Anise Drop Cookies

Anise, the licorice-flavored seed, has been a vital element in dessert-making for centuries. Today, anise is widely used in cakes and cookies. Anise drop cookies are so named because they supposedly can drop from a four-foot counter without breaking — but this may be just a rumor.

Anise Drop Cookies

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Baking time: 15 minutes

Yield: 32 cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup molasses

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon grated ginger, or 1 teaspoon powdered ginger

1-1/3 cups cake flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, or 1/2 teaspoon powdered nutmeg

pinch of ground clove

2 tablespoons Sambuca or other anise liqueur, or 1 tablespoon anise seeds

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Cut the butter into 8 pieces.

  3. With an electric mixer, cream together the butter, molasses, and brown sugar.

    If mixing by hand, allow the butter to soften a bit more and then blend sugar and butter with a stiff whisk.

  4. Scrape the bowl of the mixer with a spatula if the batter sticks to the side.

    The batter should have no lumps.

  5. Add the egg and grated ginger to the butter mixture and blend.

  6. Combine the dry ingredients — cake flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove — and sift them into the butter mixture.

  7. Add the Sambuca and stir.

  8. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

  9. Use a tablespoon to scoop out a little less than a tablespoon of batter per cookie, arranged in rows on the sheet, about 16 per sheet.

    The cookies spread in the oven, so don’t crowd them.

  10. Repeat Steps 8 and 9 with another sheet.

  11. Bake both sheets for 15 minutes or until the edges turn slightly brown.

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