Swiss Springerle Cookies
|2||teaspoons anise extract|
|4||cups all-purpose flour|
|1||teaspoon baking soda|
|3||tablespoons anise seeds|
|1||small bowl water to moisten rolled cookies|
Grease cookie sheets; sprinkle lightly with anise seeds. In a medium bowl, stir together flour and soda; set aside. In large bowl of an electric mixer, whisk eggs with sugar until very thick and pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Stir in anise extract.
Add flour mixture to egg mixture, stirring well with a large spoon. Dough will be soft and sticky. Divide dough in half, shaping one portion into a ball with floured hands. Cover remaining dough with plastic wrap.
On a floured pastry cloth, roll out cookie dough to ½-inch thickness. Using floured springerle molds, a springerle rolling pin, or cookie stamps, press firmly on cookie dough; then remove. Dough will contain an imprint and will now be about ¼-inch thick.
Trim around cookies with a sharp knife or biscuit cutter. Lift cookies with a metal spatula or tip of knife. Using fingertip, moisten bottom of cookies with a drop of water, and place cookies on top of anise seeds, leaving ½-inch between cookies. Continue with remaining cookie dough, re-rolling scraps.
Allow cookies to stand, uncovered, overnight to dry. The next morning, bake cookies in a preheated 300 degree oven for 15 minutes until firm and dry. Cookies should not brown. Cookies will separate into 2 layers as they bake. Remove baked cookies from cookie sheets while hot. Cool on wire racks several hours so cookies are completely cool and moisture has time to evaporate.
Store cookies in an airtight tin for up to one month, placing a layer of parchment or wax paper between cookie layers. Anise flavor develops after 2 to 3 days.
Recipe makes 40 to 45 cookies.