Granma's Anisplätzchen (Anise drops) Christmas Baking with SusieJ

Measurements [metric]

  • 1 1/4 c 4x sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 tsp anise seeds

The night before: Beat sugar and eggs until thick, about 5 to 10 minutes. The egg-sugar mixture will have doubled in volume. The air in this mixture will provide the leavening.

Sift together cinnamon and flour. Slowly fold flour into eggs by hand in four or five additions, until the dough is uniform, with no streaks of flour. It will be a very thick batter or loose dough.

Grease two cookie sheets, and sprinkle the sheets with anise seeds. The more seeds, the stronger the anise flavor. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets; the cookies will be about 1 1/4 inch to 1 1/2 inch, and will spread.

Cover with a clean cloth and let stand overnight (or two), unrefrigerated (really). This period of sitting out will give the cookies their "feet" and "icing."

The next morning: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake until the tops just begin to get a hint of brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

These have a bit of magic — the dried top of the cookie forms an "icing" during baking. The bottom of the cookie is called a "Füsschen," a little foot.

Anisplätzchen are very simple to make; they have only five ingredients and take about 10 minutes to measure out, beat and fold in the flour, and another 10 to form the cookies if you are being very particular. I've even made these when I was quite tired as the last thing before bed.