I discovered Susans Food Blogga just today and as I made some christmas cookies last weekend, here is my entry to her Christmas Cookies Event. (It`s season 2 already, so it must be good. :) ) Get some last minute inspirations at the round-up page.
Anis Cookies with Bourbon Vanilla
(or rather "Anis cookies with a pinch of home-made vanilla sugar")
Source: Lecker Sonderheft 2008 No.1 ("lecker" means yummy)
125g butter (at room temperature)
50g confectioners sugar (+ 1-2 Tblsp. for sprinkling)
60g all-purpose flour
125g corn starch
1 pkg. vanilla sugar ***
1 Tblsp. ground anis
1) Whisk butter and confectioners sugar with a hand mixer until creamy. Sieve flour and corn starch onto mixture. Add vanilla sugar,anis and 1-2 Tblsp. ice cold water and mix with dough hook to a smooth dough. Cover and refrigerate for 30 min.
2) Preheat the oven to 175 °C/150°C convection oven/gas mark 2. Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper. Form about 40 cherry-sized spheres from the dough.* Set about 1/3 of the balls on sheet pan. Press a fork into balls to form a grille pattern.** Bake for 12-15 min.
3) Refrigerate dough balls until they go into the oven. Let cookies cool on a rack. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar.
* by rolling between both hands
** like you would for gnocchi
*** 1 package equals 12g. (Just went into the kitchen and checked. :) )
I used 2 tsp home-made vanilla sugar, which is more than 12g but the sugar is quite subtly flavoured, so it balances out.
The cookies did spread and rise quite a bit. When rolling the spheres, keep them at a size which would look a bit to small, if it were a finished cookie. When trying to form the grille pattern, the fork stuck to the cookie and lifted them from the parchment paper. Maybe if you refrigerate the dough balls longer or freeze them, this would not occur.
Actually, these are my very first self-made christmas cookies. (yay, me ;) )
They are a bit soft inside, not brittle at all.
Let`s see if their taste will develop, they are kept for some time.
Coming up next: cinnamon cookies.