When I go to Tracy's house, there is always a container full of delicious cookies. Just last week, I had an almond cookie she'd adapted from Ottolenghi. She has the precision and discipline of a master baker, so these cookies, made by her family year after year, will most definitely pass the jeliciousness test. -- MsW
Tracy says: These cookies are a family favorite from our maternal grandma; my sisters and I make batches and batches every Christmas. Crunchy at the edges, cakie in the center, they’re unusual for the anise seed and orange flavor and sinfully good with crème caramel or fruit for dessert.
Orange & Anise Cookies
½ cup sweet butter
½ cup + 2 Tbsps. Shortening
½ tsp. salt
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 tsp. anise seeds
2 tsps. orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
Powdered sugar for dusting.
In an up-right mixer, cream the butter, shortening, salt and sugar till pale and fluffy. Add in anise seeds, orange zest and vanilla; mix to combine. Add eggs one at a time. Slowly add the flour till incorporated. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Form dough into 3/4-inch balls and place on parchment or Silpat-covered baking sheets (nine to a pan works best).
Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges, about eight minutes.
Use a metal spatula to remove the cookies to a cooling rack and dust immediately with powdered sugar.
Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Makes about four dozen cookies.