicker than 1/4 inch. Dust Springerle rolling pin or other forms with flour and press into dough hard enough to make clear impressions. Use pizza cutter to cut cookies apart and place on greased air-bake cookie sheets. One recipe should fill up two sheets.
Let stand UNCOVERED on cookie sheets for 8 hours or for overnight. Tops of cookies must be DRY for impression to remain when they are baked.
Bake in slow 300 degrees F oven for 20 minutes until set but not brown. Do not allow bottoms or tops of cookies to brown. Air bake sheets work best for this. The cookies should be a light straw color when done.
Cookies are best if allowed to age in airtight containers (ziplock bags work for this)for several days before eating or freezing. I include in each container a napkin soaked with a few more drops of anise oil.
Makes enough to fill two air-bake sheets.
These are great with coffee for breakfast in the morning--so be aware of disappearing cookies before Christmas!