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The Anises

These have strangely subtle licorice overtones. Use seeds in Anise Cookies, the oil as flavoring in sponge cake.

To release the full flavor crush seeds.

Pimpinella anisum grows to 3 feet. Transplant into light soil when seedlings are young due to the long taproot.


Anise Drop Cookies

(About 96 1-inch cookies)
These professional-looking self-glazing cookies with the charming puffed tops are best made in cool weather. They do not turn out well if the humidity is over 50%.

Beat until light: 3 eggs
Gradually add: 1 Cup sifted sugar
Beat at least 3 to 5 minutes on medium speed, longer if beating by hand, then add:
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Sift before measuring: 2 Cups all-purpose flour
Resift with: 1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
Add: 1-1/2 Tablespoons crushed anise seed

Add flour ingredients to egg mixture and beat another 5 minutes. Drop 1/2 teaspoon at a time, well apart, on a cookie sheet lined with foil. The dough should flatten to a 1-inch round but should not spread more. If it does, add a little more flour. Let the drops dry at room temperature 18 hours. Bake the cakes in a preheated 325 degree oven until they begin to color, about 12 minutes. When done, they will have a puffed meringuelike top on a soft cookie base.

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