Great- Grandma Kane always made pfeffernuese at Christmas, a traditional anise, spice, and molasses cookie from her German roots. I always hated the fact that I hated her pfeffernuese and would not eat them at Christmas nor did I ever ask her for her recipe.
So to atone for that, I am trying this traditional Swiss anise cookie. Swiss, nod to Great- Great- Grandpa Hunziker. Anise, nod to Great- Grandma and her pfeffernuese. No molasses, so perhaps they will be light and airy and as tea and cookies called them, addicting. Let’s hope!
2 c sugar
3 T anise seeds
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 c flour
Butter and flour two cookie sheets. Prepare a pastry bag with a 3/8- inch round tip and set aside.
Combine the sugar and anise seeds in a food processor and process for 60 seconds to flavor the sugar with the anise. Pour the anise sugar through a strainer into the bowl of a mixer; discard the anise seeds left behind. Crack the eggs into the bowl, then whip the eggs and sugar on high speed until they are thick and pale, about 3 minutes. When you lift the whisk, the mixture should fall back on itself and form a slowly dissolving ribbon. Gently fold in the sifted flour in two batches.
Pipe the batter into 2- inch rounds onto the cookie sheets. You should be able to fit 3 dozen cookies per sheet (they will not need room to spread). Allow the cookies to rest uncovered overnight at room temperature.
Bake the cookies at 350 for 15-18 minutes, rotating the pans front to back and top to bottom midway. The cookies will be done when thy have turned pale, almost white, on top and have formed a rough little “foot” at the base. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool. Makes 70 cookies.