– Katie O'Connor, Editor
4 large eggs
1 lb. powdered sugar
3½ cups all-purpose flour, separated
¼ tsp. anise oil*
1 tsp. hartshorn, ground to a powder with a mortar and pestle*
* Anise oil and hartshorn can be purchased in some spice shops and grocery stores or online. Hartshorn is also known as ammonium carbonate or baker’s ammonia.
• Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs until they are light and lemon-colored. Add the sugar to the eggs and continue to beat until well mixed.
• Add 1 cup of flour, the anise oil and the hartshorn to the mixture and mix well.
• Switch the mixer’s paddle attachment to a dough hook. Add 2 more cups of flour to the mixture. The dough will begin to get stiff.
• Stir in the final ½ cup of flour and mix until the flour is incorporated and the dough starts coming away from the sides of the bowl.
• Flour a large wooden chopping block or other flat surface. Lightly flour the molds to prevent the dough from sticking.
• Roll out a small amount of the dough to ¼–inch thick. Place the mold onto the dough and press with a rolling pin to obtain a good imprint. (If you make a mistake or you don’t like the imprint, simply pick up the dough, knead it with your hands and roll it out again.)
• Cut the imprinted dough into individual cookies.
• Place the cut-out squares onto ungreased cookie sheets and let them dry at room temperature overnight or for at least 2 hours.
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Bake for about 14 minutes or until the cookies have puffed up on the bottom and the bottom is a pale yellow. Do not brown.
• When the cookies are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool on the cookie sheet.
• Store the cookies in air-tight containers. They will last a long time but will become hard as paving stones – but don’t throw them out! They’re still delicious dunked in coffee or hot chocolate. A slice or two of raw apple in the storage container helps to soften the cookies.