Friday, December 7, 2012

Clementine and anise seed cookies


My first cookie of the Christmas season has been baked! Plus, it was a new recipe for me. As a kid, I did not enjoy anise cookies at all - especially the ones made with seeds. But now, I love the flavor of anise and the idea of putting all the little tasty seeds inside my cookies. To me, it feels old-fashioned, and I like that. This year I was set on making a Christmas cookie that featured anise seeds. I used this recipe on the Penzeys Spices website as a guide. But, I wanted to add a little something else besides the anise seeds to provide more flavor. After some thought, I decided to incorporate some clementine zest into the cookies because I love fennel and citrus together and thought it would add a nice extra touch to the cookies. It definitely did add a nice fresh touch and another layer of holiday flavors.

These cookies are pretty easy to make. You could probably frost them if you wanted, but I figure I'm going to be eating more than enough sugar this month. This recipe will make approximately three dozen cookies (if you are using about a 2-3 inch cookie cutter).

Clementine and anise seed cookies
1-1/2 tablespoons anise seeds
1 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon clementine zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

In a small dry skillet, lightly toast the anise seeds over medium heat until fragrant. Set aside in a small bowl.

Cream together the butter and sugar using a hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg, zest, vanilla, and salt until combined. Then mix in the anise seeds and flour until combined. Bring the dough together into a ball using your hands. Pat into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out half the dough into about 1/4-inch thickness (return the other half to the refrigerator). Cut out the cookies using a cookie cutter and then transfer to the baking sheet using a spatula. Repeat until the first half of the dough is used. Bake for about 5-7 minutes, until the bottoms and edges are lightly golden. Place the cookies on a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough until it is all used.

After all the cookies are cooled, store in an airtight container.The flavor will improve after a day or two.

  
What was I cooking one year ago?: Guinness gingerbread
Two years ago?: Swedish meatballs  

11 comments:

  1. I'm not a big fan of anise but I love the idea of adding clementine zest. I'll have to give it a try!

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  2. Love both these combos & you've combined them in one lovely cookies. Awesome! Love it & bookmarking for sure: Thanks for sharing. Have a lovely weekend Amy! )

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  3. I love seasonal cookies like this!

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  4. I love anise seeds in cookies and you were so clever to add the zest to the cookies. I bet the combination is delicious.

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  5. I love the flavor of anise, but I never know how to incorporate it into recipes. Thank you for posting this. I am going to try it out next week. :)

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  6. my mom used to make anise cookies exactly like this around the holidays - but never with clementine zest, which I love. I haven't made them myself, but you're inspiring me too! When I go home for Christmas, I hope she surprises us with a batch... I'm going to suggest clementine zest!

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  7. Anise cookies? Never heard of them before but yours look really good!

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  8. Yes to the clementines but no thank you to the anise. Good post!

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  9. I grew up on anise seed cookies called pizzelles. I love the combo with clementines zest! I bet they smell (and taste) amazing!

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  10. Anise is definitely a required taste...I never liked it as a kid, but love it now!

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  11. These sound amazing! Love that flavor combo!

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