My poor oven. It will have been on almost non-stop from December 17 until Christmas Eve. Of course, the gas company is probably enjoying every 350 degree moment of it.
My grandpa loved licorice and anise flavors and he passed those anisette-laden genes down to me. We used to share the black jelly beans that no one else would eat. He’d bring me boxes of Good & Plenty which I would delight in because I wouldn’t have to share them with my little brother. He didn’t like them. Now that I am all grown up (ish,) I think of my grandpa whenever I enjoy a bit of absinthe.
Last week, while having dessert at an Italian restaurant, I bit into a piece of anisette biscotti and was immediately transported back to being 4 years old at the table with my grandpa. I could see him dunking Stella d’Oro Anisette Toast in his coffee while doing the crossword puzzle in the newspaper. I was dunking my “S” cookies (Stella d’Oro Breakfast Treats) in chocolate milk while coloring in my coloring book. I decided then that I needed to make something anise-flavored this Christmas season.
Twas the Sunday before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring except me in the kitchen making:
“S” Cookies (modified from the Arthur Avenue Cookbook: Recipes and Memories from the Real Little Italy )
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp (ish) anise extract
- 4 ½ cups flour
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Cream together butter and sugar, then add the milk, eggs, honey and anise extract. Slowly incorporate the flour.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.
Form small pieces of the dough into short logs about 3 ½” x 1/2”. Shape the logs into an “S” shape. Return dough to the refrigerator between batches to keep it from getting too sticky.
Dip the shapes into a plate of sprinkles if you choose to decorate BUT make sure you dip the right side of the cookies. I had a …ahem… special moment and sprinkled the wrong side. I now have “Z” cookies.
Bake cookies for approximately 15 minutes, or until golden.
Cool cookies on a rack that it is not half hanging over the side of the counter top.
Stay tuned for Day 4 – Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies